June is calling. I know this much is true. Not because the calendar tells me so or because the sun lingers deliciously at the close of each day, but because I’ve been formally reinstated as the resident Flip-flop Finder (i.e. the fool who routinely scours the earth at dusk, rescuing forsaken footwear from an untimely demise). More specifically, I traipse around in the dark and dewy grass with flashlight-in-hand, grousing about someone’s less than responsible behavior—searching interminably for evidence of my children’s beloved shoe-like entities that in all likelihood will be consumed by the mean and horrible lawn mower should I fail to deliver in a timely manner.
Needless to say, there is a great deal of pressure in this job.
For the record, I have also been restored to my thankless post as Returner-of-Sand-to-the-Sandbox as well as Ball Retriever Extraordinaire, Gatherer of Guns, Steward of Swords, Harvester of Wayward Bicycles, Birdies and Bats, Hula Hoop Picker-Upper, Band-aid Putter-On-er, Sunscreen Slatherer, Ant “Stompler,” Bee Chaser and let us not forget the illustrious One Who Fetches Things (read: the idiot who willingly and expeditiously delivers those gotta-have-it-or-we’ll-surely-die items—like magnifying glasses, dirt digging spoons and Zip-loc baggies teeming with Cheerios). Thankfully however, my services as Squirt Gun Refiller are no longer required as I’ve since been promoted to Bathroom Floor Sopper-Upper.
Indeed, June is calling. The end-of-school-year countdown has officially begun—a reality with which one of my second grade progenies is exceedingly delighted, while her slightly miserable sidekick wallows in grief over the impending death of all-things-schoolish. Woe is me. That said, in the months to come I will assuredly be charged with an impossibly challenging task: making each and every day of the summer vacation abundantly exciting while at the same time painting next fall’s return to academia as something akin to unadulterated bliss. Ugh.
Yea, the sixth month of the year is surely nigh as evidenced by my children’s incessant and oh-so-theatrical pleas for a trip (or ten!) to Knoebels Amusement Park—an attraction I love and loathe with equal intensity. The heat, the din, the swarming masses and schmutzy ice cream! Oy! And yet, there is something curiously alluring about the wretched place. Disturbingly so, methinks.
“I wanna go on the roller coaster and the Flume and the Sklooosh, too, Mom—because the Sklooosh is splashier!” Case in point: My charges have begun to make up words to describe said mecca of amusement—which can’t be a good thing. What’s more, they’ve resorted to employing guilt tactics—which is SOnot nice.
“Yeah, Mom, So-and-So already went to Knoebels! Why can’t we go? It’s almost June, you know—I’m so bored I could just die.”
Without a doubt, I will cave. Soon I’ll be marking our calendar with a scheduled day of bedlam—filling up an entire square (or several) with the word KNOEBELS in big, fat letters and a crude rendering of roller coasters and whatnot. It is almost June after all. Time to drag my sorry self to that celebrated park and feast on fun, adventure and the possibility of heatstroke. Oh well, it beats January—that intolerable collection of 31 days during which I longed for even the suggestion of warmth.
Ah yes, June certainly is whispering in my ear these days, not simply because we’re on the cusp of a new season poised to transition (ready or not) into summer, but because we, personally, are about to embark upon a new chapter in life. My husband will retire come June. After great deliberation, reflecting upon his 35 years in Pennsylvania’s public school system where he served in a variety of capacities from educator to administrator, athletic director to advisor, mentor to coach, he is ready to embrace what the next phase of his career may hold. His biggest lament, however, is leaving behind a community of students who trust, believe and so desperately need the support of a principal they have come to know.
But June is calling. And we must listen.
Planet Mom: It’s where I live (looking for flip-flops among other things).
Copyright 2009 Melinda L. Wentzel