I’ve done a pretty good job lately of mourning the end of summer. In fact, I’m fairly certain I’ve gone a bit overboard; guilty of uttering, “I just can’t believe its August ___ already!” every. single. day. But, amidst all my
whining lamenting, I’ve realized there are more than a few things about summer that I will actually not miss at all. And while I know that it’s basically socially unacceptable to complain about summer in any way, I have a pretty good feeling that most of you would agree with me about a few key summer bummers.
For all you non-believers, I’ve made a list.
So…in no particular order…
1. The shuffling of the beach items from residence to beach and back again. The towels. The sunscreen. The magazines you take but never actually get to read. The water bottle that, despite washing 136 times, still has sand in it. The ziplock bag to hold all of your children’s
junk “treasures” — ranging from seaweed to rocks to (empty) mussels shells. The carefully selected snacks that you hope won’t be gross by the time you go to eat them because God knows you’re not packing a cooler. Regardless of where your abode may be, going to the beach means packing this bag. Even if you don’t have kids. It also means unpacking this same bag.
2. The burning of the sunscreen. That’s right folks, the sunscreen, not the sunburn. I’m talking about that awful residual burning in the corners of your eyes that comes from sunscreen that’s been on so long it has begun to melt on your face and seep into your eyeballs. As a runner maybe I’m more susceptible to this than others but after trying every possible sunscreen Earth, I still have not found one that doesn’t run while you burn…or burn while you run.
3. The constant replay of the Parental Caution Thought Reel. You know, that little tape in your mind that replays 10,000 times an outing if you should reapply the sunscreen, get them a drink of water, force them to wear their sunhats, or follow them around the beach/zoo/farm/water park/splash pad holding an umbrella over their heads like the serf-parent you are. (Let’s face it: we are the serfs, they are the lords.) I am the antithesis of a helicopter parent, but there’s just something about potential heatstroke or scary-degree sunburn that puts me on edge.
4. That feeling of guilt on days where you just wish it would rain already. You know, so you could actually attack all of the indoor projects and to-dos that are
completely abandoned during the summer months. My Southern and West Coast loves might not be familiar with this feeling since most of you are blessed with what we Northeasterns consider summer-like weather for most of your year. But our warm days are numbered. Which means we feel obligated to be outside for every single second of warm weather available to us. If we’re not, the guilt ensues.
5. My job as Keeper of the Ice Cream Man. I have spoken plenty of my children’s devotion to our neighborhood Ice Cream Man. What I haven’t spoken about is the incessant questioning from my 4 year old every day, all day as to when said Ice Cream Man is going to show up. For whatever reason, Antonio truly believes that I — and only I — have the ability to summon and dismiss the truck.
6. The brotherly bickering. Ahh, yes — that joyous wonder of two siblings close in age who have just spent every minute of the last two and a half months together. Trust me, this is a scenario that would turn even Mickey and Minnie against each other. A little break from one another during the school day is just what they need to put to bed the “stop looking at me!” attitude we’ve suffered over the past few weeks.
7. The seasonal sports drought. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Yankees and the Little League World Series. But (aside from every four years when we are gifted the Olympics), summer is a very slow time in the world of sports. The rest of the year our family TV happily rotates exclusively between the MSG networks (Let’s Go Rangers!), ESPN, and Disney Junior. In the summer? Its a lot of Disney Junior.
8. The dreadful dilemma when you must choose between bug spray or bug bites. The feel of a bug bite versus the feel (and smell) of bug spray. This one is a toss-up for me, folks.
9. More eating, less meal planning. I all but abandon my otherwise rigid meal planning during the sweet, slow months of summer. Nice in theory, but problematic as the organization of my pantry and fridge
disappears declines and my boys’ appetites exponentially increase. Something about just having access to the kitchen makes them feel like they need to eat all day long.
And last but not least…
10. That dreaded feeling that summer is almost over. No matter how true every word of #1-9 are, for me, the very worst thing about summer is still waking up on August 1 and realizing it’s the beginning of the end of it all and trying to accept it.
So, there you have it — a selection of my biggest summer bummers. I’d love to know, what’s something you won’t miss about summer?