Saturday, May 18, 2013

Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation: It begins in roughly one hundred hours for my two youngest.  How do I know how many hours there are until our summer officially begins?  I look forward to it.  I long for it.  I begin counting the days as soon as the fall semester begins.  I know every teacher work day and every school holiday and anticipate them coming with glee.  I hate handing my kids over to the public school system each fall.  As much as I love my kids’ teachers, and I DO love their teachers, no one can do the things for my kids that I can.  No one cherishes them the way I do and no one enjoys them like I do.  That being said, I cannot provide them with ALL the things they need academically, so I must rely on the school system to help me educate them.  The two youngest especially need a multitude of services and providers to give them an appropriate education. 

I used to be naïve enough to think all moms loved summers so they could be with their kids.  I know now that not all moms look forward to breaks from school.  I can understand how hard it must be for the parents that are employed fulltime, year round.  The school is not only providing an education but is also a way of keeping kids safe while parents work.  The moms I do not understand are the ones who are home in the summer but dread the break and complain all summer long about their kids’ fighting and their boredom.  Sure, my kids fight sometimes.  I make them stop.  I’m in charge around here, not them.  Once in a while I even hear, “I am bored.”  I can’t believe it when I hear it because of all the entertaining things there are to choose from around here.  When I hear those three little words I usually offer a kid three or four suggestions as to how they can spend some time.  If they cannot choose then I choose for them and they get “unbored” pretty quick.  There are always plenty of chores that need doing around here.  A child that complains of boredom is a child that needs a few chores.  Keeping a kid with ADHD and FAS busy and out of trouble is challenging but I can rise to that challenge.  She is mine and I love her enough to do it.

As I said in my post entitled “Don’t Blink,” if you didn’t want kids, then why did you have them?  You had to have known you would be the one spending a lot of time with them.  You surely knew kids sometimes fight.  You had to have known there would be summer breaks from school.  You probably even knew that a parent is a child’s most important teacher.  Stop complaining, especially, in front of them.  Savor the time you have with them.  Be the kind of parent your kids wish you were.  PLAY with them!  READ to them!  WORK with them!  TEACH them!  DISCIPLINE them!  ENJOY them!  Be PATIENT with them!  APPRECIATE them!  LOVE them!

I have three that have flown from our nest and another will leave in the fall.  Do I miss them? Sure.  Do I dread them leaving home?  No.  You might wonder, since I dread giving them to the public school in the fall, how I manage to send them off to college in a far-away place?  It is a very different thing for me.  An 18 year old going away to college is a goal I have worked toward with them their whole lives.  My husband and I told them from their birth where they would go to college.  It is a place we feel really good about, a place that teaches the same things religiously that we do at home.  I celebrate when my kids leave home as young adults.  They are ready.  They are the people they are, partly because I savored their summer vacations.  They watched me count down the days of that last nine weeks of school and treasure their summer break, wishing it would never end.  Their self-esteem did not suffer because their mom, the person who loves them more than anyone else in the world, did not dread summer breaks.  Dreading the summer home alone with your children?  Shame on you.

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