As welcome as the Summer months are, both to myself and to my children, I have to admit, I’ve come to think of the first day of school as the first day of Parent Vacation. It’s a time when the house is quiet and peaceful, not because the kids, my son in particular, are up to some sort of mischief, but because they are in school, getting that all important education. So, I don’t have to lock my front door with a dead bolt to prevent my son with Autism from wandering into the street and I don’t have to go to the back door and check that he’s not climbing into the neighbor’s yards or going into the shed. I also don’t need to check in my daughter’s room to make sure she’s not in there on the computer by herself (which she’s not supposed to do).
Both of my kids are the kind of kids that more or less do for themselves. My daughter, when she was around ten, taught herself to ride a bike. My son has been feeding himself with such regularity that I have to get after him to ask first and not just eat whatever he finds loose. I can talk to them about cleaning their rooms all day long, but they’ll never do it unless I threaten to do it for them. During the summer months, it’s harder to do that. Now, they’re in school and I can threaten that all I want to and follow through with it, too.
Then there’s the fact that my husband is in near-constant pain day-in and day-out. With the kids in school, I have more attention available to devote exclusively to him and to my own self-care.
So, to all parents of school-age children everywhere, Happy Parent Vacation. If you haven’t reached it, yet, it’s okay. Read this again when you get there.