It's coming. Summer break. My kids are ready for it. My oldest, the awesome fourth grader, is the only one with a little bit of 'school' left to do.
Visions of days spent romping in the yard, hiking on trails, bicycling to papaw's and sprawling on blankets at our town's outdoor concerts and movies are flashing in front of our eyes. We can't wait to have even less on our normally itty-bitty to-do lists than usual.
But there's one catch.
The local schools have two more days. Two more days until all those wonderful kids run screaming from the school bus one last time, ready to soak in the sweetness of summer freedom for a few months. Ready to rollerblade to the park, go fishing in the neighborhood ponds, throw towels over their shoulders and head to the pool.
Ready to... (Oh, do I dare say it? Here goes....)
Ready to pop our magical, wonderful, majestic homeschool bubble.
Don't get me wrong. I love the all the traditionally-schooled little sweethearts. I really do! We have some of the most wonderful little neighbor-kids you could ask for. The share toys with my kids, play basketball with them, come lend a helping hand when we try to completely cover our driveway with sidewalk chalk.
It's just that, well, all of our places are suddenly overrun with all these newly-released tiny people.
Our once quiet weekday library where my boys and a couple of homeschooling friends spend hours in the military section, drooling over tanks and rocket launchers, will now be filled to the brim with eager summer reading program members.
Our quiet park picnics where I can chat with a fellow homeschool mom without fear of losing track of a child because, well, no one else is at the park at all will become frenzied outings consisting of me counting five little heads over and over and over and every few minutes muttering to myself, "Where's Sunshine? I can't see her in this sea of children. I think she was wearing a blue dress. Or was it a yellow shirt with purple shorts? How in the world do 18 kids fit on the monkey bars at once?"
A rainy weekday lunch at Chik-Fil-A won't offer my kids a playground to themselves while Mama sips on lemonade after walking from the car right up to the counter. Instead, we'll be fiftieth in line, there will be no empty tables, I'll lose a child in the playplace, someone will have to pee and the bathroom line will be so insanely long that we'll risk an accident on the way home instead of waiting and everyone will cry because "We only got to play for 4 minutes and I want my brother back!" and I'll scream "Well, your sister has to pee and only losing one out of five ain't too shabby! Your little brother will find his way home someday!"
My kids? They love the extra play buddies all over the place during the summer months.
Me? I don't do crowds. They kind of make me hyperventilate.
Happy summer break, to you. I'll be hiding in the basement until September.