I remember when I was a kid, the air was warm and electric as I got off the bus on that last day of school. I remember sliding barefoot through the grass as the sprinkler sprayed ice cold water on me. I remember quietly roasting marshmallows by the fire pit as my parents or grandparents told stories of summers of the past. Summer, when I was a kid, was this giant free for all, without rules or schedules to speak of. Every day was a new adventure full of ice cream and possibility. So every year toward the end of May, I get sucked in by the nostalgia of summer, and suddenly I can’t wait for school to get out!
June finally arrives, and with it the last day of school for my kids. I’m nearly as excited as they are as they bound toward the car on that last day, carefree and humming. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for the reality to set in: Just like that colorful cereal, silly mom, summer is for kids. In case you don’t believe me, I’ve come up with a list of 10 things that prove this is true.
Your kitchen is perpetually messy
Your arm sticks to the counter where the kids were making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A kaleidoscope of cups line the sink. There’s a spoon glued to the kitchen table with dried milk. The only clean dishes are still hidden in the dishwasher.
Your fridge is always empty
Your son is complaining that there’s no milk for cereal, but you know you just put a new gallon in the fridge yesterday. You look and discover you’re also out of lunch meat and bread. You shake your head in disbelief as you head to the store. Again.
There are footprint-shaped puddles on the floor
These puddles start from every outside door of your house and continue to the nearest bathroom. Unfortunately, you’ll likely discover the toilet seat is also wet the next time you sit to use it. On the upside, this probably means your kids aren’t peeing in the pool.
There are towels everywhere
Damp towels have been haphazardly tossed in every room of your house, except for the bathroom, which you won’t notice until you get out of your shower.
You have a wide assortment of popsicle wrappers
Clear or white, with words written in fluorescent ink, these wrappers are littered all over the backyard, in the garage, and in the driveway. Not one is in the trash.
There is a fort in the family room
A haphazard pile of chairs, tables, and toys are covered by dozens of toddler-sized blankets. The blanket on the top is slipping because the kids still haven’t figured out the best way to secure it. You look past the mess long enough to see the pride on your son’s face for the incredible castle he’s built.
Minecraft is running
Even though the children are not currently playing it, Minecraft is constantly running in the background. You hear it’s music in your sleep. You decide to turn it off as you walk through an empty room only to be met five seconds later by your child begging to play again.
You’ve lost count of the number of kids in your house
You’ve given up trying to remember who’s spending the night, when they’re staying, and how long they’re staying. In fact, one child has been at your house so many nights you’re starting to wonder if you should register her for school.
You’re living in your car
Or at least it feels that way with all the driving in circles your doing. You’re picking up one child here, only to drop another one off in the opposite direction a couple hours later.
They’ve stopped fighting bedtime
Your kids are wearing themselves out daily from all the fun they’re having, and by the time dinner is finished they’re ready to curl up with you on the couch to read a book or watch one last cartoon before bed. You can’t help but push aside the thoughts of cleaning as your little one nestles in beside you.
So, it’s true. Summer is for kids. But at long last and at the end of the day, summer always has something for moms too!