Every year I fall for it. Every. Single. Year. The month of May rolls around and I look forward to summer with the anticipation of freedom like a wrongly convicted prisoner about to be released. I cannot wait even one more minute! I have visions in my head of sleeping in, relaxing, lazy days, not making lunches and yelling at people to get out the door on time, and all the fun things we will have the time to see and do.

And then, somewhere after the Fourth of July, it hits me like a ton of bricks. I have been conned. Again.

Because who can enjoy summer when there are people screaming at each other about how loud the TV is? Is it too loud? Not loud enough? How the hell am I supposed to know, I can’t hear anything over the damn yelling. The floors and bathrooms are filthy because there are people in them all the time, and the dishes! They seem to need to use a new, clean piece of dish ware every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day. Who uses a popcorn maker in the middle of the night? Oh, that’s right, teenagers do.

There are dirty socks and wet pool towels everywhere. And shoes. In the middle of the floor. Who walks into the middle of a room, nowhere near a single piece of furniture and removes their shoes, steps over them and keeps going? Oh, that’s right, kids do. We live in a hot climate where the doors and windows have to be closed all the time in the summer and I am telling you-the stale smell in this house would be enough to make me crazy if I wasn’t already.

As for the fun things? Seems no one wants to actually do any of those. They do still want to know what’s for dinner, but they are asking at 10 a.m. now.

“What’s for dinner Mom?”

I don’t know yet.

“Ewwww, I don’t like that.”

Then it arrives…Back To School, in all its glory! Thank you, Jesus! This drowning woman has spotted a life raft! We head off to Target with JOY in our hearts! Or at least mine anyway. 2 different colored 2 pocket folders without brads, plastic only? I am all in bitches! Let’s buy five! Your math teacher doesn’t want any glue sticks? Get a 10 pack just in case. History teacher needs Kleenex? Get the jumbo, super-sized, multipack because if she’s willing to deal with all your snot, it’s the least I can do. Throw in a gallon of hand sanitizer too, since we all know we will have strep throat by week two. I will spend all the money to buy all the things they ask for and more!

Off they go and I am not the least bit sad about it. Dinner is in the crock pot and there isn’t a soul around to complain, let alone several souls who will have nothing better to do than moan about it for hours! The yelling stops, the endless supply of dirty dishes dries up, the shoes remain on their feet all the live long day!

So, thank you, public school teachers, because I cannot afford private school and homeschooling is out of the question for me. Thank you bus drivers who take them away until 3p.m., thank you Target for your endless amounts of supplies that we will need to avail ourselves of on more than one occasion, and thank you, lunch ladies who will spare me from meal complaints for at least one meal each day. Thank you all!

Until May. When, after 10 long months of homework and football games and band practice and permission slips, I will once again be DONE with it all. It’s a vicious cycle that people continue to assure me I will miss after they all leave home. We will see about that.







Melissa Coble is a mom living in Phoenix, Arizona just trying to survive the teenage years with a lot of laughs, an occasional rant, and copious amounts of wine. You can find her counting the days until her nest is empty on her blog An Unfit Parent and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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