The other day, Facebook reminded me of a post from 2014. It was a picture of plastic shot glasses on sale: buy two packs, get one free! I captioned it, "Somebody out there knows many moms have had just about enough of summer!"
I've had just about enough of summer. Again. At some point in July of each year, I have a moment. This year, I laid down in bed last Wednesday and realized that the chickens were not locked up. I asked my husband whether he had done it and he said no, and not to worry because "If they die, they die."
My chin started wobbling and tears came to my eyes. It's not that I care that much about the chickens. It's true, if they died, they'd be two less animals for me to tend, and that's okay by me. But it just felt like I was alone as captain of this insane boat full of insolent children, dirty dishes and needy animals. It's not that my husband doesn't help, he really does. But he has his job to do in the city all day. At home, it's a gigantic juggling act all the damn day long.
Last week turned out to be a doozy. I should have seen it coming, but somehow late spring me thought that it would be the highlight of summer: my daughter who loves to draw would return to comic book camp, the two who had loved taking hip hop would return to their dance studio for camp and my hockey playing son would reunite with his team for camp.
Of course, add in that these camps are all at different times of the day, and two of them are a solid 30 minute drive one way, and it wasn't quite perfect. But still good. The equation, however, wasn't complete. A week before camp week, we got a new puppy. And guess what? That contractor who had promised to come "sometime in July" was going to start that Monday. We also decided to do a little tutoring for two of the kids who were free in the morning. A few more balls have been tossed in the air, but if I just moved fast enough, it would work, right? Right?!??!
Sunday night I tried a new cream on my face. I had showered before bed and it felt like that all-important self-care before what was going to be a need-filled week. Also, It felt a little bit like putting on war paint. In the morning, I had three pink dots on each cheek. It wasn't a good sign, but I had teenagers to rouse and coffee to make!
And then it all went pear shaped. Comic book camp went okay, but what a drive! And the tutoring kids did not like being tutored. It was too early, they said, and a waste of time (I had moved the tutoring to mornings because they complained it wrecked their day when it was in the early afternoons). A dancer was too tired from tutoring to go to dance camp, and the Hockey kid (and his mom) forgot to allow time for rush-hour traffic and getting into hockey equipment before camp time, resulting in a lot of pre-camp anxiety. I mean, my son was fine, but I was a wreck. A glance in the mirror as I was getting ready to do the final pickup of the day revealed that my face was covered in angry, raised, red bumps.
The same basic crappy things happened tuesday and wednesday, and of course the sink was constantly filled with dishes and the hampers with dirty laundry (Is there a way to do laundry and dishes while driving that will also give your kid a good feeling about the place you are dropping them off? I would pay good money for that.) So by Wednesday night. the tears were not really far from my eyes in the first place.
What's a mother to do? We had to get through the week, the boat was still mine to guide. First I just turned off the light and went to sleep. In the morning, after slogging through the morning routines, I got to urgent care for a few minutes and some corticosteroids to calm my face down. I just let the kids all say whatever negative thing they needed to say about all of these well-laid plans and just dropped them off anyway. And guess what? Friday came! We had a fun weekend at the shore visiting family and recharged enough to do it again.
I mean, of course I got increasingly desperate texts Monday morning while I was driving someone somewhere about how there was no cereal, no milk, no towels and no clean underwear (personal best/worst).
I wonder if those little shot glasses are on sale again?