Summer Is Almost Here — And Again, I’m Not Ready For It

My kids’ last day of school is tomorrow. I am completely unprepared for it.

It’s totally my fault. Each year, I count down the days with my littles. But when the big moment arrives when they get off the school bus, sweaty and eager with anticipation about what the summer will hold, I feel equal parts euphoria and unease.

In my defense, we do have a special tradition for the last day of school. Obvs, we take a photo to do that “first day of school, last day of school” custom. We have lunch and we watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. We watch Greg Hefley try to trick his way into the country club in an attempt to woo Holly Hills. We sit back, snack, and soak up the silliness.

Photo: YouTube

And then the movie ends, and I’m like, “Oh, shit.”

Unlike the mom who wants to corral her kids into a book club starting off with Little Women, I just sit there as my kids look expectantly back at me, ripe with hope about the summer plans I’ve undoubtedly made. (Spoiler: I’ve made none.)

I think part of it is because even though my littles are similar in certain ways, they’re very much opposites in others. For example, my little guy will jump at any invitation, and is excited about EVERYTHING. His older sister? Well, not so much. She would prefer to watch MrBeast make an insane obstacle course and Ryan Trahan travel across America with only $.01to his name on YouTube than say, go on a hike.

She wants to swim all summer. My son pleads with me every morning to book flights to South Korea. (Seriously.) Neither one wants to do summer camp, which is only half a day anyway, is insanely expensive, and has activities that the kids can’t agree on.

Did I also mention that every single summer camp in town books out months in advance? If you think about signing up in April, well, you’re stupid and also out of luck.

So here I am, with the last day of school looming large. That’s why I do what I do best: make a list.

I think of all the places that we haven’t gone and would like to visit (sans a trip to Seoul). I imagine all the spots we haven’t seen in our own neighborhood, like a trip to the Statue of Liberty or the South Street Seaport. Lake Compounce is also calling our collective names. It’s getting a little exciting.

It might not be a traditional summer of camps and cool trips to Greece — or a recent trip to Iceland that made me want to pack my bags and relocate to Reykjavik — but I’m excited all the same. Ultimately, it’s about the journey and quality time with your kids that counts, whether it’s a 6:00 swim, a short day trip on the weekend, or just listening to your child play “Married Life” from Up on the piano that they learned to play from ear. Sometimes, you don’t have to travel too far to find fun…and yourself in the process.

And when you’re out of ideas, may it serve as a reminder to, next year, sign up for camp as soon possible — or plan out your itinerary to Incheon.

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