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Sunday, July 17, 2011

the sieve of summer

The sweat of summer is upon us.  The late nights that you swear you're gonna rein in once school starts. Barbecues, ice cream, swimming.  It's all good.

Or is it?

Lately I've heard people talking about what the kids lose during summer.  And I'm not talking about teeth or a sweatshirt, which is where MY mind went.  People seem to be concerned with smalls losing academics -- their grip on school and school work.

At first, I started to worry...  What did I need to do to make sure that nothing learned academically was lost for my kids?  What could I do to prevent my smalls from backsliding?  Jesus -- what could I do to stop Summer???

Panic set in.

Then, just as I felt the ulcer starting to form in my gut, I stopped.


Count to 10.

Thankfully, sanity started to appear, like a light at the end of a very long tunnel.

See, forget the smalls.  Forget the backsliding.  Even though the days are harder to fill in Summer.  Even though the months/weeks until school starts stretch out like a marathon.  Even though I really would love to have more of the evening to myself, instead of putting kids to bed, hours after they should have already been counting sheep.  Even though I can't stand the heat.   Or the sun.  (I'm more of a Nova Scotia or London kind of person.) I'm trying to embrace the irritations -- the things about Summer that make it, well, Summer.

Yup.  You read that right.  Because in the end, you know what I realized?

I need Summer.


I need to have a time of year to NOT nudge the smalls.  To NOT worry about what's for dinner, or how late dinner is served.  A time to let things slide, or at least let them simmer.

So, if I'm the only parent who isn't stressing that my smalls might forget something they learned last year.  Well, so be it.  I have the entire school year to help them learn it again -- plus some!

And you know what?  I'm breathing easier.  I'm nicer.  If the backslide is happening,  I'm helping it.

Am I a bad Mom?  Who knows.  The only thing I do know is:

I embrace the sieve of Summer because I am embracing my sanity.

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