So I’m sure you’ve seen those adorable lists of summer activities slathered all over Pinterest, right? Because I am nothing if not a slavish follower to the overdecorated whims of the internet, here is our list:
I do well with a list, and I am afraid I won’t remember all the stuff I want to do this summer unless it’s in my face reminding me. Plus I really do need to paint the front porch. But mostly I am not the spontaneous light saber battle type. I dearly wish I was, but I am not, so I like to think of this list as a little crutch to remind me that really really want to have a Tomato Party and that I can’t wait to take Eli fishing and that the Orange Freeze should be open soon. Our preschool runs through the next three months (THANK YOU SWEET JESUS) so we have some structure there, but you know, fun. I like to schedule it.
This weekend we knocked out two of these activities (“wash the car” and “Go to the County Fair”) and all this family togetherness has forced me to reconsider this list, I am afraid, because as much as I dream the impossible dream of an idealized Country Lemonade Commercial version of summer, as much as I want so much for my kids to remember running through the sprinklers and campfire smores, I mean, we went to the County Fair and it sucked, basically. Yeah. It pretty much sucked.
I don’t even know. I don’t know. I mean, I am not sure if it’s our parenting styles or our particular children or if we are trying too much too soon, but it’s exhausting and it’s not an insignificant amount of money to do things like this, and when it’s not fun, I feel defeated. And I don’t expect to party like it’s 1999 in the petting zoo or whatever, but really the entire time we were there at least one child was in the throes of a complete emotional breakdown. Eli did nothing but obsess over going on rides he wasn’t tall enough to go on, and Katie couldn’t go on any rides, so then we’d have to drag one screaming child away from the animals to go back to the rides or drag another screaming child away from the rides to go see the animals, and I find myself wondering if maybe we just shouldn’t leave the house.
Seriously, I am not exaggerating when I say that any activity involving taking both children out of the house is terrible, and yet I want nothing more than to do these things with the four of us and actually when it was the three of us we managed pretty well, but now we are four and we cannot go out to eat, we cannot go to the library, we cannot go to Target or Home Depot without screaming or someone falling out of a cart or someone falling into someone else’s nachos and I just feel defeated.
If I squint hard enough into the future I can see a well behaved eight year old and a well behaved five year old really having fun watching the fireworks after a baseball game or riding the roller coasters at the County Fair, but I guess what I’m wondering is if this time now, this wretched unpleasant soul sucking time, is necessary for those moments, or if we should just give up? Should I just buy the one fishing license and let fishing be something that Eli and Erik do alone together, even though I really want to fish too, dammit? Am I doing something important, now, actually?
Or am I just bashing my head against a wall that says “Summer Fun” on it for absolutely no reason? Beacuse I have to tell you. The head bashing? It’s not really as much fun as you might think.
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