Tuesday, June 4, 2013

We're doomed, DOOMED, I tell you!

Okay, not really. I'm probably just experiencing some end-of-the-school-year heightened drama...possibly exacerbated by my gooberheaded children. (I know, right: how shocking! Or..."the definition of daily life around here". Yep, that's the one...) For example, this morning I cheerily waved goodbye to my 4th grader, who is walking himself to the bus stop. Alone. For the first time ever. Gulp. Granted, I know it's not the same as, say, sending him out into the bear-infested wilderness with a map and a compass and expecting him to survive and navigate his way home. It's a quarter-mile walk down a quiet neighborhood street...but still. Not sure I'm ready for my baby to be exerting quite this much independence just yet!*

With just under two weeks left in the academic term (it even sounds like a prison sentence, right?  That just can't be a coincidence...) we musn't let down our guards. There's still homework (ugh) and even tests (double ick) to complete before grades can be computed. Last night, after I helped Derek practice for his Examen Oral de Espanol, it occurred to me that I felt a bit like Professor Moody, (minus the magical spinning eye...which would be totally cool and super-useful...hmm, wonder where I can get one of those...now, where was I?) stalking around the house, glaring menacingly at my students--um, 'sons'--barking "constant vigilance!" lest they slip up and begin to slide into Summer Slacker Behavior even a moment too early. Yeah, it's exhausting and I can't wait until it's over.

Speaking of which, my own brain has already jumped ahead to the free-and-easy days awaiting us...and how we will fill them, of course. Last Summer, we tended to do Field Trip Fridays, in which we tried to find someplace new to visit and investigate. (That makes it sound much more official than "get the HECK out of the house or die of boredom"!) Of course, this is becoming more and more difficult, as we're running out of close-by locations that seem interesting enough to warrant the drive. When I mentioned this to the teenager, he grumbled, "Well, if you didn't drag us all over the place all the time, that wouldn't happen!" (Oh realllllly, my dearest son? I think you've just earned the job of Research Assistant in our Travel Division. It's an unpaid position...but you do get fed, so off to work you go! Score one for Evil Mom...mwah hah hah!!!!) Of course, when I made the fatal mistake of asking the boys at dinner last night what places they would enjoy exploring when school ends, these are the responses I got:

Derek--"The couch!" (thoughtful pause) "And the pantry!" (Note for future topics: Derek's startling and alarming lack of ambition and how the problem can be remedied to increase his future chances for success...) Riley--(in a dreamy tone of voice) "Maybe...the wonderful world of LAZY!" (Memo to self: is it possible to have too much imagination? Or should we encourage the development of his rich inner fantasy life? Discuss...) Okay, okay, I get it. Clearly we need to schedule in some major downtime before we go rushing off on all kinds of crazy adventures. And that's fine, but the clock will start ticking the minute they get off the bus on the last day of school. After a prescribed period of much-deserved rest and relaxation, it's off to...who-knows-where...I'd better get my crack team of researchers right on that! (Constant vigilance! And snacks!)

*Just as I anticipated and feared, when Riley arrived home this afternoon he announced that he'd prefer to continue his solo jaunt...every day...from now on. Wahhhhhh! But wait just a minute...I forgot to consider the additional minutes that would magically be liberated in my schedule if I'm not aimlessly loitering with the Elementary School crowd at the intersection, waiting for his ride. Extra time to get ready for work....or drink more coffee...or actually eat breakfast. Never mind, I'm on board with the new plan!

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