We are half-way through the summer, almost exactly to the hour. To celebrate, I am yelling at my kids.
It happens every year, though not always at the exact epicenter of the season. Suddenly, the novelty of being out of school wears thin, the kids start to clobber each other and I lose my patience. One kid tackles another and then that one hits the first one back while I start to dream of yellow school buses approaching our driveway.
The romantic view of summer, envisioned during yet another dash off to yet another practice/lesson/rehearsal/game/class/appointment/playdate/errand/concert/meeting in the spring, loses its luster while I start to lose my marbles. In the family room over my head (Why did I put my office in the basement?), I hear a tussle, which quickly escalates into a brawl. Meanwhile, my stomach turns.
One kid soon comes downstairs to lodge a heated complaint against the other, who protests from upstairs. Then they switch. I take it all in, wondering if there are any romantic comedies out for me to go see, alone, while the kids make a bonfire out of the Wii remotes, their (untouched) summer homework packets and what’s left of the snacks I’d stocked up on at the store at what feels like an hour ago.
Why does this happen to summer? Why does this happen to so many mothers and fathers in the dead center of summer break?
Don’t get me wrong: I am in no hurry to go back to the afterschool mad rush to the many activities or to overseeing homework, organizing fundraisers or trying to find a picture of all four of us for the “My Family” craft project at school — ack! — tomorrow. But I’m not really thrilled with becoming a referree for Wrestlemania, either.
Things seem to be quieting down upstairs. At least the crashes aren’t as loud and nobody has yelled in the general direction of my desk for a few minutes. And now we are officially closer to school starting in the fall than we are to school ending in June.
My movie, on the other hand, starts in an hour….