No, learning how to fling flying birds at militant pigs doesn’t count as amusing yourself; designing your own game does. Because I’m the mom, that’s why.
That’s the other part of the problem. For the most part, given that I don’t teach during the summer and most of my freelance writing projects can be wedged in around the edges, I’m the parent who is here the most when the kids are home. I’m certain that in 20 years I’ll look back on these days fondly.
Most of the time I enjoy the clamor of parenting. Still, nothing quite sucks all of the life out of you like being asked “what’s for lunch” about a billion times each day. Usually, the query comes shortly after the dog steps in the paint tray and a merry (for the dog) chase has begun. Because that’s exactly the time when I want to think about lunch.
Getting much of anything actually accomplished when your kids are around is nearly impossible, unless you are able to break it up into five-minute-or-fewer chunks of time. Painting a wall can be done, as long as you aren’t terribly fussy about accuracy. Beyond that, however, it can get weird.
Which isn’t to say that we didn’t manage to squeeze in some fun around all of the boredom and emergency clean-ups. There were trips to points far and wide. We saw both the Puget Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. There was swimming in pools both local and foreign. Books were read. Freshly picked fruits and veggies were eaten.
It was a summer. It went faster than expected, as they all seem to anymore.
Now we’re deep in the transition into the school year. The Girl, who really isn’t a Diva anymore, and has grown into a mostly reasonable tween, will start middle school. There have been quick storms of angst about the change. Now, however, she hovers around being 80 percent excited and 20 percent anxious. Knowing her, I suspect it will all work out OK eventually.