Surviving the End of the School Year

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I just mapped out my calendar for the remainder of the school year, and holy jam-packed schedule, Batman! Is it the holidays all over again!? I have no tricks or tips to offer – this is simply a rallying cry for my fellow parents who may be in the same boat. Anyone else wondering when they are going to be able to sit at home for a night in their sweat pants without a softball practice or a last minute run to the store for art supplies?

After being a classroom teacher for over a decade, I assumed the end of the year madness was just an occupational hazard. I didn’t realize everyone is also doing a slow death crawl towards the finish line of summer. And with the past two years placing everything on hiatus, the transition back into chaos is an unfortunate jolt to the system.

I am struggling a bit. I value free time – I think kids need it, adults need it, and its good for our collective souls. I attempt to create a calendar that reflects that, but I think even the best of intentions would have failed miserably against the ending of the school year. It is the nature of the beast, and this is not a beast I can take down.

When Did Snacks Get So Complicated?

My kids are generally allowed to choose one activity at a time so we’ve had swimming lessons for one and musical theater for the other throughout the year. Totally doable. But they really wanted to try baseball this spring, so I thought, how bad could it be? Welp, we’ve now got four nights of the week spoken for with practices and games, so there goes that idea. I remember when Saturday mornings meant lounging with a book and some tea, but now it’s frantically making a mad dash to Costco because I’ve forgotten it’s our week to bring the snacks.

And on a side note – when did snacks become such a big THING? I remember getting orange slices. Period. Maaaaybe a Capri Sun if we were lucky! My kids have been bringing home craftily decorated bags with a multitude of snacks to choose from. Did I miss the memo? Should I be preparing a platter of artisanal cheeses? I’m sorry, kids, you get a juice box and a granola bar because I believe in lowering the bar.

All.The.Things.

So aside from sports and watching my kids who have clearly inherited my daisy-picking gene, there’s all the other stuff on the docket as well. It’s the end of the year projects, the preschool graduations, the banquets, Teacher Appreciation Week, the field trips, the PTA fundraisers, the class parties, and the general motivating of kids to put on pants and show up for school because it is not summer just yet.

It’s just so much, and I miss the solitude and the lazy evenings curled up on the couch with nowhere in particular to be or do. But, I’m also ecstatic to see my kids bonding with other kids. I’m happy to celebrate the teachers who have worked so hard. I love cheering for my kids on the rare occasion that they get their hands on a ball and I can’t wait to see my son parade across the stage in a graduation cap made of construction paper. Maybe these are good problems to have. And as my husband reminds me regularly, “Our parents did this for us.” My parents did, in fact, chauffer me to many a goat show and bassoon lesson. I was very popular.

And so just like the holidays, I’m going to buckle up for the ride and know that lazier days are ahead. I’m feeling no urge to sign my kids up for summer camps or plan educational road trips to the Redwoods. I look forward to reading books in a hammock and exploring new trails with zilch on the agenda. This time is short; it won’t last forever and slower seasons await.

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