Unsubscribing to Summer Guilt


Dear Pinterest,

Just a quick note to let you know how much I have appreciated all your pins encouraging me to make this the BEST SUMMER EVER for my two children. You have inspired me to initiate random water balloon fights, track summer reading minutes, plan themed dinners, and host summer camp-style playdates for all the neighborhood children. Mason jars were purchased in hopes of catching fireflies and I printed seven different recipes for s’mores. I jotted down a summer schedule back in May one night while I waited on dance class to be over. My Amazon cart was filled work workbooks that promised to ensure no forgetting of math facts or spelling rules would occur between the months of June and August.

Pinterest, you inspired me, filling my brain with images of a summer which would be both magical and productive, educational and relaxing.

However, dear Pinterest, I must be honest as we soak in these final moments of summer break.

There have been no random water balloon fights. The children have read books but we failed to join the summer reading program at the library in time and I just received an email stating the Reading Victory Party is being held next week. Oops. I would love to catch fireflies but I live in the ‘burbs where the sun does not set until after 9:30pm in the summer. Apparently fireflies do not find living in the suburbs to be ideal so we have none to catch. Also, I like my children to go to bed at a decent time so I can hang out with my husband. I guess those mason jars will have to sit vacant on the shelf, waiting for fall and whatever craft you tell me to make then.

There was no cute chart marking off our summer bucket list nor did we set out on one educational field trip.

Pinterest, I am afraid I may have failed Summer 2016.

In spite of these summer failings, my children have participated in a variety of camps in which they learned new experiences. Both took tennis and realized that Texas is way too hot to play tennis in any month other than January. One child attended drama camp and now has every song from the musical “Matilda” memorized. The other took a game design camp and (fingers crossed) learned new skills that he will put to good use one day.

My daughter decided to join the gourmet popsicle revolution and has crafted an assortment of flavored pops while simultaneously writing a popsicle cookbook. My son has talked on the phone to his BFF (who attends another school and lives in another suburb, so time together during the academic year is limited) every day as they develop a new Minecraft server (I love to toss around technical jargon as if I know what it means. All I really know about Minecraft is that I get motion sickness when the children attempt to show me their worlds.)

We joined the Pokémon Go hysteria and I learned that one CAN take her 11 year old son on a million errands without him bemoaning his lot in life the entire time.

There have been days in which claims of boredom have been issued. I reminded my children in our house boredom is cured with weed-pulling and baseboard cleaning. Miraculously they found things to entertain their time. One began writing a novel while the other reconfigured Lego sets.

Despite my best intentions, my children did not need me to curate a magical summer.

They managed to do it all by themselves.

As for today, this day that is a final gasp of summer before school starts in a week, my children have been outside since 7:30am. Their faces are covered in blue popsicle (You gotta stay hydrated) and they keep alternating between the pool and the swing set with a gaggle of neighborhood children. Funny thing is, they will consider this the best summer day ever.

Pinterest, as much as I appreciate your cute ideas on how to plan the perfect summer, I am pretty sure my kids have you beat. Their recipe simply calls for a bit of freedom, whatever kid is available to play, and 12 hours of daylight to run around until exhaustion takes them over at the end of the day.


A mom who may not have failed at summer this year


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