Endless Summer

by |

There’s only one way to kick this summer slump in the butt ...

Just about now summer’s going something like this: You get home from work after leaving the kitchen nice and clean in the morning, and dishes are everywhere. Mac and cheese is stuck to a pan sloppy with oily Hawaiian punch or something. Cups, left-out milk and food stuff clutters the countertops and sink. Cereal bowls and half-drunk water bottles dot the living room. Laundry’s been carelessly kicked around the kitchen, and everywhere is the sticky-gross evidence that your kids have done absolutely nothing all day but “chill.” I’ll say. They’re stoney-eyed from watching screens all day; hopping from phone to iPad to TV and back again.

     Do you know what it’s like at home for the kids all day when you’re not around? Heaven. It’s Independence Day. There’s no schedule. There’s nothing but hours and hours of endless hanging around. There are trash-throwing contests and loud whoops of joy. Kids sing at the top of their lungs and break into dance routines. They run through the dining room with your galoot of a dog, knock over lamps, and use pillows and small carpets to slide down the stairs. They build forts and leave them in shambles. The front door’s left wide open, the toilets rest unflushed.

    When you’re finally home, they pretend they’ve been doing their summer reading by quickly picking up their books and looking down. Little angels. They ask, “What’s for dinner?”

    You have one shabby ship of sailors.     

    But you’re the captain.
    There’s only one way to kick this summer slump in the butt. As much as you want to scream and yell your way out of it, it won’t work. The WAY out is to get IN to something else. I’m not kidding. Sure, you need to lay down the law, get your chore wheel spinning, talk some sense into them. But you also need to make a plan. Remember: Summer. Is. Fun. Cool your jets because, after all, you CAN lord over them until they clean messes up. You can make them promise to never, ever, ever do THAT again (ha!).
    Do something different. Get your fam away from home. Take them to one of our area lakes and spend the day. Rent a boat. Reserve a campground. Turn what gets you down into what gets you up. Adventure. A little creativity. Make a list of what you need and supervise your kids as they put it all together. Put on the sunscreen and head out. Forget your troubles, come on, get happy. I know the start of school can’t get here soon enough, for some, but before you know it summer will be gone and you’ll wonder why you didn’t …. what? Fill in the blank and do it.

Susan Day is editor of Cincinnati Family Magazine and a mother of four.

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