I count down the days along with my boys. The end of the school year is finally upon us! They are excited to be done with homework, pop-quizzes and exams. I am thrilled to be done packing lunches, signing forms and proofing English papers.
Piles of leftover school supplies reach a mountainous state in the front closet, teetering with protractors, notebooks, eraser tops and binders.
Backpacks gape wide open, filled with gym clothes desperately in need of washing, clarinet sheet music meant for summertime practice, chipped locker mirrors and random school junk.
There is much to be done... This weekend I will sort all of the school supplies into piles. One to donate, one to put back into cycle in the "homework center" in the kitchen - a place the kids gravitate to when they need notebook paper, a pencil, ruler or glue - or I will bag and store supplies that are in great condition in preparation for next year's school supply list.
Why is it that teachers request so much stuff and my boys use so little of it?
I stocked my fridge with yogurt, apples, cheese, jam and fresh lemonade. My pantry bulges with granola bars, cereal, homemade pita pockets and peanut butter. Fresh vanilla bean cupcakes fill the glass cookie jar on the counter, a tempting treat to keep the boys out of the corner store. Bananas ripen on the counter, refillable water bottles are clean and stocked in the cupboard to be used to take lemonade on the bike trail.
Will they eat what I have left for them or will they opt for pizza slices and soda from the market up the street? It has yet to be seen...
This is a concern of a working mother who decides to leave her children at home. The boys sleep too late, eat breakfast at noon, lunch at 3 p.m. and often are in their pajamas when I arrive home at 4:00. In this economy, expensive summer camps, sports clinics and theme parks are out and down home entertainment is in. This year, we're taking a new approach.
Their bike tires were filled with air, their brand new library cards are in their backpack pockets, bike locks dangle from their handlebars and a list of household chores is tacked to the bulletin board. A summer reading list taped to the slide of fridge reminds them of their assigned books from their English teacher - mandatory for next year. Our basketball hoop has a brand new rim and we inflated the soccer balls and footballs in the sports bin in the garage. Baseball bases, hockey sticks and frisbees are ready and waiting to be carried to the park. And, between my husband and I, we've got a plan to call home every day at 10:00 a.m. to wake the sleeping bears... :)
Day one went well, they rode to the library and to the park where they met friends for a pick up game of football. They ate lunch, cleaned up their dishes and wiped down the counters. When I got home from work, they were dressed in their baseball uniforms, ready to go... I breathe a sigh of relief.
OK, so they left to doggies outside too long, meaning the end of freshly planted snow peas in the gardening containers. The library called to let us know one of the DVDs they returned was missing the actual DVD and I found the empty two-liter of Cherry Coke in the returnables bin, but all together?
I think we will survive the summer... How many more days until school starts?