My kids go back to school next Thursday and we have had a long, hot, fun summer. Summer with my kids always starts with the best intentions - I require time for school work every morning after breakfast - bang out those summer math packets! - insist on beds made, clothes picked up, let’s try and train the dog while we are at it.
As summer goes on, we slowly but surely fall off track until by August 15, there is no schedule, school work has been abandoned, and I close the kids’ bedroom doors in disgust to hide the mess. My younger daughter recently celebrated eight days without a shower - and no, swimming in pools, (as my husband calls them, “chlorine showers”) and lakes do not count as bathing. My older daughter has to read two books in the next week (enjoyable for some kids, an unbearable chore for her as she would rather play Bakery Story on my iPad or watch repeats of Good Luck Charlie for the tenth time) and she did a search on Amazon yesterday for “short books for 12-year old girls.”
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I am no better off than my kids as laundry is piling up, my bathrooms desperately need to be cleaned, and cheese and crackers now serves as dinner if we have had late afternoon ice cream. That said, I am looking forward to back to school for the entire family, and I have made a few resolutions:
- For my 7th grade daughter, I resolve to strike a balance (or attempt to strike a balance) of keeping abreast of her school work without getting over-involved. I have swayed to both extremes in the past and neither works. A constant battle. I also resolve to be patient with her sometimes insane and irrational moods and reactions. Remind her of her talents and strengths - often. I resolve to never laugh at her, even when she is being inadvertently hilarious. I resolve to remind my husband of this as well.
- For my 5th grade daughter, I resolve to be patient with her fears of kidnappers and bad guys, which of course strike in the middle of the night when I am sleeping. I resolve to see her side as the “middle child” (her term, not mine), and spend some special time with just her.
- For my 3rd grade over-achieving son, no resolutions needed. He can basically run this place.
- For my husband, I resolve to keep the house in order (he referred to it as a “house of squalor” just this morning), the kids in order, and us in order as he embarks on opening a new business this fall.
- For my 4-year old dog, I resolve to make sure she gets two walks each day, and to remain more vigilant and consistent with our training (stop her “counter surfing,” and stealth lounging on furniture).
- For my 14-year old dog, I resolve to show him how much we love him in what is sure to be his final days. We thought he would leave us last fall but through sheer will he is hanging on, with a wagging tail.
- And for me? I resolve to regain control of my life (questioning the use of “regain” - was it ever even gained? Oh well). Cookies don’t count as lunch. Say “no” more. Spend more down time with my kids. Make more time for my husband. Value time as a family.
Happy Back to School!