There are four words that strike fear deep in the heart of any parent, and those words are “no school” and “three months.” When you combine those two innocent-seeming phrases … well, I shudder to even think about it.
My phobia starts in exactly seven days. This time next Thursday will see my two boisterous sons throwing their Pokemon notebooks in the air, kicking their sandals off, and diving headfirst into 90 days of 100 degree weather and 1000 percent of my sanity gone.
All the smart mommies have made “summer plans.” I have been getting emails from the smart mommies (smommies) asking about my summer plans. My main plan is to sit in front of a giant fan from Target right on top of the air conditioning vent praying the power never goes out while fanning myself with US Weekly while yelling at my kids to stop yelling at each other. That is my plan.
Of course, I never say things like that in my email. I make cute little jokes about, “Well, we spent all our money on the pool membership, so I guess that’s where we’ll be every day!” when the thought of my pale and non-Cindy Crawford self in a bathing suit in public makes me want to move to Alaska permanently.
The boys come home from school every day counting down, like Christmas.
“Guess-what-Mommy-guess-what-Mommy! Only ten (nine, eight, seven) days of school left!”
They don’t have to tell me, it’s already circled on my calendar in thick black Sharpie like a solar eclipse, Today begins the string of days when you must entertain your children 24/7 like when they were toddlers. Have fun!
So, back to the smommies. My smommie friends have all signed up their lucky children for super-fun and super-educational camps followed by a month in Hawaii or touring Europe or other exotic locales that threaten to gobble up an entire mortgage payment in a day. We will be spending our mortgage payment on, well, our mortgage. We have opted for the more pedestrian stay-cation.
The Husband, of course, gets no vacation, not even a stay-cation. He slogs off to work June, July, and August as usual, oblivious to the fact that I have to dream up multiple meals and snack options every hour on the hour, as well as something entertaining to do.
Last year, I was full of good intentions and perhaps a little tequila. I bravely announced, “This summer, we’re going to do art projects!” and dragged the kids to the craft store. Twenty minutes and $185 later, our neon blue shopping cart was laden with things to take us well into the winter months, things like rubber stamping, mosaics, stained glass, and painting. As you can imagine, the novelty of my $185 investment wore off about the time we pulled the car into the driveway. Maybe sooner.
I harbor no illusions about this summer. We will spend it exactly the way I always wished for when I was a child: in front of the TV.
("Melting On Venus")