It’s July 1st and I am already BROKE from all the stuff my kids are doing on their summer vacation. Every single day, it’s “can I have $40 for this, this and that”. My oldest daughter has been home for what feels like 10 minutes, and my youngest is not far behind. We had to buy a hide-a-key because they are in and out so much. If they are bored for 5 minutes, they go swimming at Mammie’s and just lay by the pool. Their Nana drives them to the ends of the earth almost daily. They don’t even ask Mom and Dad if they can do something. In fact, I found out an hour ago both of them were heading to the beach for the day (separate parts I’m sure) with friends.
One random night last week my oldest just happened to be coming in the door and she stopped me and said “this is the best summer ever”. I told her yes, I am happy for you, but my wallet is very sad. So, the next day she applied for two different jobs. I knew she was too young to work, but just the thought that wanted to have her own money, her own freedom made my heart skip a beat. She works HARD doing the school year. She is in all honors classes, is on a dance team that is one of the best in the state that requires a TON of time, and she takes a million others dance classes at her studio, and works as an intern there, and assists with a Me Too class of underdeveloped kids and adults, oh, and she does about 4 hours of homework a night. I don’t say all that to brag, I just say to illustrate the point that she is a very HARD worker. So, when she tells me she is enjoying her summer I get a big smile from that. She earned this summer.
I can remember a few summers ago where both my kids didn’t move from their rooms. The youngest was too young to be out and about and the oldest had a few friends, but she wasn’t that outgoing and really didn’t push to do a lot of stuff. I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait for that summer to end, so they would be back at school and forced to make friends. So, this summer is way way better…
While the wife and oldest were working at their dance studio yesterday I had a million errands to run. I woke up my youngest and said “I really need you today, so whatever plan you had, can you cancel?” See, I was being selfish, I wanted a buddy to help me, but I also wanted to check in on her. We hadn’t had a ton of time since school got out to just be us. She is my partner in crime during the school year. We did everything together. I was her ride to school, her chef, her uber driver and her tutor all year. When she had a problem or an issue she came to me first. It was a great year for us together and I sort of missed that since she had been out of school and been doing a million different things.
So, I snuck in a whole day with her, breakfast, food shopping, propane tank fill ups, dropping off different things at a few houses, an awesome walk at our favorite place to walk, and we finished with a lesson on how to use the grill. I got my school year fix with my youngest all in one day. I taught her some stuff and she let me back into her world for a sort period of time. I needed a day like that.
So, as I work from home today and look around the house it is GROSS. Their rooms are disgusting, and we have an ant problem from all the food that is left around. Their beds aren’t made, their laundry is piled to the ceilings, there are plates with whatever they were eating left on a bed, or a makeup desk. Why it would be there I will never know…. There are towels on every inch of their floor because apparently they use two for each shower and the best place to put them is just wherever they feel like. There are four of us living in this house, three women and one sort of man, and we own somewhere near 150 towels. I probably wash 2 towels with every load of laundry I do and we still run out all the time. I don’t understand this towel thing. I have 2, I use it for like a week, hang it in the same spot, then I toss it in the laundry and use my other towel for a week.
But, the kids are busy, the kids are smiling. The kids are off experiencing life, enjoying the sun. So, I will take the loneliness I get from working at home in an empty house. I’ll walk in their rooms and clean up a few things for them, well, not for them, that is more for me and my sanity I guess. I will walk in the bathroom and smile at the toothbrush. I know it is there RIGHT now, just sitting on top of the sink. My youngest could put it back in the cabinet that is 1 foot away, but she’s in such a rush to leave she never remembers. But, they are smiling and so am I. As I always say, I am the luckiest guy on the planet to be growing up in a house with these beautiful, extraordinarily messy people. They are good kids and that’s all the really matters to me. I love seeing them smile even though my wallet hates me…