This morning, Bo and I were celebrating Whit’s return: Bo with a long walk, me with blissful silence and solitude (because Bo, as human as he may seem in that he can actually talk, doesn’t try to engage in a conversation with me).
All of a sudden, a large SUV screeched to stop next to me. The window rolled down, and a friend of mine was behind the wheel. She glared at me.
“Summer SUCKS,” she said.
“It’s not funny. I’ve had it. Everyone yells at me and my husband is the hero because he buys tons of candy and lets them get Netflix movies at 10:15 pm. They stay up too late and tell me to wake them up in the morning and then scream that it’s too early. They hate what I cook and all my ideas are stupid.”
“I’m laughing,” I told her, “because you’re the first person who has admitted that.”
Normally, summer is my favorite time of year. Normally, I love having the kids home and not in camp. I love the pool, love the board games, love the lazy days, love the lax bedtimes. Love all the down time with Jack and Caroline who are, honestly, really enjoyable to be around.
And most of my friends say they love summer. (Granted, the ones who love it the most have kids in all-day camp from June to August or have fulltime jobs or send their kids to sleepaway camp. But still.)
For some reason, this summer is different, at least when we’ve been home and Whit’s at work or on a trip. Pretty much, Caroline complains and Jack cries. (I actually called him a baby yesterday. Well, “Stop acting like a baby.” Words I swore would never come out of my mouth. But, really, it was deserved.)
There’s nothing I can do that doesn’t offend one of them. Walk the dog? “You said it would be a short walk.” Take them to the pool? “We’re not getting in until you get in.” Play a game? “Caroline’s cheating!!” (Then he cries.)
A few days ago, I looked at Caroline and said, “You’ve complained about 52 different things today.”
She looked at me and said, “Then 52 times, you’ve complained about me complaining.” (Smart ass.) (Chip off the old block.)
“Let’s play a game, kids. Tomorrow, no one complains, not even me, and no one cries (not even me). Okay? If we can all do it, we can go out to dinner or go get ice cream.”
Caroline and Jack conferred quietly, and then looked at me and said, “Oh, Mom, it’ll never work. We don’t think you could do it.”
When does school start again?