Time to be outside wrestling with the sprinkler in my pjs, hoping that the cranky neighbor a few doors down doesn't call the water police on me or worse yet, take a picture. You see, we're only allowed to water at certain times of the day, three days a week. If you are even minutes over, we have nosy neighbors on either side that will either arrive at your door and inform you that you're not following the 'rules', or worse, report you. Thus is the problem when living in a neighborhood of retired people who don't have a life.
School officially ended yesterday. As I dropped Kevin off, the halls were abuzz with excitement. The grade sevens were having their 'graduation' that morning, and so twelve year olds were flitting by in dresses that one would expect to see on Beyonce Knowles, not a gangly pre-teen. It was a little..um...startling. Kindergarteners were also graduating to grade one, and some were in tuxedos, others in cute little frilly dresses. Where did I miss that one? I remember when Kevin was in preschool. Here I was, the inexperienced young mom, thinking that preschool was no big deal. My kid showed up in shorts and a t-shirt, and I didn't even bring a camera. Oops.
At the end of the day, Kevin and I toasted the summer with cans of pop and bits of licorice and sour candies over at the local corner store. We are so happy that school is finished, and to have some time to just sleep in. The last week of school usually means deadlines looming to get those library books back, finish up projects, buy gifts, say goodbye, etc. It can become slightly stressful even, and so we're happy to now have the time to stay in our pjs and relax. I did consider getting a job for the summer-in fact, I was offered work. I almost jumped at it, but I stopped short.
As I looked at Kevin, I realized that he is still at the stage where being home with me is cool and fun. As I look at his friends, I see that the "oh my god my parents are so lame and embarressing" is looming. Having an only child is like that-you get these stages only once, and you have to take the opportunity to enjoy them because you will never see them again. In that light, it was easy to pass up the work. So for this summer, I am happily unemployed.
When I was a kid, I hated the end of the year-mostly the awards ceremonies. Being a more awkward, artsy type child, I never had a hope of getting any of the sports awards, and I didn't get good enough grades to garner any academic ones. So I was always the kid that sat through and didn't actually get any. I wasn't scarred for life, but I remember always hoping I would and usually being disappointed. So when Kevin sounded very disappointed that he didn't recieve the "most improved" award, I knew where he was coming from. "I came here a total mess, Mom. I now have Bs and I'm doing really well. What more do they want?" His eyes had that familiar look of bewilderment and hurt. I admit, I had been hoping he'd recieve that award too. I mean geez, every single staff member had raved about how well he was doing. But it was not to be, and maybe he could learn a lesson from it. We talked about how we don't need a piece of paper to prove that Kevin has improved tremendously, and how we know he's done incredible things this year. It's not even the grades. It's the effort. That's what is important.
So when John came home, hugged him, and announced that for his hard work this year we were getting him a new bike, you should have seen his eyes shine. His response?
"Just wait. Next year, I'm gonna bring home A's."