My husband can always tell when I am on overload because I cling more compulsively to my tattered three-ring binder. It is an ugly thing, but it has served me faithfully for several years as Calendar Command Central and repository of all papers-deemed-important. Yeah, yeah, I use Google Calendar, too, but only because those little reminder pings on my phone make me feel important. But, this binder ….. ah, it has the power of a pacifier AND a personality supplement while creating the illusion of control. Very nice.
Well, summer has arrived and my binder bears coffee rings almost as dark as the circles under my eyes. There is something deeply warped about a life where summer presents more challenges than a school year for a homeschool mom.
With motion discomfort bags tucked discreetly in my purse …. it begins:
John: After yet another 4.0 semester at Penn, he will move into an apartment in NYC next week. He will be working at two different start-up companies in Manhattan. As soon as he finishes his projects there, he gets on a plane for Moscow where he will spend the first semester of his junior year ! We are all so proud of this guy ....
Nora: After returning from Hungary, she got a job at a Philadelphia law firm to earn the money to go back to Europe this summer. In two weeks she departs for Germany and Hungary to spend a month visiting friends. The musical festival in Hungary will be the highlight of this trip! Upon return she will catch her breath and move into Penn. But, first, she graduates !! And the truth is …..I don’t want it to end. Homeschooling this gem has been such a blast, I’d cheerfully do it all over again.
Andy: After summer rowing, he is Nicaragua-bound! He has been placed with a host family and he is brushing up on his preterites. While eager to leap into Spanish immersion, all he talks about is exploring the Mombacho volcano and catching a bull shark with his bare hands in Lake Nicaragua! Did I mention the source of my grey hair? This young man goes for the gusto!
James: This guy will be chillin’ at day camp. Wisely, he has accepted my Summer 20 Book Challenge (like he had a choice). The deal? He gets his Kindle for an hour a night as long as he’s plowing through this Challenge. His counter-offer: “As soon as I finish reading them all, I will get my Kindle for 3 hours a night, ok?” Hmm……
Before the end of August Peter and I will have been twice to JFK Airport, twice to Dulles Airport and twice to Newark Airport. The Laberees will be spread out over different continents with too many time zones differences to track. When September comes I know I will be so very glad to see it and to settle into the rhythm of Autumn and school books and falling leaves. Slipping into a school year is like donning a familiar all-weather coat that feels just right all of the time. But summers? They are for the moonstruck howlings of a homeschool mom on hold.