Lesson #1: When a lawn specialist comes to the door and asks if my mom or dad are home, he’s pretty much guaranteed a new customer.
Lesson #2: Some people run triathlons. Some people go back to grad school. When I want a real challenge, I set Little free in the playroom with a Sharpie. (FYI, when even a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser doesn’t work, try nail polish remover. If that doesn’t work, try white wine. Not on the new Sharpie art, on you.)
Lesson #3: When the same kid who did a number with a Sharpie says he’s going to trim a loose thread on his sock, you shouldn’t really be surprised when he comes back in the room with a bunch of holes in his sock.
Lesson #4: Elementary school art teachers need a wicked sense of humor to survive. At least I’m going with that theory after volunteering this week. First the teacher asked me to hairspray art work on thin paper in the hallway — which turned out to be more of a wind tunnel. (I’m pretty sure she got video and I’m about to become the next web sensation, so at least there’s that.) Then, when I gave up on playing chase with 1st grade pastels and moved inside to the pencil sharpener, it ate the top off of every single pencil I stuck in there. Next year I’m sticking to the library.
Lesson #5: Even at my age, you’re not too old to really dive in to a new hobby. Mine is stepping on gum. I hate to brag, but I’m kind of a natural.
Lesson #6: You know you’re emotionally unstable when you go to pick up your kid from his last day of preschool (not forever, just at the sweet school our kids have gone to for the last four years), and other moms and multiple teachers cry just looking at you.
Lesson #7: It’s best to keep your toddler and preschooler a safe distance from the paper mâché globe display at Open House. And if you don’t learn that lesson after watching the earths go down like an impressive domino experiment, certainly don’t let those same kids carry their big brother’s globe home. That is if you still want it to be round. (And he did still want it to be round.)
Lesson #8: If you go on a field trip with 90 1st graders to San Francisco, book the babysitter through bedtime so you can sleep for the rest of the day.
Lesson #9: What seems to be a deserted road may actually be kind of the opposite. And a minivan’s sliding doors, well, they don’t provide any roadside coverage. So, I’m pretty sure my kids are wanted in Vallejo for public indecency.
Lesson #10: When one of your best buddies moves away, getting to visit and hang out again is pretty darn wonderful. Whether you’re 4 or 30-something.
Whether you and your kids are counting down to summer vacation or already fighting the “I’m bored”s, I hope you have a colorful week — and stay grounded. (And that your kids stay ungrounded.)