Originally created 06/02/04

Thank Heavens, summer vacation's here at last!



By the time you are reading this, school will be out for summer and I will have survived yet another year of elementary school. I don't know who is more anxious for summer vacation in my family- the kids, or the parents!

It's no small task to keep up with all that's required of the school year. The folders to sign and the planners to check; spelling words and vocabulary tests; state capital drills and multiplication facts; and last but not least, the science fair projects!

I forgot to mention all the "extras," like sending supplies for the spring carnival and costumes for performances at PTO programs, money for the lunchroom accounts and those endless Troll and Scholastic book sales, and so on.

It is such a relief not having to make midnight runs to Wal-Mart because a child forgot to tell me they needed poster board, a T-shirt for tie-dying, or 24 treat bags for the class holiday party.

What a nice change NOT having to wake up three sleeping children every morning. My little one is usually agreeable at the wake-up call, but her older sister is not. As for their big brother? He's a sleep study research project waiting to be discovered.

It is a great thing not to frantically search for one missing tennis shoe as we're rushing out the door. (And speaking of shoes- is it just me, or does Augusta have an excessive number of single shoes laying in the middle of intersections or alongside the road? Where are the mates? Who keeps tossing their shoes?)

Packing the lunch boxes is a chore I won't miss. Remembering who hates mayonnaise and who won't eat crust, who eats cheese and who hates cherry drink boxes, who likes carrots and who must have white bread. Packing up sandwiches, fruit and the coordinating thermos sounds simple enough- but mistakes do happen.

Once, when my sister was visiting, she helped me assemble the lunches. Later that day, my daughter's teacher had to make a special delivery in the lunchroom. Seems my sister had absent-mindedly put Maddy's thermos into Zack's lunchbox.

Maddy found her brother's thermos first, and showed it to her teacher. Across the lunchroom, Zack -who was 7 at the time- unzipped his macho Batman box, lifted the top, and was mortified to find a bright pink Barbie thermos staring back at him! He quick zipped that lunchbox back up and told his friends he wasn't hungry. Just about that time, Maddy's teacher delivered the Batman thermos and discreetly slipped Barbie out of his box.

Poor Zack, he would have gone without any lunch that day to keep his friends from eyeballing that Barbie thermos! But, that was a few years ago- nowadays, Maddy would be the one who'd freak if her friends saw her with anything Barbie.

Did my parents work this hard when my siblings and I were in school? If they did, I never knew it! I don't remember a general sense of chaos in our home, or my mother ever fussing that there were "no hairbrushes in this house!" (Did I take her things the way my girls take mine?) Mama never dashed up to the school with lunches she'd left in the refrigerator, did she? I don't remember her driving like NASCAR to get us to school on time.

Ha! Bet I couldn't get her to ëfess up now, anyway. Let's just hope that time has a way of softening memories, of dulling the pain, as they say. Maybe, just maybe, -30 years from now- my kids won't remember me dropping them off in front of the school every morning with a heartfelt, "Move it, move it, get out of the van NOW! Hurry up! GO, GO, GO!" either-



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