I can tell that we’ve settled into summer because the kids have begun squabbling. Those first few weeks of June we were all so relieved to be done with the school year that the kids dove into Minecraft and I let them. I was still in full-bore shipping mode on the challenge coins. Then I was arranging everything so that the kids would be safe during my trip to a retreat. Then we were clearing up odds and ends, putting the house back into order. Yet now I can tell that the video games are not quite so compelling. The kids spend more time pinging around and deliberately annoying each other. We need a new focus, which is not something I really want to have to create on a Friday afternoon when the outdoor temperatures are a hundred and four degrees.
I am restless too. I have lots of work to do, but focus is being difficult to find. This is not helped by my desktop computer displaying multicolored digital confetti and then defaulting to a blue screen. So instead of working on the Jay Wake book, I unplugged it and took it back to the company that fixed it only six weeks ago. I mused on the trip home how strange it is to not be panicked over the computer failure. This sort of thing used to speak doom to me, but today I was only annoyed. I wandered instead, looking at house chores to be done, doing some reading, and hoping that my listless day would be followed by one where I was focused and productive. I much prefer the days where I do all the things.
For the kids, July is empty. They have nothing scheduled and thus will be hoping for trips to swimming pools and Trafalga. Howard and I have full schedules. We need to work like the wind. Some of the imbalance is addressed by me requiring more chores of the children, but I do feel guilty for not providing something else, new experiences, things that become memories. I ought to be making them read, practice math facts, learn programming, complete that Eagle scout project, etc. This is one of the reasons I do not home school. I get worn out from the daily effort of figuring out what to make for dinner. There have been times when I was quite efficient and organized about it, but then I fail to update the meal plan and it all falls apart. I can’t imagine that home schooling would run very different. It sounds exhausting. Because for all that I’m an organized person and I do all the things, eventually I run out of willpower and end up mired in a day like today where I do almost none of the things.
By August the summer will be winding down and the school anxieties will begin. I’ll have one starting college, one starting high school, and one starting junior high. I expect heavy parenting there. But for the length of July I can not think about all of that. We can just feel the heat of the days, try to get the work done, and try to find moments to remember.