Caroline was sick this morning, after a three-day weekend filled with pools, friends, cookouts, cake and ice cream. By sick I mean “sick” – she said, “I think I’m going to barf and my head hurts and my throat hurts and my left pinky toe is tingly.” (Okay, I threw in the pinky toe part, but the rest is true.) It was so clearly a case of summer-itis I didn’t even need to google the symptoms to diagnose it.
So I took Jack to school and sent Caroline back to bed. After about 45 minutes of staring at her walls, she decided she felt better and I took her to school.
But want to know what was so pathetic? During that 45 minutes, when I knew she wasn’t sick but didn’t know whether she’d go to school, I actually planned our day. First we’d walk the dog since it gets too hot later. Then we’d get pedicures. Then we could go to the pool, maybe we’d eat lunch there and get ice cream afterwards. Then I could take her to get a haircut. We could walk together to pick up Jack then maybe head back to the pool and Whit could come meet us after work.
Seriously, I planned the day like a complicit little third grader, not a mother. I had to give myself a good mental shake and remember that I am, in fact, the responsible adult in this relationship, and that, by law, Caroline had to go to school and couldn’t stay home to have (yet another) play date with me.
And I realized that we ALL have summer-itis. School, at this point, is cruel and unusual punishment. Summer is here, so it’s time for lemonade stands and pancakes and fireflies and s’mores and pools and sunscreen, not spelling tests and math assessments. It’s not for packing lunches and saying, “Hurry or we’ll be late” or arranging one more end-of-year/season gift.
And as I thought, “It’s just not FAIR!” I realized my children are basically being raised by a mother who is completely emotionally stunted and trapped in mental elementary school herself.
But then I thought, “DAMN it’s fun to be a kid!”
So, summer-itis, bring it on. We’re armed to the teeth with water balloons and at the ready. And by “we” I do mean all of us, grownups included.