I love summer as much as the next person.

I’m a mom who loves having my kids off from school because our schedule actually calms down for a change. Routines take a hiatus and days become less structured. It’s a good season because for a little while, everyone is nice again.

I breathe a sigh of relief when I make the last lunch of the year and toss all the worn out school supplies and broken back packs. We throw the P.E. clothes in the wash one final time and gratefully store them away for fall.

Every summer starts out with great intention, yet as the season progresses my kid’s relaxed routine morphs into a monster. The monster known as laziness. What began as day trips to museums, working on creative projects, volunteering and plenty of outside exercise has been replaced by endless hours glued to phones, junk food and reality TV. In the process, millions of brain cells are dying a slow painful death and I’m ready to fuck  it all and hit the road.

While I realize I will miss the smell of their dirty feet, words replaced by grunts and a house that resembles a frat party gone bad, I realize it’s time. My teens need to go back to school and I’ll give you 17 reasons why.

1) Navigating around lounging bodies on the floor feels like a game of Twister.

2) Cell phone data packages max out the second week into the new cycle.

3) Arguments between my teens are starting to include fists and death threats.

4) My kids are complaining that going to Starbucks involves too much work.

5) My daughter is binge watching Gossip Girl on Netflix. For the third time.

6) I’m considering going back on my anti-depressant.

7) “I’m hungry” has become their new mantra.

8) My son has requested a microwave and mini fridge for his bedroom.

9) My kids still ask for money even though they haven’t done one damn thing to earn it.

10) The kids ask what we are going to do today. At 6pm.

11) Their bedrooms resemble college dorm rooms, complete with empty Slurpee cups and Big Gulps.

12) The grocery bill is nearing 4 digits per month since school let out.

13) Drinking juice straight from the jug has replaced the need for glasses.

14) My kids set their alarm for noon and still sleep through it.

15) Ice cream and Doritos are considered a healthy breakfast.

16) Empty pizza boxes are stacking up like a Jenga game.

17) “I didn’t know I had to do chores. Isn’t that why it’s called summer VACATION?”

I know once school starts I’m going to miss our lazy mornings and relaxed days but for now, the thrill of no longer finding candy wrappers stuffed in couch cushions and a smaller grocery bill brings a new sigh of relief.

Relief that I have 3 months off before it starts all over again with winter vacation.


Jessica is a wannabe urban homesteader, living in Portland with her blended family of 4 kids, 3 rescue dogs and 4 chickens named after Starbucks drinks. A former pharmacy student, Jessica decided she like baking better than drugs so went to pastry school instead. Described by her friend as a "Feminist Jedi Master", Jessica can be found spreading 'peace and wisdom' over at her blog, The Dalai Mama, at www.travelingmercies-jessica.blogspot.com

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