Bummer Summer? No Way!

Originally published June 11, 2011

I LOVE teachers.  I was raised by 2 of them.  I especially love Shelby's teachers.  It takes a very special person to dedicate their career to helping those with special needs.  And Shelby's needs are great.  That's why every summer, I have a tough time adjusting to her being in my care full time.  And during this adjustment period I often hear my teacher friends complaining about we stay-at-home moms who don't know what to do with our own kids while teachers get a much deserved break.  I confess I am one of those moms - at least for the first couple of weeks.  I just need a little time to get into a groove and remember how to work and chore differently.  I'm not REALLY complaining.  I love my kids and am excited about slower moving mornings and fun activities together, but I'm a little overwhelmed right now.  I can't grocery shop with Shelby because I can't push a cart and help her walk at the same time (although I did talk to a mom this week who pushes her son's wheelchair with one hand and pulls her basket behind her with the other.  Whew!  I bet her list is succinct and her shop efficient.)  I can't drag my babies to all my appointments - and believe me, I am doing my part to support the local medical community.  I get counseling, allergy shots and chiropractic weekly, and regular checkups for my shoulder and other things that won't be discussed on the world wide web.  Should I give up volunteering at the church this summer?  I've thought about it, but I'm not sure that's the answer.  I've already given up one teaching job so that there is one less day a week the girls have to go to the gym with me.  I can't put the 14 year old down the street to work babysitting.  Shelby's medical risks are too great.  And I'll never be able to leave her alone to run for a gallon of milk.  But I will figure this out like I do every year.  I'll schedule a few babysitters and lower my expecations for how much I should accomplish every day.  I'll slow down and play with my kids and appreciate them being home.
Teacher friends, I love you.  I appreciate you.  And I stand in awe of all you do.  But please be patient with me while I get my act together, and we'll all have a great summer.  We have some fun things planned!