Anyone who says they work from home during the summer and has kids old enough to be off the boob is a goddamn liar.
Seriously. Liars, every one of them.
Kid3 is healing from a torn meniscus and lounges outside reading a book a day, which I observe from my office window. Every day, different bikini and different book. It’s all I can do not to hit her with a dictionary (old fashion spell check modality: heavy and harmful). Her days are numbered and she knows it: when she gets the all clear, vacation OVER sis-tah!
Kid2 is a workaholic, never home and I kinda miss her. She’s gone so much, I forget her bitchiness and pretend she’s really loving, cuddly and compassionate. Lifeguarding, coaching, teaching and looking for love. Gone.
Kid1 is at college all summer, “conducting research.” Oh, those were the days!
But then there’s Boy.
There are not enough camps in the world to keep this kid out of my way.
He’s 12 and thinks the world, or in particular, his mom and dad, owe him a made-for-tv summer vacation: pool, crafts, parks, Six Flags, movies, beach: every day a new adventure.
I still have work, thank you oh great paycheck from the sky, and albeit from home, which means I’m here, always here, and so is he, and it’s not pretty. I’m not on the academic year and work thankfully doesn’t stop for summer break, or hasn’t recently. Thank goodness.
So kids come here to hang. Which is cool, except as soon as they’re in the door it’s a barrage of requests:
“Is this gasoline?”
“Can we bike to town?”
“Where’s the sledgehammer?”
“Can we make burgers?”
“Is this poisonous?”
“I need an extension cord?”
“We’re making a movie.”
“Colin is stuck on the roof.”
“Need this for our ant farm!”
“I need to glue to these jelly beans to my back.”
There is no summer vacation when you work at home.
It’s actually double time, or triple time, with no over-time; working hard to convince the boss it’s business as usual, and convince the kids it is, in fact, vacation.
I love the creative juices that makes my kid and his posse the freak show of middle school. I love the fact that they don’t x-box murder their friends from the confines of my basement.
But how does one supervise (make sure no one ends up with a staple gun to the forehead) while writing riveting blog posts about the benefits of trading in that gas guzzler for a greener cleaner vehicle?
It just doesn’t happen.
So it’s soccer camp, cooking, hoops, film, whatever camp will take him from 9-1, 2, or 3, 4, or 5 pm and costs less than what I can make during that time. And returns him exhausted, so if lucky, we can squeeze an hour or two of Dodgeball, Anchor Man or some completely inappropriate but riveting, life-changing movie and call it a summer.
I’m counting the days (9) until our own very-real, fabulous, rejuvenating, favorite family vacation, and then the countdown begins until school starts and us work at home parents can go on the vacation of business as usual.