Hate to see you go, but love to watch you leave.
Its not that I hate summer, I love summer. I’m good at summer – I fucking rocked this summer. I took my kids on 15 camping trips. And no, that wasn’t a typo – I went on FIFTEEN camping trips with my children. Fourteen of them were done via tent, and oh how I enjoyed that one weekend in a camper.
“Why did you go on fifteen camping trips, Ashley?”
Well, it actually starts off as kind of a sad story so I’m going to spare you the depressing details – For now.
Just know that there was a purpose, the ending is happy and I don’t just have an obsession with sleeping on a blow-up mattress.
So anyway, why am I so happy that summer is over?
Because I’ve bonded to my children too much – or they’ve bonded to me too much. Either way, we’ve bonded and now mama needs some personal space.
Summers with children are not for the faint of heart. You know all of those little battles you fought all school year? Homework, bed times, soccer practices, time schedules…it was all in preparation for the war.
Boredom. Heat. Sand in places there shouldn’t be sand. Packing to go…everywhere, because everywhere you go in the summer you have to pack dry clothes, food, drinks, bug spray, sunscreen…
Bed times get hazy. You can try to stick with the school-time bed-time, but this doesn’t always work. As in…it doesn’t ever work.
Why? Because the sun is still fucking ablaze at 9:30PM and no matter what level of darkening blinds you buy for their bedrooms – they still know the truth.
“Mommy, why am I going to bed when it’s still light out?”
Because mommy wants time away from you and your questions.
“Because its summer”
“Why is it summer or why is the sun out late in summer?
“Uh…because that’s the season we’re in and the sun doesn’t understand bed time”
“Because God hates mommy”
“I’m just kidding. It’s a joke. Stop crying. There, There. Go to bed”
Seriously though, why the hell is the sun out so late when I want my little angels to go the eff to sleep?
And why is it impossible for my daughter to make a s’more without getting melted marshmallow in my hair, her hair and on the screen door of the tent?
I’ve made too many damn s’mores this summer. They say you are what you eat – if that’s true then my daughter is a s’more, my son is a hotdog, my husband is potato salad and I’m a peach mango vodka on the rocks with a splash of cranberry.
(You didn’t think I did 15 camping trips sober, did you?)
“What are we going to do today?
“Can we go play with….”
“Can *insert name of child you’ve never heard of before* come over and spend the night?”
“Can we go to the zoo”
…Jesus Christ. Leave. Me. Alone.
Most of these questions were asked two inches from my face at 6:45 in the morning with only one of my eyes open and the morning breath of two children wafting in my face.
If they weren’t 100% entertained, they were 100% miserable.
My kids loved to hate each other this summer. And when they did play together, nicely, and for any length of time….my husband and I were too stunned to use the time wisely (like refilling our drinks) we just sat and stared with our mouths agape until someone touched someone and that someone didn’t want to be touched and the bitching ensued.
Fifteen camping trips.
Fifteen times I packed, unpacked, set up, took down.
The trip to Lake George was great, mostly because it was this particular trip that we discovered children’s Dramamine. My 6-year-old gets really car sick so we figured for our longest trip we’d give it a try. And since we’re big on sharing, I decided to slip my 4-year-old a little somethin-somethin too. It was the best car ride ever.
Pharmacist: “Given his age, its perfectly safe for him to take 1-2 tablets but its going to make him very drowsy, so I’d start with ½ a tablet”
“Ash, look at them – I feel a little bad”
“Don’t feel bad! Look how happy they are!”
*Pan to back seat* …….smiling, googly eyed, slow blinking, fast blinking, silence…
*Looks in rearview mirror again*
“They do seem pretty happy”
“See? They’re fine. Just turn up the music and drive”
Before you go judging my judgment…anything after 20 minutes of driving and my son requires all four windows down, the AC cranked and a puke bucket in his lap. I wasn’t about to travel 4 hours into the twisty-twirly mountains with him completely lucid. And my daughter, well…like I said, she was a bonus.
What? Is that bad parenting or something? C’mon – like you’ve never slipped your kid Benadryl before bed to help them with their “night-time allergies”
Yeah, me either.
I’m telling you – Summer Vacation, the heat, the whining – it makes bad things happen.
For instance, this summer we learned that my son loves anything sung by Miley Cyrus, and my daughter loves rap music. Bad things happen in high heat. Poor choices are made.
Is it my fault Stella knows the words to ‘Grillz’ better than Nelly? Or is it summer vacations fault??
Yeah, yeah ok…that ones on me.
But this heat, man. It was brutal this summer. And no rain?? Da Fuq!
We made the best of it though. I crammed my big pasty ass into a make-shift bathing suit and splashed in the water with the gremlins. I blew up hundreds of water balloons (no seriously, in one of our many water balloon fights there were actually 500 water balloons) My kids could kick your ass in cornhole and could give you a run for your money in a game of fris-beer.
I held both my daughter’s hands while she shit in the woods.
“I thought you said you only had to pee???”
“Me changed me mind”
While my parenting was on par, I still had apologies to make when mama got a little too aggressive with the water hose. He’s 6 years old, not a toddler – I thought he could handle a little water to the face.
I’m so done.
Time to slap their backpacks on and put them in the driveway. I’m counting down to the first day of school the same way my kids do for Christmas.
I even have an advent calendar.
It’s made of Jell-O.
It’s in my freezer.
Sometimes my treats are lime flavored with a kick of tequila, sometimes they are watermelon with a hint of rum. The big one though, you know…the one I’m opening on September 7th…that one tastes like fire and balls.
Sure there were good memories, fun times, precious family moments, big laughs…but I won’t bore you with those.
Just know that I did my job. I ditched social media, I never once looked down at my phone and I lived in the moment. I gave my kids a summer that most can only dream of. It was spent in the water, in the woods, on bicycles, 4-wheelers, around campfires and in tents. It was spent with sparklers and boat rides and telling spooky stories on the fly with a flashlight under my face.
I spent 8 hours (EIGHT HOURS) in a swamp searching for two friggen painted turtles for them to enter in a turtle race. The turtle race took 3 hours. Yes…3 hours. I invested 11 hours into a fucking turtle race. Not only that, but I’m the moron that caught the turtles 4 days before the race. They were lucky to be alive when it came time to race in their heat.
Next year we’re catching snapping turtles weeks in advance and feeding them nothing but painted turtles beforehand…that should liven things up on race day. *My brother in laws idea*
Now it’s time for these kids to get the hell out of my house. Peace out, children. Hope you enjoy the lunch I made you, crust cut off and everything. Just the way you fucking like it.
“But mommy, school doesn’t start for a couple more weeks – why are we waiting for the bus?”
*slurps advent calendar*
Thanks for visiting MadStella!! <3