Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy – Except for Mom

So how did summer acquire a reputation for being a care-free and simple season? Could this be a myth perpetuated by people for whom  summer is a verb – as in “We summer in Seaside” – because I don’t know where else the summer= easy legend got started.

Summer is actually pretty intense. Every day is a new schedule. The kids are supposed to do what? The field trip is where? Do they need a swimsuit or a fishing pole? Is this the day the bring money and an old shirt, or is that next week? It’s a different pick up time, a new route, a reminder for a long forgotten dental appointment. We seem to be operating from hour to hour.

Actually, that’s mom operating hour to hour. Everyone else is getting shuttled to some venue, lubed up with sunscreen and provisioned with a prepackaged snack that meets nut allergy restrictions. Between pick-ups, Mom is sitting in the car wondering whether to idle and elevate the air quality alert or kill the engine and perish of heatstroke.  She’s extracting smelly towels and wadded-up shorts from backpacks that sat in the trunk one day too long. She’s the only one taking notice of the walkway petunias that have dried to a crisp. And someone is about to dare ask what’s for snack.

Summer is meant to be a departure from the regular routine, but therein lies the difficulty. The planning and cooperation required to execute the summer non-schedule is extraordinary. And when the vacations are over and the programs end, we’ll be expected to document all this fun in a scrapbook or, at the very least, a CD that is labeled.

It’s wonderful to have a little repose from a schedule, but then again, it’s more work. And isn’t work what we’re all trying to escape during the summer?