...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Monday, August 17, 2009

...and school comes along just to end it

My boys start school on Wednesday. In fact, later today, we'll be taking both of them to their respective schools (after blindfolding them, spinning them around in a circle 30 times, then driving away like we're high-tailing it from a heist, all while cackling "Good luck finding yer way home now, sucka!") to meet their teachers, practice locker combinations, and deposit rainbow-hued pocket folders and pencils sharpened to glinty points as fine as those on a mythical unicorn's horn (or makeshift prison shivs)(middle school can be rough!), which is perfect, for that makes this all seem like a wonderful fairy tale, and I think for many parents, the end of summer and the return to school is just that. We've kissed our handsome prince in the form of our child's seventh grade advisory teacher and danced through the halls singing of how one day, we knew this time would come.

However, I must make a wee confession - I'm not exactly thrilled that the time I've spent with my boys this summer has reached this conclusion.

If you've been playing along here, you know that when school ended in early June, I declared this "The Summer Vacation Where I Don't Tell The Boys No!" (alternate, far shorter, 'Why didn't I think of that?!' title - "The Summer of Yes!"), and I'm proud to say that, despite some perilous thoughts that attempted to worm their way through my central cortex - most specifically the voice of wisdom that tried to warn me within the first week of this affirming experience that taking a trip down Slip-n-Slide Junction may not be wise - it's been an amazingly fantastic summer! To quote Ric Ocasek - music's poetic Jack Skellington - and his cohorts, the Cars, summer, summer, summer! It's like a merry-go-round!

In this rapid-fire Summer of Yes, the boys and I have enjoyed several picnics and exploratory haunts to parks far beyond the boundaries of those in our town. We've been bowling, rock wall climbing, and arcade going. I've said yes to more donuts for breakfast than I can ever imagine, which means I must definitely say yes again to my workouts. We've also visited the zoo - where I touched a vulture - the science center - where I held a snake (thus capping off my previously unknown desire to live each moment as though I was cast in an 80s heavy metal music video), and the library - where we checked out books my boys ultimately never touched (thus, my 80s heavy mental music video is for a song titled 'Brain Drain').

Because my boys don't like to play the type of games I like, such as "Hey! Let's Sleep In Late Today!" or "Wow! I'm So Tired! Let's Take A Nap! (the person who yawns the most or the widest wins!)(reigning champion right here, friends), I ended up playing a lot of board games with the boys. In case you need a Clue, Guess Who? loathes board games? This girl. Sorry! But I guess that's Life. Them's just the Apples to Apples, I guess. In an effort to shut game play down quickly, though, I often claimed a Monopoly on the day (it was part of my Stratego), so we could move on to something else. It was often worth the Risk, because more often than not, we moved onto baking or craft projects, and while those may sound worse than playing board games, I assure you, they weren't, because when have you ever enjoyed delicious, fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies or a firecracker hand-crafted from an empty Pringles can, some paint, kitty litter, and pipe cleaners after a few rounds of Boggle? I'd venture to guess never.

Despite my protests (which were so quiet as to almost be considered silent) there were a few points during The Summer of Yes! when I didn't have to be the cruise director of this ship. Tool Man took the boys for a long weekend of cave exploration, museum haunting, and frog touching (snakes and vultures, yes, apparently, but frogs? there's a line I just won't cross), leaving me home alone to enjoy the silence. Also, when my Mom morphed into someone I didn't recognize and actually offered to have the boys spend several days and nights at her house last month, I screamed yes so loudly I quite nearly terrified the lot of them. Sure, I love my kids, but those few days of respite meant not having the doorbell or the telephone ring constantly with the hopeful inquiries of my boys' friends on the other side, and they refreshed me for the waning days of summer I still had with them.

So, to sum up, I am quite honestly sad to see The Summer of Yes! drawing to a close, successful and exhausting as it may have been. Perhaps that sentiment is bolstered by the fact that, when I announced this goal 12 weeks ago, so many of you offered to pray - or drink - for me. Heck, I even offered to pray for myself because I wasn't sure I'd make it out of the first full week of summer vacation. Oddly, none of you offered to pray for my children, which, if you knew how wacky I can get from time to time, I'd have strongly advised! How delightful, though, that the only tears shed this summer were the result of my crazy hormones and not because of any inflicted blood shed. Will I attempt an annual go at The Summer of Yes!? Based on these preliminary results, coupled with how happy and helpful my boys were, I think so. Knowing how quickly this summer has already drawn to a close, it will feel like the opportunity will be here before I even expect it.

However, rest assured, on Wednesday, after the school bus has pulled away and the house is silent for several hours once again, there will be a moment when I pump my fist in the air and cry out "YES!!!" Because I've earned it. Yes, I have.

Yessirree.

Labels:

39 Comments:

Blogger Kathy B! said...

Summers are so weird they alternately fly by like the wind and drag on eternally. But I'm always a little heavy hearted that first day of school.


And I'm not a huge fan of the board games either. But I smiled at all those named in there...

Monday, August 17, 2009 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous TwoBusy said...

Awesome.

I trust we can look forward to "The Thanksgiving Break of Oui" and "The Winter Vacation of Ja?"

Monday, August 17, 2009 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Your 'Board Game Paragraph' was most impressive. . . MOST impressive. . .

Wow, yer 'Summer of Yes' sounds like it went way better than it might could've. Congrats to you all; yer boys are lucky to have such a game mom. . .

And wow, school starts early out your way. Here in Michigan, public schools are now mandated by law not to start until after Labor Day. . .

Monday, August 17, 2009 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

I'm glad you had such a great time. Enjoy the peace and quiet...

Monday, August 17, 2009 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

I have to say that I really don't believe you when you say that your desire to live each moment as though you were cast in an 80s heavy metal music video wasn't really unknown. You know you were born to tease your bangs six inches above your forehead and wear snakes as accessories.

Monday, August 17, 2009 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Your kids were helpful? I might have to try this YES thing.

Monday, August 17, 2009 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

YES! You rock! Glad you had such a brilliant time with your boys. It sounds like a great summer and I'm sure the Summer Where You Don't Say No is a summer your boys will never forget!

Monday, August 17, 2009 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous DCUrbanDad said...

Hmmmmm, wonder if my wife would give me a weekend of YES.

Monday, August 17, 2009 1:43:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt Juicebox said...

You have done a marvelous job. And you get bonus points for referencing Jack Skellington and Ric Ocasek in the same sentence.

Monday, August 17, 2009 1:44:00 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

What a great mom you are sucking it up and doing what they like. I'm currently training my young, impressionable childrn to think that shopping at COSTCO and Target is fun. They're coming along nicely (in my fantasies), but I'd rather they realize that playing quietly in the baby pool while I read a magazine is a rocking good time! No luck so far on that one.

Monday, August 17, 2009 1:45:00 PM  
Blogger ZenMom said...

Okay, first, big props for the Phineas and Ferb shout out in the title. ;)

Second, I LOVE the idea of the Summer of Yes! And it sounds like it was as great in implementation as in conception. Good on you!

And happy back-to-school season to you all! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger The Stiletto Mom said...

Congratulations...that is quite an accomplishment!

Yesterday, I hosted the "Sunday of Yes!" because I only have the mental fortitude to commit to a day, not a summer. I played Wii for five hours and then played shark in the pool. I don't know how you did it for twelve weeks.

Monday, August 17, 2009 2:27:00 PM  
OpenID mommygeekology said...

AHHH PHINEAS AND FERB!

... going back to read past the title of this post now....

Monday, August 17, 2009 3:20:00 PM  
OpenID mommygeekology said...

I think that this is such an awesome and - yes - even admirable thing to do! You've probably made more lasting memories this summer than I've made all year, and that's so wonderful (for you, lol, not my girls!). I feel a little bit inspired :)

Monday, August 17, 2009 3:24:00 PM  
Blogger Chasity said...

For the record, occasionally yes is exhausting. I don't know how you managed an entire summer, but you are my hero. My yesses are in short supply this last week before school starts again- but mostly because I'm simply too tired to even mumble the word.

Monday, August 17, 2009 3:30:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...

I now have fleeting images of you in my mind in several of my favorite 80s hairband/metal vids... though a tad more conservative than the gals in said vids....

much is the lust for you that I have....

Monday, August 17, 2009 4:13:00 PM  
Blogger Sailor said...

What a great, successful summer- and YES, you do indeed get to pump your fist, and cry out YES! You have earned it for sure!

Monday, August 17, 2009 6:25:00 PM  
Blogger King of New York Hacks said...

Very Very nice Sending you congrats honks from Madison Ave NYC !!

Monday, August 17, 2009 7:39:00 PM  
Blogger MereCat said...

You know what? You are a great mom. No really, you are. You push boundaries while you set limits. There's an art to that, you know. I'm so glad you had a good summer. You earned it. Now go get a mani-pedi, Hot Mama.

Monday, August 17, 2009 9:20:00 PM  
Blogger Chag said...

Sounds like the kids had a great summer. Hats off to you!

Still chuckling over the "music's poetic Jack Skellington" line.

Monday, August 17, 2009 9:21:00 PM  
Blogger Anna See said...

Sounds like a great summer! I was impressed by the board game reference and all the games played. Ours gathered dust and the tv came on a lot. I went thrifting today and brought home 4 new games. We still have 3 wks of summer left, so we'll see. I guess it's the summer of "we'll see" at my house. And our library books? Untouched.

Monday, August 17, 2009 9:30:00 PM  
Blogger Swirl Girl said...

I can't believe it's over.
{{sniffle, snort}}..

Now is the Fall of "Eh, Whatever"

Monday, August 17, 2009 9:45:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

*PUMPS FISTS INTO AIR!*

Wait, 2 of mine are staying here. Can I enroll Mimi in first grade now? Just pretend that she's really, REALLY short?

Monday, August 17, 2009 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger thatgirlblogs said...

I could easily never go back to school. I just like the saying yes sleeping in thing. but luckily I don't start them until 8/31. still sleeping in over here for a little bit longer.

Monday, August 17, 2009 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

How a about a DAY of yes? Or maybe a couple hours? You know, see how it goes before we do anything drastic. My kids don't start for a few more weeks, so I have some time to get used to not being a villain.

Monday, August 17, 2009 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

I've had the best summer in a long time. Just a blast. I'm sad it's ending. I prefer this b/c the kid and I are just not morning people and school and being a night owl is a horrible mix

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 2:33:00 AM  
Blogger Christina Lee said...

yep I hear ya!I always try ot play th game "oh it's a lazy day, let's just snuggle and read"-ha! yeah right

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 7:30:00 AM  
Blogger Badass Geek said...

I need to get my wife to follow the philosophy of "yes".

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Legallyblondemel said...

This secret control fiend lives in awe of your ability to "yes". So happy you've had a terrific summer, and hope you're out enjoying the end of it now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cocotte said...

Sounds like a better summer than mine, which was spent behind the wheel of my minivan. Because I can't say "NO" to Husband's ideas of keeping the kids busy.

And yeah, I didn't like that German Soldier book either!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:31:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Wood said...

You have games involving sleep? Coooool!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 4:04:00 PM  
Blogger Bex said...

the board game portion of this evening's post had me cracking up!

my kids like to play a game called "Let's Pretend to Nap with Mom" which always begins with me letting my gaurd down, falling asleep on the couch with my two darling cherubs and ends with them body slamming my face from the arm of the sofa ... and a mere 15 minutes later! could they have waited for another episode of spongebob to come and go - give poor old mom a chance to snooze?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:50:00 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

I swear it seems like just yesterday when you announced "The Summer Vacation Where I Don't Tell The Boys No!" My niece starts school on Monday. First grade. We are all nervous.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger Organic Meatbag said...

The Cars AND Stratego? Wow, this post really spoke to me! Hahahaha!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 7:55:00 AM  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

You are awesome!

It's true that happy kids make for happy mom's but how you kept up as cruise director is phenomenal.

And, since you know there will be more summers, enjoy next Wednesday and all the days to come!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 9:32:00 AM  
Blogger lime said...

i'm glad to hear it ultimately was a positive experience. you made some good memories this summer, which is the best part. although the bliss of the school bus pulling away ain't bad either.

Thursday, August 20, 2009 6:18:00 AM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

I love the beginning of summer - no more making lunches no more dragging them out of bed and finishing projects. And I love the beginning of school - no more whining about going to the pool or begging for ice cream or demands to go do "something fun."

Thursday, August 20, 2009 7:04:00 AM  
Blogger blissfully caffeinated said...

Jesus, is it just me or did the Summer of Yes go by at warp speed? Seems like just yesterday I was twitmiserating with you about it. And now it's over. Sniff. And, yay!

P.S. I've missed you...

Thursday, August 20, 2009 6:32:00 PM  
Blogger msprimadonna67 said...

I have to say, I am very impressed with your summer of yes. I read your original post where you proposed what you were going to do and I thought, "Hey--that's a great idea! I'm totally going to try that, too." Well, suffice it to say, you were clearly better at it than I was. I mean, I did say yes to a lot of things...but I found myself saying no sometimes, too. No just because I was tired, or I was too hot, or whatever. Things I could have said yes to, but just didn't want to. Of course, I said yes to some of the things I didn't want to as well, and some of those turned out just fine. Here's hoping that I'll be better at yes next summer. In the meantime, all focus is on our start to the new school year. So far, we're off to a great start!

Friday, September 11, 2009 3:19:00 PM  

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