Thankful Thursday: End of Summer Vacation edition

I’m thankful today for a great summer vacation, in which my children…

  1. Learned that their not-so-comfortable-with-heights mother is not above (below?) flying head first down the Patriot’s Plunge waterslide with nothing but a swimsuit, some water, and a 2-inch thick foam mat separating her from certain death
  2. Stood three feet away from me with their jaws on the floor as my hairdresser unwrapped the highlighting foils from my hair and revealed for the first time anywhere a younger-looking, partially blond version of “me” (imagine if I made the switch to contact lenses—the kids might spontaneously combust!)
  3. Finally realized that when I say, “Do you want to go and take a shower/practice your trumpet/clean up your room?” I really mean, “Your world will self-destruct in 5 seconds if you don’t get your behind moving and do what I asked you to do.”
  4. Repeated back to me some of the things that I say, thus highlighting my utter ridiculousness (case in point, Hayley says, “Mom, when you say ‘cute’ do you mean ‘cute-cute’ or ‘cute juvenile’?” then looks at Craig, after which the two of them point at me and laugh her heads off)
  5. Showed me—and themselves—that while practice may not at first make perfect, it certainly makes progress…and that’s not nothing

Back to the lonely school year for me. Miss you, guys.

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Procrastination consternation

It’s 8:30 am on the last Monday of summer vacation, and I, my friends, am postponing the inevitable.

I’ve been up since 4:30, thanks to my dog Wesley. The kids, though? They’re still asleep. Never mind that school starts on Thursday, and they’ll both have to get up at the staggeringly wee hour of 6 am. Yes, instead of training their internal clocks to rise earlier, I’m letting them wring out the remaining moments of uninterrupted rest before they’ll have to smack the jarring alarm clock, jam a toothbrush in their mouths, and stagger off to the bus stop.

What, I ask you, am I thinking?

I’d like to say that postponing the inevitable is not my way. I’d like to say that my grass, like my children’s hair, never gets so long that it looks like it needs a cut. I’d like to say that I never stuff the closets with clutter I’ve picked up at T-minus 5 minutes before guests arrive. I’d like to say the dirty dishes who take up residence in my sink are on the hourly rate rather than the extended stay special. But, alas, I sometimes postpone what I don’t really want to do…and eventually I pay. Oh yes, I pay. Case in point: I have to do laundry before I can get dressed this morning.

Oh yeah, you get the picture. (And don’t tell me you’ve never been there yourself.)

Not only am I guilty of selective procrastination, but I am a hypocrite of a parent who really gave it to her twelve-year-old son over the weekend for not practicing his band piece and then having the nerve to cover it up. He missed band camp in favor of a prior commitment and was supposed to learn the piece himself, because, hey, we’re musical, right? Well, after he had assured me for two weeks that he had mastered the piece, a hail of sour notes showed me that he’d staged an elaborate ruse to avoid (excuse this) facing the music. Words were exchanged. Mechanical shortcomings were cited. Parents lectured. Tears fell. And believe me, I now know that when a kid is in that kind of state, blowing the trumpet instead of blowing your nose does not yield good results.

So what are my takeaways?

First, step it up, Mom—keeping in mind the wisdom of the Barenaked Ladies, who said “Anyone perfect must be lying,” I’ve realized this: I’ve got robust adequateness down—and that’s not nothing. I’ve always admired the real get-it-done girls, so it’s about time I become one, right?

Second, I’ll be sure to sit with the kid—not ON the kid, but WITH him to make sure he’s completely equipped to do what he needs to do. And I’ll remember that he is me, and I am my Dad, and that openness to parental oversight is never the smoothest of roads.

Finally, I’ll forgive myself and move on. Every day is a new day, and tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my kids’ summer vacation. There’s no time like the present to get on track.

Plus the rest of summer vacation is only 2 and a half days long, so it’ll all be over soon.