An “ALIEN” because I like having my kids around in Summer-(thought I was one anyway with a Large Family)

Summer is half way over and I am astonished at the number of people I meet (when I spring lose out of my cage occasionally) that look at me and say “I bet you can hardly wait until they are all back in school!” This statement is hilarious given that it is usually delivered to me by another mom of two (maximum three) children and often after I have witnessed this parent’s exasperation at the antics of their offspring in public. I am often incognito. Shopping or running errands with just a nominal few from my tribe. I appear in the grocery store as someone who can be trusted as I almost pass for “normal” by society’s standards by having only 2 or three kids with me.

School closed for summer

“I bet you can hardly wait until they are all back in school!”

I am afraid that my answer to this question is the one that reveals my true identity as a keeper of a large number of kids. I always answer “No…not really… I like having my children around and miss them when they are in school!” At this point the interviewing parent tilts their head while looking me over head to toe (likely in hopes of spotting ALIEN skin or other extraterrestrial attributes). After checking me out they say “Really?… No one has ever told me THAT before. It must be that you have a lot of help from your husband and family and you never have to spend much time cooped up with kids and no help.” (!!)

At this point the interviewing parent tilts their head while looking me over head to toe (likely in hopes of spotting ALIEN skin or other extraterrestrial attributes).

By this stage it is all I can do to maintain a straight face. This entire summer I have been with 9 kids or more…(counting a grandchild and “other” children coming over to play) all by myself as my husband had surgery in another city and has had to recuperate there to avail himself of the post-surgery physiotherapy care in that location. Yes… “cooped up” might be a way to describe it…although not mine.

Big marketing bucks are spent by retailers every fall hyping up the back to school season. One office / school supply store (national chain) is famous for their rendition of a Christmas carol played in late August/September recognizing the joy with which parents shop for back to school using the tune “It is the most wonderful time of the year….” (A time it is assumed parents eagerly await more than children wait for Christmas.)

In my attempts (although feeble) to fit in with mainstream society I thought I would answer in the affirmative the next time this question came up. Well that went well. I told this woman I could NOT WAIT until the “rug rats” where back in school. She looked at my three and said she could understand as she only had one and did not know how I managed the three little ones I had with me that day. I could not keep the deceit up any longer so with a broad grin I said “no…the ones I wanted back in school were the “other six” I left at home.” Yep back to looking like an Alien again. Total shock is immediately registered on the “other” parent’s face.

But seriously, I do admit there are challenging times and moments here and there where I do think about what it was like when everyone had a place to be (school) but on the whole I like my kids and I like being around them. I am bold enough to tell people exactly how it is. I like that summer lets bedtimes be relaxed, that more time is spent on creative relaxation (with the exception of a few teenagers with employment commitments) and that there is no homework. I also love that playing outside (like when I was little), making friends and playing with each other are rediscovered.  I like getting reacquainted with my kids in their more relaxed state. Not racing to complete homework, stay late for choir, gym practice or other extracurricular activities. I love watching them play the kind of games they invent (especially our crowd as the numbers often outweigh the equipment available at any one time) and the dynamics as they unfold between all of them.

cartoon kids playing summer

Things I have learned is the children get along much better when no parent is watching.

Fall comes all too fast and with it the hurried life of school schedules, homework, extracurricular activities and I close the book on the pages of another summer’s carefree playing and imagination I do so with some sadness. Sometimes I look back and think I learned the most about who my children truly are during the summer months. Don’t get me wrong it is all not a bed of roses and I have some scars to prove it. I am often cleaning the house with a blowtorch and power-sander (and that is just bath time!).

I profoundly miss them once they return to school. Things I have learned is the children get along much better when no parent is watching. When push comes to shove they do care about each other (regardless of the atrocious insults they have been known to hurl at each other), and no activity or equipment can match the creative solutions and games this bunch will come up with on their own. By far the best expenditure this summer was $20 to purchase 5 sets of second-hand roller blades. Hockey is being played as are races. The older more accomplished kids have set themselves up as the “skating coaches” for the younger kids. When my kids show up back in school, while they may not boast about what fun they had on a cruise or family vacation I do know that this summer will go down as one of the most fun…with each other.

kids summer

As for “most wonderful time of the year” that would be now…when everyone is home!

So,YES…I will miss my kids when they return to school, and NO, I am not looking forward to the fall. As for “most wonderful time of the year” that would be now…when everyone is home!

The ALIEN Garden Goat

Circle of Moms Top 25 Moms with Big Families - 2012

You can vote for me EVERYDAY (until Aug 1) at: http://www.circleofmoms.com/top25/Top-25-Moms-With-Big-Families-2012#_

EXCITING NEWS! The Garden Goat has been nominated for a contest featuring top 25 blogs written by moms of large families. You can vote for me EVERYDAY (until Aug 1) at: http://www.circleofmoms.com/top25/Top-25-Moms-With-Big-Families-2012#_

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “An “ALIEN” because I like having my kids around in Summer-(thought I was one anyway with a Large Family)

  1. I never understood why parents are so concerned about summer camps and the laundry list of activities they sign their kids up for summer vacation. It’s supposed to be a vacation! I considered swim lessons and it didn’t work out and what do you know, but my kids are learning to swim the old-fashioned way like I did-playing around in a pool with family! Your description of summer brought back great memories of summers with my big family 🙂

  2. You capture my feelings exactly–we will be marching to the beat of another drummer in the fall, and it won’t be ours. I look forward to fall with more than a little dread. It is relaxed this summer, and I love it and so do the kids, all three of them. I shudder to think of states that want to go to year round school. It would be un-American. Alien, indeed.

  3. Agreed. Summer is Still my favorite season for relaxing in. I miss my kids that are grown too, and I’ve only got one left at home. Soon she will be gone back to school…. sigh.
    I’m going to have to find something else to do for fun, besides listening in on the conversations of my teen-age daughter.

  4. I’m with you. I love my kids and want them around me! I just told my youngest 2 (teens, both) that I loved being with them. They were saying funny things in the grocery store. How could I not enjoy these precious gifts I’m raising? I’ve sent mine to school and homeschooled. Both have their up and down sides. But at least homeschooling, I get them all the time – and I love it. 🙂

    • Yes-I agree…at least with homeschooling you still have them around and don’t go through the withdrawal in the fall like the rest of us ! 🙂
      Thanks for your comment. The Garden Goat 😎

  5. I love the relaxed and easy rhythm that comes with summer. School is all well and good and necessary and, honestly, I function better with a good solid schedule, but summer is where it’s at. So obviously my “scheduled” life enjoys its 3 month hiatus! only 3 more weeks here….

  6. Hmm. I find myself somewhere in the middle. I love having my kids home and look forward to summer every year, but I also long for the routine and consistency that fall brings since they’re forced on my loopy brain. This summer has been especially busy and I can’t wait to take a nap and mop the whole floor in one session! But once school starts again I’ll be pining for lazy days again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s