To My Children, On School's Out Eve

To My Children, on School’s Out Eve

This morning, I sensed a shift in the force in our house. I actually felt it over the weekend, too. You’re all wound pretty tight and have reached that fevered pitch that only comes this time of year. It’s like the week before Christmas, but instead of anticipating cookies and gifts, you’re freaking out about field trips, finals, studying, missing assignments and the utter lack of sleep and sanity.

You’re going to be fine. Really, actually fine. You know I don’t hound you much about grades. I think you’re all brilliant and do great in school, and even better than that, you’re immensely awesome humans. You work hard at jobs, you drive cars you bought with your own money (or are saving to buy soon), you have cool friends that come to my house and eat all my food, you care a LOT about people who are different than you. That whole plastic straw crusade is pretty great, too.

Some of you have overcome big things this year. Big things like braces, breakups, injuries, frenemies, trouble at school, self-doubt and the need for ongoing support from your larger team. I’m so proud of how you ask for help, even when it’s hard. And you handle consequences better than any teenagers I could imagine. There’ve been dark days, for sure. Winter kinda sucked. Some stuff was super, incredibly hard.

But here we are. Summer’s eve (ewww, wrong reference).

My first message to you:

You’re going to do great this week, and you’re going to survive. I’m going to forgive you 70x7 for not folding your laundry or picking up your shoes and generally being grumpy and nearly unbearable to live with. I’ve cleared my emotional and mental calendar to be here for all the abuse you hurl my way, because I’m nothing if I cannot be the mom that absorbs your stress and angst, right?

Thursday, June 6 will be here in a flash, and it’ll be gone even faster. You’ll toss your backpacks on the floor (why do we have hooks again?) and run out the door with your friends.  Yipppeeee! Just come home in one piece, K?

And lastly, my summer message:

Eat all my food. Get all the bug bites. Leave your bikes at your friends’ houses, but wear your helmets. Skinny dip. Jump off things into the water (just make sure it’s deep enough). Raise just the right amount of hell. Borrow my car, but put some gas in it sometimes. Invite your friends over way more often than you should, and tell them to eat all my food, too. Forget to wear sunscreen sometimes, it’s ok. We have aloe and stuff. SLEEP IN, it’s really the best thing ever. Make food at 2:00 a.m., I’ll talk Karl off the ledge. Play some video games and abuse the screen time rules. Everyone else does. I’ve heard of moms that assign math worksheets over the summer. I don’t want to be friends with them.

I like when you’re home for the summer, and now I’m working from home so I’ll see you a lot more. I never understood the moms who dreaded kids home for summer. Kids are everything. I stayed home with you all for 18 years, taught you myself for 13 of those. I like you. I like you in summer. I like you all the time, actually.

I’m really lucky to be your mom.

Jill Holter