Tag Archives: June

Juneuary

Seems like only yesterday that my brood was finishing up grade school, poised to devour the summer months…

I love this time of the school year, as we straddle the delectable months of May and June—quite literally on the cusp of summer. Translation: The celebrated death of structure is nigh and I can almost taste the deliverance from order and obligation—especially as it relates to parenting a pair of wily fifth graders. Far and away, it’s my favorite wedge of weeks on the academic calendar; although September’s nice, too, with its bustling fleets of bright, yellow school buses, towers of textbooks and freshly sharpened pencils. Trendy backpacks and lunchboxes abound, too. Everything, it seems, is awash with newness come September, just as it was so very long ago when I headed back to grade school with the swarming masses (and a newfangled Scooby-Doo thermos).

But the present chunk of time is downright edible—a delicious string of days that meld together like the final pages of a good book. Needless to say, the sundrenched afternoons and scrumptious evenings filled with Frisbees and the ever-present thrum of crickets woo me into thinking that nothing on earth could possibly be better—except maybe a moratorium on homework, which is pretty much what we’ve been granted of late. That said, there is no substitute for this season’s splendor—and the fireflies we are eager to chase at dusk. Nor is there any match for the grand finale my kids revere more than life itself (i.e. the culmination of school, with its patented swirl of delirium-inducing celebrations and jammed-to-capacity schedule of events). Indeed, it is a frenzied cluster of weeks that threatens to claim my sanity, but it passes all too quickly and I find myself pining for more.

If I had my druthers, another 30-day chunk of time would be sandwiched between the fifth and sixth months, infusing the school calendar with that which is righteous and good (namely, science projects that don’t necessitate the summoning of a marriage counselor, sports schedules that are very nearly practicable and weather forecasts that typically include blue skies and balmy temperatures). Juneuary, I’d call it. Of course, it would contain a perfectly frivolous holiday during which people would pause for three consecutive days to pay homage to squirt guns. Or toads. Possibly both. You’re welcome, said the maniacal visionary and curator of whimsy.

Alas, there is no Juneuary, and a mere handful of days remain in my children’s school calendar—a woeful reality that is, of course, punctuated by the fact that this week will officially end their grade school years. That said, my brood is poised to enter middle school in the fall—where the likelihood of being trampled by a herd of 8th graders is nearly equivalent to that of being stuffed inside a locker (incidentally, a locker that no one will figure out how to reliably lock and unlock without divine intervention and/or the acquisition of at least one superpower).

Never mind the inevitability that I will fail to locate their classrooms on Back to School Night, at which time I will surely forego the opportunity to meet their new teachers because I’ll be too busy wandering aimlessly through the labyrinth of hallways that appear disturbingly similar. Make that COMPLETELY INDISTINGUISHABLE, except for the smallish numbers printed near the doors that I may or may not fully discern, given the addled state I expect to be in at that time.

Maybe I should just stow my kids somewhere in the bowels of the elementary school for the summer, so they might stay a bit longer, tethered to the people and things they know best. A place where an embarrassment of items were lost and subsequently found (read: library books, lunch money, a certain someone’s clarinet, eleventy-seven sweatshirts, a beloved Pokémon card and an errantly placed baby tooth). A place where scrapes were tended to, psyches were nurtured and curiosities were fed since the early days of kindergarten. A soft spot to land these past six years—a refuge that has made all the difference this June.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (searching desperately for the pause button). Visit me there at www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom.

Copyright 2012 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under Gratitude, Growing Pains, Love and Other Drugs, School Schmool

June is Calling

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

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Filed under Daily Chaos, Rantings & Ravings, School Schmool