Wednesday, June 8, 2016

School's out for Summer

It surprises me how quickly it came back.
The roaring heat of Summer. (it is only June 8th)
How it makes me so damn irritated.
Simply put I cannot stand to feel warm anymore.
Blow drying my hair makes me sweaty and uncomfortable.
I'm a millisecond away from grabbing the dog shears
and getting rid of these offending locks for good!

I find myself snapping at the grand kids who won't stop arguing!!.
We're all bored and school has been out for precisely 5 days.
They agree on nothing.
Let's take a walk...No! says one.  Let's ride bikes...No! says the other.
They can't agree on a DVD selection either.
Much howling ensues when I try to reason with them that next time they can pick first.

We took two "field trips" last week to Aldi and Walmart.
Why I thought that would be a good idea is beyond me.
They begged for every sweet thing they saw saying -pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease?????
Candy, cookies, fruit snacks, Poptarts, chocolate chip granola bars, cereal with marshmallows, a bag of brown sugar....
That'd be like feeding them rocket fuel...I hurry past that first aisle.
They squabble and fight and torment each other through the rest of the store.
I alternate between cold silent indifference and sweaty angry yelling.

But Hey! What's this???
Could it be that I'm not alone in this Summertime squabbling thing?!?
In Aldi I spot another overwrought mother trying to corral her two young boys.
She is threatening them to keep quiet and to keep their hands to themselves.
Stop fighting she says to them. Get away from that she hollers.
Behave PLEASE she begs them.
Meanwhile my two grand kids are on the dirty floor wrastling with each other like two angry cats.

I touch her on the arm and tell her she's not alone and thanks for making me feel more normal.
She tells me she left two of her four kids at home and that she is scared cuz it's day two of their Summer vacation and she's already lost the battle.

Onto the library we go because of course...why not?!
They split up and run in opposite directions as soon as we get in the door.
I chase my granddaughter first mainly because she is three years old.
He, at six, is more familiar with his surroundings, so I'll get him after I catch her.
Listen we need to stay together, I tell them. We can get books and DVD's and play with legos and trains and ginormous building blocks but we need to stay together!
Soon he sees a friend from school, then another and yet another.
The library is full of children signing up for the Summer reading program.
As we wait our turn in line to do the same, I see one of my grandsons friends
being pulled over to the side of the room by her aggravated mother who starts talking through her gritted teeth non too quietly telling Lindsey to behave or they are going home.
Alex's mother then approaches us to lament that it took them two and a half ours to get dressed and out of the house this morning.
I commiserate with her and tell her of our grocery shopping expedition this morning.

Most days I let myself become defeated with what I feel are my failures at raising this second generation of children. I cannot seem to stop yelling. It feels so much harder and I'm not sure why.
I've done this before, I tell myself. So what is the problem??
They are sweet, wonderful, adorable, regular children.
Why can I not just enjoy them?
Why must they aggravate the hell out of each other??
It feels like so much work on this second week of Summer vacation.
When they get along and play nicely together it works.
It's the fighting and crying that keeps throwing me over the edge.

Whether it's mine or theirs I'm not quite sure yet... haha

Let Me Live Grace-fully 
Thank you, Lord, 
for this season 
of sun and slow motion 
 of games and porch sitting, 
 of picnics and light green fireflies 
 on heavy purple evenings; 
 and praise for slight breezes. 
It’s good, God, 
as the first long days of your creation. 
Let this season be for me 
 a time of gathering together the pieces 
 into which my busyness has broken me. 
O God, enable me now 
 to grow wise through reflection, 
 peaceful through the song of the cricket, 
 recreated through the laughter of play. 
Most of all, Lord, 
let me live easily and grace-fully for a spell, 
 so that I may see other souls deeply, 
 share in silence unhurried, 
 listen to the sound of sunlight and shadows, 
 explore barefoot the land of forgotten dreams and shy hopes, 
and find the right words to tell another who I am. 
A Summer Prayer by Ted Loder in his book of prayers, "Guerrillas of Grace/Prayers for the Battle"

Here's hoping that my next post will not be about my fighting grandchildren.
(I need to find something else to blog about!)


  1. I could never understand why all my friends were excited for summer. Long days with 4 after day. It required so much more of me emotionally....often times I just did not have it to give. Praying for patience and peace Lolly

  2. My sister is 3 years younger than I am and has a 9 and 5 year old. I have absolutely no idea how she does it. (Mine are 18 & 20.) I have no idea how she does it. She has a lot of fun when she was young and put off having kids but I do not envy her raising small children in her 40's.