Every June I clutch my planner to my chest lovingly and dream of all that the upcoming summer has in store for me and my kids (and hubby, too). I have overnight trips planned, day outings, leisurely strolls on the beach and campfires with s’mores. I have relaxing by the pool days in mind, as well as days spent riding roller coasters. I’ve got bedroom painting plans and garage cleaning out plans—okay, they may not be fun, but they’re a necessary evil. Why not do them when we have the extra time?
And every damn August I look at that planner like I am today, and I fight the urge to burst into tears because nothing works out the way I expected. Every year is the same story…August arrives in a blink of an eye and I’m screaming at the kids to finish their summer reading projects and lamenting about what we didn’t do this break.
Expectation #1: We are going to get up early every morning and take a walk or go to the gym.
Reality: Kids are sleeping till almost noon every day. I am waking them up with a whistle after I eat lunch.
Expectation #2: I’ll cook more since we don’t have to rush anywhere and don’t have to eat at a certain time.
Reality: Party of four?
Expectation #3: We don’t even have to spend any money—we can just use the pool in our backyard every day. Heck…we don’t even have to GO anywhere.
Reality: IT. RAINED. ALMOST. EVERY. FRIGGIN. DAY. Or at least it seemed that way. And the days it didn’t rain, no one wanted to put sunblock on. And then it was too hot for the Prince and Princess of Air Conditioning to be outside. Plus, no one wants to go in the backyard anymore because our neighbor’s weeds are LITERALLY higher than our fence and the mosquitoes think we are a feast when we’re outside. Like seriously…I am out here now with two citronella candles, bug spray on, and a citronella wrist band. And they’re nibbling on me without a care in the world. I could play connect the dots with my mosquito bites.
Expectation #4: I’ll get a lot done around the house at least—even if it’s rainy all summer. I’m going to clean every room from top to bottom, paint the bedroom and get new blinds and a comforter. I’m going to fix the crack in the wall in the dining room and repaint it, clean out the garage, rearrange the laundry area downstairs, straighten up the attic, weed the whole backyard, lay a 10 x 10 stone patio in the backyard, fix the trellis that’s falling off the deck, clean out the closet in the front hall, go through the kids’ clothes and donate what they’ve outgrown (which is everything)…
Reality: I fixed the crack in the wall. And I didn’t even do a good job.
Expectation #5: The kids will be done with their summer reading books by the time our plane lands from vacation in early July.
Reality: Did you miss the part where I’m screaming at them to finish their f&@ing books??? They obviously have.
Expectation #6: The kids will not do anything fun this summer until all their chores are done for the day. In fact, they will have to do their chores before I even give them the Wifi code because I’m going to change it every night so they aren’t on their phones all night and sleeping till noon.
Reality: How do you change the Wifi code?
Expectation #7: We’re going to do fun family things together. The kids are getting old quickly. We’ll get Great Adventure season passes and go on other fun day trips.
Reality: Me—“Let’s go (insert activity here) today!” Hubby—“No, it’s too hot.” Kid #1—“Go to where? Eh, I don’t want to do that. Can you take me and my friends to the mall instead?” Kid #2—“I just want to stay home and watch YouTube videos of other people doing stuff.”
Expectation #8: If the kids don’t want to be with me, I’ll go down the shore once a week. Alone.
Reality: I’ve been there twice 🙁
Expectation #9: Everything is going to stay neat and clean all summer because at least I’ll have time to stay on top of things. And the kids are old enough to pick up after themselves, too. Oh, and I won’t have to do dishes constantly because I’m going to buy paper plates and bowls and plastic utensils and cups so I’m not constantly doing dishes.
Reality: I am very close to being buried alive by all the dishes in the sink, the laundry piling up, and my kids’ crap strewn all over the house like an obstacle course.
Expectation #10: If we haven’t really done anything, at least I’ll be relaxed when it’s time to go back to school, right?
Reality: How exactly does one relax with all these expectations hanging over one’s head???
Next year, I swear I’m not making a list. I will have NO expectations at all.