School is out, and I have four children at home all day, every day. I'm enjoying the lack of lunch-packing, the waking up after dawn, and the break from nagging my kids to do their homework. As I do every June, I have dreams of sun-kissed afternoons at the pool, road trip adventures my children will remember the rest of their lives, and family bonding time galore.
But if the first day of my children's summer vacation is any indication, those are very optimistic dreams. In the course of 24 measly hours, I found myself saying all of this. I'm accepting prayers and positive thoughts for the next nine weeks.
1. "Cap'n Crunch is not an actual food group."
I know you talked your dad into buying it at the grocery store after beating him down for four aisles and forcing him to believe he would only survive the experience if he caved and bought you the family size box with Crunchberries. Well played. But no, you cannot eat that for every meal today. I'm pretty sure it's against a law or something.
2. "Why is this wet?"
And what kind of wet is it? And how long has it been wet? And why did you leave it on the floor? And please don't touch me with that wet thing!
3. "It's summer and I have kids."
Hey, Judgey McJudgerson grocery store clerk, I saw the side-eye you gave me when I arrived in your lane with a cart overflowing with Lunchables (they were BOGO!), Little Bites, and sandwich meat. "We're gonna need a second cart," you said pointedly to your bagger. Listen, these children eat all. Day. Long. When they are home for summer, it's a 24-hour-a-day buffet here. These are desperate times.
That summer shandy was BOGO too, by the way.
4. "I don't care if it's not your trash, pick it up anyway. I pick up other people's trash all day long."
Because if I have to pick one more straw wrapper off the bottom of my foot or throw away one more string cheese wrapper I find tucked into the sofa cushions, y'all are going to be able to write your own version of a "Mommie Dearest" memoir someday.
5. "Yes, we can go get ice cream."
Because summer. And childhood. And sanity. Summer is the best for getting to say YES sometimes. Also, one of the best reasons to have children is the excuse to get ice cream for no reason at all and spoil everyone's dinner every once in a while (Kidding! Sort of).
6. "No, you cannot make slime again."
You also cannot flip that water bottle. You cannot have another fidget spinner. You cannot bring your fidget spinner on our nine-hour road trip. Why? Why can you not do these things? Because you only get one mother and she is about to lose her "flipping" mind. Spin that.
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7. "Has anyone seen the hamster?"
Speaks for itself, doesn't it?
8. "Wait, where did all the food I bought go?"
It's only June, comrades. The summer lays out like a sunscreen-scented, popsicle-stained (beach) blanket before us. It will be the best of times; it will be the worst of times. We'll be broke at the end of it from our grocery bill alone. The hamster might spend some of it behind the dishwasher. But most of all, it will be an adventure. The best summers are.