The last day of school is approaching in T – 4 days. Tuesday, June 4, is the day. The day I have circled in red marker on my calendar. I have never looked so forward to the end of a school year in my life. Not even when I was the student. It’s so much more stressful as the parent.
It’s been tough, as any and all of you who read this blog on any kind of regular basis know. If you don’t read on a regular basis, let me sum it up – eldest son lost his mind this year, his first year of middle school, and decided to do as little as possible AND do everything with a terrible attitude and argue everything from the color of the sky to his middle name (slight exaggerations MAYBE).
Thanks to his super freak out plus modern conveniences like school websites that show practically up to the minute updates on his progress, (or shows what homework I know he DID, but did not turn in for whatever reason) as well as teachers (and I do appreciate it) emailing and letting us know what we knew already because of the websites, his dad and I have been big balls of stress this year.
Facebook updates from parents who seem to never have any problems or issues with their kids certainly don’t help, nor do reading comments on those posts that say things like “that’s a reflection of great parenting!” True, it probably is, but that means that we are NOT great parents? But I know I’m a wear my heart on my sleeve parent, and person, and many parents, and people, feel the need to present a certain front. I should probably do that…but I don’t.
It also seems that I have read many tug your heart-strings stories about kids who are saddled with the task of raising their siblings while working a part-time job and living in a box all while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. SO, as any concerned parent would do, next year I am kicking my 12-year-old out of the house. I am kidding, of course. It does make one wonder just what the hell factors are present that motivate some children and how I can do the same.
My kids are awesome. I just want them to do the best they can do and my eldest has not done that this year. They are both so clever and could do anything, and anything is what I want them to do. I want the world to be their oyster, not their dried up chicken nugget. I really should have eaten dinner before writing this.
So here we are at the end of the year, and even though math camp and some extra work on math programs loom in the summer horizon for my 12-year-old, the summer will be so much more relaxed than the school year. I can be a mom again, not some stressed out drill sergeant wildly clutching my chest as I vacillate between helicopter parent and letting my kids have autonomy and dealing with the consequences on their own if/when they don’t do what is expected of them. I can also get to know my kids again.
About 10 times this year I have said “that’s it! I can’t do it. I’m done with this” to my friends and/or the boys dad. I’m not even sure what I meant, but I imagine I meant I was done with this being a grown up responsible parent thing. This summer, I’m going to be less of one. We all deserve a break dammit. We’re going to try all the new frozen yogurt places in town (Three have opened in the last few months) and stay up until 10 and go to the beach and start with a clean slate in August. I have missed my boys.
We have had plenty of talks about how the behavior that was exhibited this year, will not be exhibited next year. He understands, he says that he had trouble adjusting this year. I nodded my head and agreed with him and gave him a big hug rather than going over in detail any issues he has had. We’ve already done that. And this is the beginning of a stress less summer. EXHALE.