Commentary by Danielle Wilson
I am so excited I might wet myself. School is back! Yes, that glorious month of August has arrived, and I can finally lay my sad-excuse for a summer routine to rest. See, one of my biggest challenges each June and July is keeping some semblance of normalcy at our house. I don’t know about your heirs, but mine need structure. They need to have consistent bedtimes and wake times; they need scheduled meals; they need daily physical activity and social interaction. Otherwise, they become bored and bratty, even if they do manage to sneak in seven hours of Xbox. But it’s all much easier said than done, especially once school’s out.
To wit, I didn’t even develop a survival plan this summer. Strict eating and bed times, limited technology interaction, Amish Day? Those used to work when my kids were younger, but now that 75 percent of them are taller than me? Fuhgetaboudit. Kitchen schedules, required reading and keeping track of Mario Kart is just too challenging. Plus, it’s my break, too. I don’t want to play warden the whole time. So, I often choose to ignore the pancake-batter mess at two in the afternoon or the fact that our oldest hasn’t left his room in 34 hours. Admittedly, I do occasionally feel like a terrible mom and wonder if my failure to set boundaries and enforce expectations will cause one of my precious little angels to end up in a clock-tower taking pop-shots at frolicking puppies. (And years later, when CNN lands the exclusive interview and asks why she did it, she’ll say, “Because my mom allowed too much freedom during summer.”)
The only solution I can come up with is year-round school. Then I’d only have to worry about July, which would be fairly simple if I throw in a family vacation, maybe a camp or two and a trip to Mamaw’s. Summer would become much more manageable and far less Xanax-worthy. Who’s with me?
No one? Fine. I’ll simply say this: Welcome back, school! My family (and small dogs everywhere) thank you for your return. Peace out.