Don’t let the $21 in late fees I just paid our local library fool you. There wasn’t a whole lot of school friendly learning in our house this summer. As I wrote last year, I’m the type of mom who rides the summer slide—no hands! And this year was no different. I led my kids to the top and sent ‘em flying. Then, because it looked like so much fun, I joined them.
We may not have a lot to show for our summer (other than the 362 photos give or take 1000), but that doesn’t mean we didn’t learn a few things along the way. Here are just a few the waves didn’t knock out of me…
Lesson #1 (kid perspective): All that effort on my class project was well worth it since it still takes up prime real estate in our family room bookshelf this summer.
Lesson #1 (mom perspective): This back-to-school night, I’m going to slip each of my kids’ teachers a
twenty fifty if they promise to tell them—each and every time there’s a class project that doesn’t fit in an 8-1/2 x 11 folder—that they’ve created the best one in the entire class and they’d love to keep it at school as an example for next year’s students.
Lesson #2 (kid perspective): Maybe sunscreen isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Lesson #2 (mom perspective): Maybe sunscreen really does need to be reapplied more often than your kid comes out of the waves for snacks.
Lesson #3 (kid perspective): There are real, living creatures inside of some seashells. And it’s so cool!
Lesson #3 (mom perspective): There are real, living creatures inside of some seashells. And it’s so creepy!
Lesson #4 (kid perspective): If your summer baseball team is going to go on a losing streak, it’s best done in a beach town, hundreds of miles from home.
Lesson #4 (mom perspective): If my kids’ summer baseball team is going to go on a losing streak, it’s best done in a beach town, hundreds of miles from home. (That and that minivans filled with kids and kid junk shouldn’t try to park on the sand with all the 4WD SUVs.)
Lesson #5 (kid perspective): How to whip, nae nae, and do the stanky leg.
Lesson #5 (mom perspective): How to watch my kids (and niece, nephews, and mother-in-law) whip, nae nae, and do the stanky leg.
Lesson #6 (kid perspective): You can buy—and eat!—fried crickets and worms. Then, when you’re down to the last cricket, cut it into itty-bitty pieces and throw it in all that Jell-O your brother and sister refused to eat when they got their tonsils out.
Lesson #6 (mom perspective): My mom bought—and my kids ate!—fried crickets and worms. (And don’t buy Jell-O—or pudding—in bulk just because your kids are getting their tonsils out.)
Lesson #7 (kid perspective): Grandparents are way more fun than parents.
Lesson #7 (mom perspective): Grandparents get to be way more fun than parents.
Lesson #8 (kid perspective): The only thing better than grandparents is cousins.
Lesson #8 (mom perspective): Amen.
Lesson #9 (kid perspective): Riding down a hill at full speed on a scooter, then falling off, hurts.
Lesson #9 (mom perspective): Saying “I told you so” isn’t nearly as satisfying as you think it will be.
Lesson #10 (kid perspective): S’mores are better with friends.
Lesson #10 (mom perspective): Camping is better with wine (and friends, of course).
Lesson #11 (kid perspective): Patience sure is a virtue, but it’s not our mom’s.
Lesson #11 (mom perspective): Patience may be a virtue, but it’s not this mom’s.
Lesson #12 (kid perspective): I’m pretty sure FaceTime was invented so when one of your best kindergarten buddies moves all the way across the country, you can still have epic staring contests.
Lesson #12 (mom perspective): I’m absolutely sure FaceTime wasn’t invented so you can check in with your mom at 6:30am the morning you and your siblings spent the night at your Nana’s house to give Mom and Dad a much-needed break.
Lesson #13 (kid perspective): I’m so es-cited to be with my flam-ly.
Lesson #13 (mom perspective): I will not be excited when Pink learns how to pronounce “family” correctly.
Lesson #14 (kid perspective): Swimming with whales and sea lions is almost as awesome as back flopping onto breaking waves for hours and hours and hours.
Lesson #14 (mom perspective): Watching whales and sea lions play in the water for hours and hours and hours is almost as spectacular as spending a day at the beach without any whining or fighting.
Lesson #15 (kid perspective): Having my brothers home for the summer rocks!
Lesson #15 (mom perspective): Panic? Hearing your 4yo daughter shout, “Dare me to do it naked?!” Relief? Discovering “it” was taking a shower.
Lesson #16 (kid perspective): Waking up at 5am in the summer gives you a good hour of TV shows your mom won’t even know you watched.
Lesson #16 (mom perspective): This summer, many kids went to sleep-away camp and learned things like how to make new friends and catchy lyrics to campy songs they can’t stop singing. This summer, other kids (read: mine), stayed home and watched a Disney Channel show about kids who went to sleep-away camp and learned the same things. As my kids danced around the house the other morning singing, “Kikiwaka!”, I couldn’t help but feel a bit smug knowing I saved myself a couple thousand dollars.
Lesson #17 (mom perspective): Ditto.
Lesson #18 (kid perspective): All roofs look exactly the same when your face is buried in a barf bag.
Lesson #18 (mom perspective): I might have a slight problem making decisions when picking out a roof requires so much driving around town that Pink gets car sick. (Which was, ironically, on the way to shop for toilets.)
Lesson #19 (kid perspective): When mom says no, she means it. Especially the 7th time.
Lesson #19 (mom perspective): When I say no, I mean it. The 1st time. But by the 7th time, a little explosion happens in my brain. And then it comes out my mouth.
Lesson #20 (kid perspective): What?! I didn’t do anything!
Lesson #20 (mom perspective): You know it’s time for the kids to go back to school when even your 4-year-old daughter is sick and tired of her babydoll’s bad behavior.
Here’s to hoping your family’s summer memories continue to warm your heart (and stink up your house) for a long time to come!