Yesterday, my 6-year-old made me cry. I was so upset, I had to lock myself in the mudroom for two full minutes while I struggled to compose myself.
Why? Because my son sprayed me with a garden hose.
I realize that my admission makes me sound completely unbalanced. But, hear me out: it’s the middle of summer and I’m starting to get a little (ok, a lot) frazzled! Frankly, I’m a Hot Mess, and not just because it’s constantly 95 degrees outside.
It’s not often that a little incident like water on my clothes sends me into a full-on meltdown. With two boys, I’ve dealt with so. much. worse. But this time? This time, I just needed a minute. A minute to breathe. A minute to center myself. I just needed a minute to myself!
You see, I haven’t had much “me” time this summer. The kids have all been home, the days have been long, and the plans and activities have accumulated. We’ve had a glorious time, really we have! But I’m tired and need a break. So when my son doused me with water not even two minutes after I very nicely asked him not to? Well, that just made me snap. It made me want to break up with summer.
Oh, how I love/hate summer! The hottest season of the year has never been my favorite. I’ll take pumpkins over pools and seventy-degree days over sweaty, humid ones anytime. For me, autumn is where it’s at….the colorful, falling leaves, cider mills, apple orchards. I could wax poetic forever about fall, fabulous, fall! But my kids love summer, and I adore my kids. So, by extension, I turn into ‘Summer Mom’: The Splashpad? Sure! The playground? Ok! A trip to the lake? Bring it on! A slip-and-slide obstacle course in the backyard? Great!
And somewhere along the way, each year, I forget about my summer aversion and start to enjoy myself. This year, we’ve had the added bonus of time spent with new friends, and amazing neighbors. Our entire family has a sense of community that we’ve never felt before, and it’s been wonderful. Kids and adults alike have struck up quick and easy friendships. Nothing can rival the look of joy on my toddler’s face when the sprinkler “rains” on her and her little playmates, or when my boys and their buddies catch some air on the slip-and-slide, and propel themselves fifty-feet across our lawn. It’s pure, innocent fun and we’re making memories that I know my kids will always cherish.
But it’s almost August, and I’m ready to wrap things up. Bonfires and s’mores are delightful, but a multitude of ten o’clock bedtimes for my six-and-under brood is starting to wear on all of us. It’s hard to put kids to bed when the sky is still pink, retaining the wonders of a fun-filled day. And, as my garden-hose-spraying-son perpetually reminds me: you can’t catch fireflies until it’s dark. Well, here in The Mitten State, the sun doesn’t set until at least 9 pm. It’s pretty challenging to fight a bedtime battle when Mother Nature isn’t on your side.
Despite the fact that I’m an intermittent Hot Mess – literally and figuratively! – I’ll continue to be the best ‘Summer Mom’ I can be for a few more weeks. I’ll focus on the good and positive, and try my best to forget about the afternoon that I locked myself in my mudroom, crying.
But I don’t think I’m alone in admitting that I’m ready for return of the school year’s orderly days. I know I’m not the only mom missing and longing for that sacred time that I reserve just for myself. We all need “me” time to recharge and balance ourselves amidst our busy lives. Summer with little ones, while full of many exciting and enjoyable pursuits, simply does not afford much alone time.
And so with deep respect and appreciation, I humbly extend my apologies to summer lovers and teachers alike, but this Mom is ready to break up with summer.