Sometimes you have to consult your partners to find the perfect Lego.
Sometimes you have to consult your partners to find the perfect Lego.
When it finally comes together…
It’s a victory.
365 days … just like that.
Well not just like that, I felt every one of those days, from 7 a.m to 9 p.m. I felt them. Some were great, others needed to end with Ben & Jerry’s and some deep meditation. But I’ve got to say as the school-year came to a close I was a little sad to see it go.
Happy, proud, and sad.
It’s a mini milestone for your kid to finish a grade, but as a parent, it also reminds you that your kid is growing up, and this reminds you what everybody over 50 told you about their kids.
“It goes by so fast.”
I kept hearing that over and over in my head as I took my son to his last day of school last week. I didn’t get emotional or anything, it just kind of hit me as I sat there with my kids in the car. So I tried to absorb it the best I could, remembering that Our House by Madness was playing on the radio, remembering that I packed him a peanut butter and banana sandwich along with a Capri Sun, and remembering that I gave him the last pep talk of first grade.
“Everyday and every way, you got this.”
“Yeah I got this!”
“Because what you’ve got…”
“Clear eyes, full hearts …”
I gave him a hug and told him to let his awesome out. He smiled at me and went inside the gate. I stood there a little longer than usual that morning watching him walk across campus with his friend, while all the other moms stood there with their cups of coffee gossiping about some PTA meeting the week before. I just watched and then smiled as he turned around and waved good-bye. I thought … I’m probably gonna need to get him some new shoes. I waited until he got to the oak tree before walking back to the car. I got to the car feeling a little different.
And then I realized.
I was having a mom-moment. A grown-up moment.
It’s just first grade, it’s not high school graduation, but I imagine that’s just around the corner. I think that’s why I paused. I wanted to be able to remember him this way if it was going to go so fast.
Just as I was feeling proud of my son for completing first grade, happy about his accomplishments this year, and surprisingly emotional about this first grade mini-life milestone, I realized summer was here.
The Summer of George! And I happen to be Costanza with two kids.
But that only momentarily stopped me in my tracks. What gave me serious pause was the race for signups.
Have you been a participant in this mad dash to be one of the select few to receive that amazing email that says, “…you have successfully registered your child for our summer program”? Have you gotten a few of these in your lifetime? They save your sanity when trying to entertain your kids during the summer. If I had a big house with a nice back yard, I assume summer would be easier. I’d have space to let my kids roam, and build projects, explore, and go outdoor camping inside our own home. But I don’t. I’m of the apartment people clan, where getting out everyday is a necessity.
So for me things began at 9:30 a.m.
I mean don’t get me wrong, 9:30 was nice. I was grateful that I didn’t have to rush the kids through their wake-up routine just so we could get to school on time. I was thankful I didn’t have to yell at them to get out of bed, to hurry up and brush their teeth, and to get dressed quickly just so they could scarf down their pancakes, Honey Bunches of Oats, or Eggo Waffles before we raced out the door before eight in the morning.
So 9:30 a.m. wasn’t a big deal. What happened to suck this particular morning was the stress I was feeling, the anxiety that was building, the teeny tiny headache that was forming in my brain that would eventually turn into Excedrin-worthy migraine if I wasn’t able to get my kids into any activities during the summer.
SoCal parents are crazy and have their kids in sports, music, acting, cooking and My Gym camps every day all day. I’m a part timer, don’t need to keep my kid busy from 9 to 5. I’m not like those moms you want to tackle because they go off bragging about how they got their kid in every single workshop and class available, because they knew someone, who knew someone, who knew someone. Bitches.
Me? I’m all for down time, and hanging out with Legos, playing in the park, having our own Foosball tournaments, baking cookies, and tending to our makeshift garden in the small patio. But I can’t do that all day, every day in the summer. They’d get bored. So I was looking for some help from our local library, museums, community centers, aquatic center, zoo, nature center, bowling alley, and local firefighting station.
Summer signups started today, well in truth some of them started three weeks ago, but a lot of activities didn’t have signups until today. I was hoping my Internet connection was fast enough to get something. I just needed to get into two programs during the week. Three would be awesome, but two was good.
Last year I had plenty of parent failures during the summer. Nobody ever told me that summer signups were like buying U2 concert tickets. Things selling out within minutes of opening online. I sure didn’t want a repeat occurrence of my disaster with the AYSO.
So I was ready this time. I researched online, organized my flyers, and prepared my summer timetable of possibilities. I had classes and times highlighted, login and password information readily available, and a credit card ready for those that required payment. You would have thought I was preparing for tax season with all the papers on the table.
The clock struck 9:30 a.m., my timer went off and bam!
Needless to say I wasn’t the only parent in pajamas staring at their computer screen that morning.
No dinosaur outdoor explorer classes, no basketball classes, no guitar classes, no local swimming classes. But I did manage to score swimming classes twice a week at a pool 10-15 minutes away, depending on traffic, and I was able score spots in the Every Hero Has a Story Workshops which featured music and magic once a week for my kids.
I got something. Something! And that’s success here in the Guat household.
Nobody ever told me about the madness of summer signups. It’s not in any of those what to expect when you’re expecting books, although I never read them. But I’m sure it’s not in there anyway. I would have heard. This is something you learn. So I’m giving you the lesson free of charge.
Hope it helps.
I never met a kid who wasn’t a morning person on a Saturday at the crack of dawn.
Especially in the 80s.
We sprang out of bed with our crazy hair, and plopped ourselves in front of the television. The bowl of Lucky Charms had to wait. Our time was precious. It was limited. We only had a few hours to catch our favorite characters and their adventures, and laugh.
It was a special time when all else was quiet and everybody was snoring in bed. It was a time we had to ourselves and it was awesome.
And the thing is we didn’t have much. We didn’t need much. We only had seven. Seven channels and no remote control. And that was it. No TiVo no DVR no Internet.
And that’s all we needed.
To some people that might seem out of the ordinary, surreal even, but for me it was everyday life, and I loved waking up, hanging out in my pajamas, and losing myself in the funnies of cartoon life.
I was reminded of this Guat childhood memory this past weekend when I heard that the Saturday morning cartoon ritual on prime time television ended. But I guess that would make sense with Nick Jr., Disney Jr., The Cartoon Network, and The Sprout Channel providing a cartoon extravaganza all day. It makes sense, I guess. Business sense.
But to me, there was nothing like waking up at the crack of dawn to watch your favorites because that was the only chance you were gonna get. The only opportunity and you made the most of it. So in memory of my Guat childhood here is my top ten Saturday morning cartoon lineup.
School House Rock
Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes
Felix The Cat
Dude … I can’t even.
The fact that I had enough energy to venture off to a Sandbox List Adventure Saturday morning amazes me.
This volunteering business is exhausting, so much so that I didn’t have the energy to log on to write or read anything after Taco Tuesday last week.
Volunteering … I get it … Get involved in your kids lives and be a part of the educational experience. It only happens once right?
Yeah … But going to seven stores in two hours, I think I deserve a medal or a chocolate trophy. Could it even be possible to go to seven stores in two hours?
And who or what do I blame for this journey?
Dude I get that some kids can smell a peanut within a five-mile radius and that Epipen needs to come out. But here’s the thing … there are no kids with peanut allergies at my daughter’s school but they still use sunflower seed butter for snack time.
Are you aware that none of the major groceries stores within a 10-block of the school carry this sunflower butter?
No. No they don’t.
So after my trips to IKEA, Costco, Smart & Final Wholesale, VONS, Ralph’s, and Target for various errands I finally made it to Trader Joe’s Grocery Store.
I bought five jars.
There’s no point in going through that again. I might not make it to the weekend if I have to go through another shopping marathon. I’m one of the few females on Earth that hates shopping. It’s just not for me and I find it amusing that I was volunteered for this task.
But I survived and made it to weekend.
I made it just in time to visit the secret headquarters of the caped crusader … The Batcave.
And my son was thankful.
Contrast … on so many levels.
It doesn’t look like much to many people, but to me … it’s a work of art.
Just when I think I’m too tired to play balloon volleyball …
Just when I think I’m too tired to chase them around the park and through the slides …
Just when I think I’m too tired to make obstacle courses with hula hoops …
Just when I think I’m too tired to race bicycles …
Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Fernando Valenzuela moment …
Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Friday-Night-Lights moment (the TV show, not the movie)
Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Nike Just Do It moment …
Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Gatorade-worthy moment …
I think … you never know …
“Behind every big moment, there are a lot of small ones.”
Yeah. That video rocks.
It inspires me to take some Vitameatavegamin, get off my ass, put on my SuperMom cape, and make some Ameritrade-Commerical-worthy moments preferably with Morgan Freeman as the narrator.
Get your cape on people.
Taking Five … A very important habit in our family.
Necessary for them, but even more necessary for me.
Quiet is important.
It’s almost as good as chocolate.
Keep up the good habits.