As I'm sure many parents do, I look forward to summer vacation in that optimistic and unrealistic way that promises nothing but wonderful memories being made. Here are thoughts every parent is sure to have at some point on summer vacation.
We're going to have so much fun!1 of 17
Where are we going? The beach? Camping? Grandma's house? Wherever it is, we can have ice cream every day! In my mind, vacation-me is much more adventurous and permissive than real-life-me.
There will be plenty of time for educational experiences.2 of 17
Of course, we'll weave some learning into our fun. Maybe we can check out the local art gallery or history museum. It's about time we introduced the kids to some culture.
We'll limit the screen time, of course.3 of 17
We're going to read so many books! Maybe even learn a new language!
We can tackle all the projects that have been neglected during the school year.4 of 17
Those closets are a disaster. The trim needs a fresh coat of paint. The kids can help weed the corner of the yard that looks more jungle than suburbia while I tackle this mountain of papers they dumped out of their backpacks on the last day of school. But first, coffee.
Why do the kids get up so early when there's no school?5 of 17
The same children who have to be dragged out of bed for school every morning are tapping me on the forehead at 6 a.m. on the first day of vacation asking to watch cartoons.
How can they eat this much?6 of 17
Most of the year, school is my kids' job. During the summer, my kids treat eating as their full-time gig, gobbling up everything in the house like adorable little locusts.
My poor, poor house.7 of 17
My kids trash my house every weekend, so you can imagine what they're capable of given a couple of months off school. My house is in shambles by the end of week one, which is why everyone is going to camp week two.
Teachers don't make enough money.8 of 17
How do these heroes manage 10x as many children as I am right now all day long? How can their faces look so happy? "Alexa, remind me to buy my kids' teachers a case of wine."
We should have gone away.9 of 17
If we were somewhere else, the kids could be trashing a hotel room or Grandma's house. If we were on a trip, I wouldn't have to cook as much.
We should have stayed home.10 of 17
Why did I spend all this money so the kids could fight and eat snacks at this beach/mountain/campground? At least my Instagram feed will look fantastic and my house is staying clean.
I had no idea this house could get so messy.11 of 17
Let's tear this place down and start over somewhere else. And why is the floor so sticky?
I had no idea we could eat this much ice cream.12 of 17
I guess it gives us a break from the endless granola bars and graham crackers.
Thank goodness for the library.13 of 17
"Alexa, remind me to send wine to the librarians."
Summer vacation is over in two weeks, and we still have ¾ of our bucket list to complete.14 of 17
Hurry! Get your shoes on. We're going to the zoo, the museum, for a hike and we're going on that ten-mile bike ride Dad's been talking about. After that, it's a quick bite at that new restaurant we've been eyeing and then to an outdoor concert on the town green.
Now I remember why Fall is my favorite season.15 of 17
I love my kids, but I can't wait to hear the bus coming around the corner on the first day of school. All this memory-making is exhausting, and somehow, the children are still "bored" and "starving."
I'm glad I took some pictures. Look how much fun we had!16 of 17
Now that summer vacation is over, I'm missing the kids and our quiet, relaxed mornings. Guess I should probably take care of this pile of papers from the last day of school before the first day of school paper dump arrives this afternoon.