I LOVE my children with my whole heart. I adore their squishy little faces in a way that makes my heart hurt sometimes. I LOVE them. I do not, however, love summer. There, I said it. I'm one of the few. I don't love the summer months and I'm not sad when the school bus comes in August. Here's why.
Let's start with the weather. There are those people who would spend the entire day at the swimming pool, the smell of chlorine a perfect part of any day. I'm not one of those people. I don't like being hot; I don't like walking outside and feeling like I'm walking into a natural locker room with heavy air and beads of sweat forming by the time you walk to the mailbox. I'm good with about an hour at the pool, the glare on my People magazine too harsh to even see the words to the latest book review and 100 games of jump-in-the-pool-football just a bit much for me. Nope, the smell of chlorine does nothing for this mama. Give me an autumn-scented candle any day.
Then there's the summer boredom. Because both my husband and I work from home, our boys are with us all the time. All. The. Time. It's nice to think of us as the Four Musketeers, but most days, two musketeers are screaming at each other over the Wii remote, complaining about lack of food options, or begging to go to the pool – or a friend's house – or St. Louis – as if all are equal distance and can be achieved with the same amount of effort. While working, I'm trying to make sure my boys' minds don't turn to complete mush over the summer, which involves trips to museums, art classes, sports camps, and lengthy discussions about the fact that dinosaurs were actually real and not every shiny rock contains gold. However, because I don't believe in entertaining my boys every minute of the day, those times when they're trying to busy themselves usually end up with them coming into my office and filling the time talking about random things. This most recently involved two boxes of pudding mix being brought to my desk with questions about a date-specific when said pudding could be made.
I'm the mom who buys the school supplies the first week they're out in the stores, both because I'm a planner and want to make sure to have suitable folder color options, but also because it represents to me that the summer months are drawing to a slow and steady close. Don't get me wrong, I miss my boys when they're at school. I walk down to the bus stop earlier than necessary in the afternoons because I've missed their squishy little faces and can't wait to see them. I just find the school year awesome in so many ways. Here's why.
My boys walk home from the bus stop excited to tell me everything about their day. We discuss more specifics over dinner and I enjoy watching their little minds work as they figure out their homework assignment with delighted declaration of, “Ohhhh, I get it.” I love the social aspect of school, new friends made when desk arrangements change and they sit next to someone who they may have never gotten to know before. I love school parties and events, and talking to their teachers who see my children in a new and wonderful way and tell me things about them that I didn't know.
Summer is full of fun and excitement, but I'm not sad to see it end. The school year, to me, is full of growth and new opportunities for my children. It's full of experiences that they don't have at home when they're bringing me boxes of pudding to make for dinner. No, I'm not sad when that school bus arrives because I know that when my heart aches with missing my boys, it's because they're off doing wonderful things and filling their minds with new information. Yes, you can keep the chlorine; I'll take an autumn candle any day.