Am I Really Trying to Grill S’mores from an Algebra Book Bonfire?

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The smells of Elmer’s Glue, pencil shavings, and over-tenured teachers are in the air. Target, Staples, and Walmart are vying to be the school supply headquarters. Pottery Barn Kids is out of 98% of their backpacks and lunch bags (trust me on this).

Aaaaaaand just like that, it’s back to school.

I am not ready.

Also, where the hell did summer go?

The school year seems to be starting earlier and earlier each year. I heard a rumor that next year classes will commence on July 6th. Like China.

I don’t know about you, but I am putting my foot down on this early school year. Even the full-time working parents are over it, and their kids need to go someplace. All day.

Back to School

At this young age (8), going back to school for my daughter means I am also going back to school. Her homework, means I have homework. By homework I mean yelling, “Sit down and do your homework!” Then making her erase all her misspelled words and start over. Then moping and crying a little. By me.

Going back to school means going back to activities we blew off most of the summer. Oh yeah, you take gymnastics. Now we have to be somewhere at 4 p.m. every Wednesday. Oh, piano is Monday? Wait, you have Girl Scouts on Monday. Well, maybe we can switch the day to Tuesday. No, that won’t work, you have Taekwondo on Tuesday. Eff it.

Going back to school means spending money. A lot of money. All on stuff I don’t get to keep. For the amount of money spent on random school carnival wear and apparatus, magazine drives, teacher gifts (okay, that’s a good one), school lunch fund, random school promotional materials, social clubs, socks (we always need those), and just giving money to the school because aren’t we nice – I could go to Fiji and stay at a resort. Okay, not Fiji, but maybe Austin for the weekend. With a new pair of pants.

Going back to school means volunteering. A lot. Oh wait, I mean, ignoring emails about various volunteer “opportunities,” then saying things like, “I didn’t get that email.” While peeling out of the school parking lot. At five miles per hour (it’s the speed limit there).

I need more summer.

See you next year.

See you next year.

Remember when we were in grade school? The summers seemed to last forever. Come August, even the kid who couldn’t spell was ready to go back to school. I remember being at my neighborhood pool, swatting flies away from the Fudgsicle dripping down my arm, while listening to Prince’s Purple Rain album playing on a loop, thinking, “Yeah, I’m kind of over this.” It was a good thing too because by summer’s end my one-piece was kind of over it too [Cue over-stretched, saggy-assed swimsuit].

Even as a parent, in summers past I have been ready to shove…er…escort my child out the door to school.

I need another week. Or two.

I know how you feel sweetheart.

I know how you feel sweetheart.

I need to slather my child in SPF 50. Just one more week. I need to say to my daughter, “No, you cannot have a popsicle. It is nine a.m.” Just one more week. I need to complain about the lame summer television show options (except for The Leftovers and Ray Donovan). Just one more week.

So I might have to start a movement down here in Texas: Operation Start School After Labor Day. By September, teachers will be ready, parents will be ready, and students will be ready. Homework will actually start to look good.

Nope. No it won’t. I took it too far.

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Am I Really Tearing Up Behind my Red, White, and Blue Snow Cone?

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The Fourth of July is upon us, which means it will be a day of grilling out, drinking beer, and listening to that Katie Perry song over and over while we watch the sky explode with color.

The emotionality of the day never ceases to get to me.

Every year, all over the country, we honor our military and celebrate our freedom on the fourth. I lose it every time I see the older veterans who fought in WWII, or the likes, dressed in their uniforms waving to parade crowds.  Some are able to walk the parade, while others are being pushed in wheelchairs.

As many of you know, I love old people. And since I grew up in a military family, a seeing a retired veteran is like a two-fer for me. I want to run up to older vets, thank them and hug them, and then buy them an apple turnover.

When I watch this older generation who fought for our country, it really brings home the point that we have always had to fight for our freedom. Realistically, we always will.

I poorly akin it to weight management – you have to always stay on top of things, and constantly work at it.

Bad example, I know, but you get the point.

            Usually the fourth means wearing some form or red, white, and blue; paying the Boy Scouts to place flags all over your neighborhood; and singing Lee Greenwood’s, Proud to be an American in sync to the booming of fireworks. For me – this usually includes a mustard stain on my I Heart the USA t-shirt.

            Even among the swatting of flies away from the potato salad, the gassing of your children with mosquito combating OFF, and watching the drunk guy in the carnival parking lot yell at his buddies, “You guys just don’t get what it’s like to be me;” it really is a special day for all Americans.

            This Fourth of July, be thankful for the freedom to read tabloid magazines about Miley Cyrus’ twerking; to be able to (in most American cities) drink a soda the size of a mid-sized dog; and for the freedom of speech to post on Facebook, “Crumb cake – so yum!” And of course, the freedom to write silly blogs such as this one.

            But most of all, be thankful for all the men and women who have gone before us, and those who continue to do so, to keep this crazy, loud-talking, soda-drinking, nation free.

So I’ll gladly stand up, next to you, and defend her still today.  ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA!*

*Lyrics from Proud to be an American by Lee Greenwood

 

Am I Really Spending My Summer at Bushwood Country Club?

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What is better than a beer, hot dog, and baby urine in the pool?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

This is how Summer 2013 is rolling out for my family.

We belong to a local pool. It is simply awesome. It is also very Caddyshack-esque, except none of the patrons are the snooty country club types. Instead, we are all the crazy caddy’s who act like we have never seen a body of water before.

You know the scene from the movie when all of the “help” descends upon the Bushwood Country Club pool? There is a lot of excited screaming, running, and inflatable devices.

It is like this every day at our pool. Only with a water slide and mixed drinks.

The pool has about forty-eight lifeguards, which means I don’t have to worry about watching my child. In fact I have not seen her in three days. Just kidding. Not really.

And yes, once a week, they need to evacuate the pool due to an “incident.”

We have yet to find a Baby Ruth in the pool.

We have yet to find a Baby Ruth in the pool.

Every time I walk through the iron gates with two inner tubes, my daughter’s swim fins, and a pool bag that will surely dislocated my shoulder one day due to the weight, the Get the hell out of my way because I am going to Cannonball into the pool feeling washes over me.  It is nice to know that the simple things in life are still kicking like karate. If you dig a cement hole in the ground and fill it with water, you can entertain the masses.

And much like roller rinks, the pool atmosphere has not changed since we were kids.  Other kids (and grownups too) still high-five you when you are going down the waterslide; the tweens still walk around and check each other out, then go eat their Cheetos on the grassy hill and talk about it; and you can still get an ice cream Drumstick. Aside from the frozen Jack and Coke machine, I might as well be back in the fourth grade.

If you don’t have your summer plan worked out, or if you are tired of sweating in your jean shorts, give me a buzz, you can be my guest at the pool.

Then put your name on the list, because it is a five year wait to become a member. Apparently everyone wants to be a kid again…with a Bud Light.

What the parents do at the pool.

What the parents do at the pool.

Am I Really This Excited About Sunburns and Mosquito Bites?

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It’s already happening. All I want to do is sit around and well….sit. I want to drink a cold margarita on a hot day and get a tan. When three o’clock hits, I have to slap myself so I don’t ditch everything and go read a book on the couch. Or better yet, take a nap. And dear God, the new movie releases? Somebody hold me. They look so fantastic I might move into our local AMC Theater. That and they have a full bar.

Oh yeah, it’s summertime.

Doing nothing is not in my nature. The thought of sitting and relaxing seems like some type of CIA torture tactic.  I have recently come off a number of months of non-stop movement. They have included three moves (one out of state), a few personal tragedies, re-entering the workforce, changing schools, taking a class, volunteering, and well, just living.

I am not sharing this so someone will send me a Cookie Bouquet for my efforts (but I do love a large cookie). Every one of us has a lot on our plates nowadays. I only mention the above near-coke induced type of stress to illustrate why my body is naturally craving a sit-on-the-front-porch-and-drink-sweet-tea-all-afternoon relaxation.

Most people feel some form of the summer lazies around this time of year. The weather is warm and the sun strong, naturally sapping our energy. Cookouts become abundant, aiding to the sitting and eating way of life. Longer daylight hours allow us to enjoy the outdoors and lounge around.

I say bring it on.

We spend so much of our lives running around. Sometimes I go so fast that a week goes by and I can’t even recall what happened. I want to put that crazy b*tch in a box and enjoy the season.

Since summer is naturally a sensory time, below are some of the things I look forward to experiencing. Good and bad:

  • Licking the melting Popsicle juice running down my arm.
  • Smelling like bug spray and citronella everywhere I go.
  • Hair always in ponytail formation, or frizz so intense resembling the “before” in a Garnier commercial.
  • At the beach – every PB&J sandwich and food item tasting like sand.
  • Burning my rear end when sitting down in my car.
  • Taking my burnt bum to the movies every week.
  • Sand everywhere. Even in my wallet come late October.
  • Running away from bees looking like a cartoon character.
  • Listening to my daughter complain about the heat. Then watching her walk achingly slow to the car while my flesh starts to spontaneously combust.
  • My feet sliding around in my flip flops due to overactive sweating.
  • Reading all the Facebook posts about how hot it is, accompanied by pictures of the dashboard temperature gauge.
  • Watching the fireflies and fireworks.
  • Screaming like all those no-name actors from Nightmare on Elm Street when I find a gecko in the house. Then trying to catch it. Then giving up. Then finding it in the washer (why do they go in there???).
  • COLD BEER.

So start your slow down now. Sit on your porch, grab a cold one, and just look at the happenings outside.

Then go spray yourself with OFF, Silkwood style, because the bugs are insane this year.

Am I Really Singing “Back to School…Hell Yeah!” To the Tune of Team America?

Awwwwwwwww yeah! It’s on parents! It’s that time of year when you are ready, like so ready to say the words, “Hurry up, or you’ll be late for school.” You are done with going to the pool/beach/mall/museum/animatronic kid movie. You might vomit if your child brings home one more homemade shield/garden tool/pipe cleaner butterfly/tie-die t-shirt from camp. Your hands have developed muscle cramps from making so many sandwiches that you gladly look forward to the crabby lunch lady giving your child sloppy joe indigestion for the next nine months.

It’s BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!

I don’t know about you, but I get that giddy, smell the pencil shavings feeling every time the school year starts. It’s a new year, a new classroom, a new teacher – all holding new promise. One of the best parts of going back to school is the school supplies. The new pens, folders, backpacks, glue sticks, and Trapper Keepers (a 1980s reference yes, but they were awesome!).

But the real reason parents are ready for school is because, that sweet, sweet, angel baby of yours has got to get out of the house before you send her to a year round boarding school…in Papa New Guinea.

Whew, summer is just too much together time.

I love my daughter, could kill a mountain lion with my bare hands for her, but if she asks one of the following again, I will go postal:

1)      Can I have a snack? Why not the good cookies?  I love being a mom, but it’s the constant meal preparation that’s tiresome. When it is 98 degrees outside the last thing I want to do is cook. Even going to the pantry can be a beating. When the food I have prepared is met with a, “I’m not eating this,” I can make Mommy Dearest look reasonable.

2)      What are we doing today?  My child went to some camps over the summer. It was great. However, for a couple of weeks she stayed home full time. I called this Camp Wannadrinkwine and then I pretended I couldn’t hear her complaints.

3)      Can we buy this?  Summer of 2012 = Empty your pockets. Seriously, I’m broke. Where the hell is Suze Orman when you need her? When your child is home you look for things to do. Usually these things cost money. Camp, movies, water parks, snacks and lunches out, the zoo, and on and on it goes. Thank God for school, I’ll need these nine months to save up for next summer.

It’s time to go sister.

And I am not alone.

Many schools around the country have “Welcome Back” coffees on that first day of school. I suggest they change the name to the “I’m Free Bitches!” coffee. It’s a more honest name.  Under the delirium of back to school freedom, we gladly sign up to participate in every upcoming school event.  That and I think they put Khalua in the coffee. Or at least they should.

Why this driving need to shove your child out of the car and peel out of the parking lot on that first day back?

Balance.

We all need a break. Ever hear of too much of a good thing? We need time away to appreciate one another. If my husband and I hang out too much with one another, I suggest he go in the other room for a while. By day five of our honeymoon we were both like, “When’s our flight out of here again?”

We need change. It’s probably why we have seasons. Summer is awesome, but can you imagine sweating like Boss Hog everyday of your life? No thanks.

It’s why we have vacations, to get away and/or be together. But aren’t you usually glad to go home?

I used to feel bad about being excited to be away from my child for a few hours a day. Why? That’s crazy. It’s not because I don’t love her. Quite the contrary. I know I am a better mother if I have time to myself, away from her and everyone. We all need alone time to stay sane.

So, as little Carl mopes on the couch sighing that he is bored, or little Shandra refuses to make her bed (again) because it is summer; don’t blow a gasket – just remember – school is right around the corner.

Then you have nine months of letting her have it for not making the bed.