I’m sitting here writing this article instead of facing the massive piles of laundry, some folded, some not most clean….
The summer began like everyone else’s with kiddos. Massive amounts of exuberance , excitement and joy over the end of homework& projects, the warm days which included some type of water activity and the multiple (well- intentioned) plans for road trips, nature walks and new discoveries off all kinds.
Approximately three weeks in, reality slowly begins to creep in along with an ever present film all over my entire home. My precious baby decides to begin her molar teething and screams for days. I have more energy than alot of people i know but not enough to accept the generous invitation from my friend Sarah to join her at her beach summer home as I can’t even muster the vigor to pack a swimsuit after hours of screaming let alone drive the two hours to her destination so I have to begrudgingly decline. I also secretly didn’t want to expose her to my out of control chaos!
My three elder cherub gifts from God decide that this is the summer they’ll display their independence by riding their bikes all over the neighborhood while I strap the baby to myself in some fashion and frantically race around trying to find them as the sun is starting to set and I thought they were in the back yard for the last hour (ok maybe two , or three) My daughter, who just turned eight is under no circumstances allowed to leave the yard by herself, has realized my exhaustion and semi-insanity which prevents me from noticing things as sharply so she, being a quick-witted (some would say swindler) girl convinces her brothers to accompany her to various destinations.
During the day, if they’re not at camp which only lasts until 2pm (seems like seconds), they are begging me to either drive them somewhere and spend bucket loads of money or have a “party” with all their friends. “We’ll help you Mom we promise” they swear, only to find that when I am worn down and accept the friends over option, (as they take a page from my reverse psychology and give me two options which tricks me into thinking i must chose one) somehow the “help” lasts for about ten minutes and then I am left crazily throwing piles of junk left in various spots around my house into closets so that the parents who are getting to drop their kids off for a four hour playdate won’t think ill of me!
Their “party” consists of them watching the outdoor movie that we spent an hour setting up. When it is approximately twenty minutes in, the kids decide they’d rather sword fight with sticks, play basketball but not include everyone in the game so i’m pulled to referee that battle, climb a tree (and not know how to get down) ride bikes, scooters, skateboards all over the neighborhood without helmets! Now i’m frantically trying to track down other people’s children with the baby strapped precariously to me. And when i get back they’ve built an obstacle course in the driveway with the final obstacle being a huge leap from the mini trampoline onto the crash pad which inevitably someone misses! When it’s all over and the last child has left (except for the one that i am worn down to allow a sleepover -worst thing ever invented) I go outside to survey the damage and every single thing inside our garage is on the lawn, there is popcorn everywhere, the dog is simultaneously eating it and vomiting in the corner and eating some more and the cat is wearing a baybdoll costume and shaking under the back steps.
As I tuck my black footed sticky kids into bed because I will forgoe bath time tonight (hey they swam earlier today which has to count for something!) , they tell me that was the best party and can they do it again tomorrow? It makes it all worth it? Until i go outside and clean until 10:32pm.
When I come back in a I pour myself a much earned glass of wine and sit in the comfort of my fly & mosquito ridden house getting bitten (as the door was left open for about forty-five minutes before anyone noticed) I hear the pitter patter of little feet and scream if you don’t go to bed right now i’m separating you two or sending Jimmy home! I mean it go to bed RIGHT NOW or he’ll never sleep over again! So now i’ve traumatized him into never wanting to come over again and telling his parents that Mrs. G is a “yeller”! Finally there is quiet and i turn on some Real Housewives, take about a sip and a half of my wine and wake up ten minutes later covered in wine and saliva with another huge mess and stain to clean up. In the morning!
And it all begins again daily, every day until the heralded first day back to school comes which means 6am wake ups, projects and homework that I barely understand and prayers for summer to hurry up and get here!
Emma Gaccione is a thirty something (for one more year but who’s counting) year old former NYC PR & Fashion Industry Diva turned Richmond VA transplant /replant, devoted stay at home wife & mother of four. She is a self taught special needs advocate with focus on SPD and ADHD having both in her family. She spends her time carting her kids around to various sports & hobbies in her cool minivan while somehow managing to keep her hands in alot of different “pots” (PTA, Special Needs group, Running a fairly large community forum and now author!) Oh and she’s a damn good tree climber.
Get in touch with emma at firstname.lastname@example.org