No More Pencils, No More Books… Misty Brooks June 1, 2012 Mystified …School’s Out Forever, or So It Seems No alarm clocks, no early mornings, no rush to get dressed …ahhhh…I love summer! But that leaves me with an even bigger challenge….what am I gonna do with everybody all day?! I asked for requests from everyone and got a lot of great ideas. I’ve devised a plan that is sure to make at least one of them happy at least one day while school is out. We’ve got a lot to do before August 13. I’ve got my work cut out for me. And I’m a little scared or is it excited? I just can’t tell. While I have this big elaborate itinerary laid out in my mind, I’m sure to run out of money before we get through it all. If funds don’t get me, patience will. It’s not easy going abroad with my bunch. I’ve got attitude, picky eater, touch-me-not, and obnoxious laughter to deal with on any given day. I can fix the obnoxious laughter with the Quiet Game, the picky eater with his favorite food all day every day, touch-me-not gets the seat beside me, and the attitude gets strapped onto the luggage rack. I think I might need to take a special supplement before we get started on our travels. This summer we will embark upon a journey within a journey. This will be the summer that changed our lives forever. Since I failed at my previous mission to teach the invaluable lesson of gratitude (I think I actually made it worse somehow), this summer is my last chance. The older they get the harder it is to mold their perceptions. I’m getting a handle on the reins again and these little wild bucks have another thing coming! They just may hate me by August. I’m not really sure what happened. I think the end of school has a bit to do with it. They all have that “whatever” approach to everything I say. They think just because they have successfully completed another 9 months of school I should just throw all rules and expectations out the window!? Just because they got up every school morning, begrudgingly got ready and into the car that I somehow owe them a free pass?! Well I, too, have something to celebrate. I don’t have to get up at 6am, cook eggs, or toast, or wash cereal bowls. I don’t have to make a 7am trip out in the mornings to get one child to middle school and an 8am trip out to get three children to elementary school. I don’t have to pick anyone up after school, or meet them at the bus stop in the afternoons so they won’t have to walk the half of a mile home. I don’t have to have just the right snack ready for after school so that everyone isn’t ill because they haven’t eaten in hours. I don’t have to make sure homework is done, papers are signed, and tests are studied for. Gee, maybe I’m entitled to a smart mouth, too! I’m heavily outnumbered and I try to remember that instead of beating myself up over the failures parenthood is slapping me with right now. But I guess it’s just part of life. I mean, I can’t have everything easy all of the time, right? That just wouldn’t be fair. So, while I’m ashamed that I have this problem, I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t exist. I’ve got to put my Mom Jeans on (where in the world can I find a pair of those??) and stand up to my little hellcats. Slowly but surely I’ll get everyone where they need to be. If I haven’t accomplished what I plan to accomplish- which is teach gratitude and respect- then they will find themselves sleeping in a room filled with a bed and a book. During my oh-so harsh behavior modifications this summer I do plan to incorporate lots of fun and togetherness. Our first sojourn lands us along the coast, I know, you’re surprised. We’ll fly kites, swim, walk, take pictures, play, and eat. My mom, brother, and niece are going too. And if Jason doesn’t change his mind, doesn’t have to work, and can miss school he’ll be going too! Other jaunts will lead us to an amusement park, a skate park, bike trail, and a Civil War Reenactment. We’ll eat all of our favorite foods and try new ones. And if my patience allows we’ll see a few movies and find some live bands to dance to under the stars. Wow, I’m nervous. I hope I can do it!