June 18, 1986
Granted my life may not be as ordered as most but there are certain things we learn to count on and for me it is the routine of the school day. Each day as my two boys leave the house at 7 am I know it is time to ready to go to work. When the phone rings at 2:50 we know in two hours we will be locking the door for another day. What is left of the afternoon and evening is usually filled with school activities and occasionally some homework.
But summer has come and what routine I had has been destroyed. The phone call now comes in late morning announcing my teenagers have opened their eyes and decided to face what is left of another day. Our discussions usually center on what there is to eat in the house. For nine months they have gone off to school each day willing to eat the cafeteria food. Whether they like it or not they voiced no word of protest. Now there is nothing in our house fit to eat. The leftover roast beef, the freezer filled with hamburgers, fish patties, hot dogs, etc? Nothing seems to satisfy their cravings.
If and when we surmount the food problems we are left with how to fill the rest of the day. Again none of my suggestions seem to spark their interest. Their rooms will remain cluttered, the grass unmowed and the dishes stacked in the sink. There is also a form of Murphy’s law which is in evidence. Friends they wish to visit are only home on days I can not leave the office to play chauffeur. It rains on the days when they want to go swimming and on days when I feel the lawn needs mowed. It’s unbearably hot on the days I can’t take them swimming and on days I feel the lawn needs mowed.
As every working mother knows there is that fateful day when the kids decided they are too old for a babysitter and you think they are too young to be on their own. The age varies with the number of children at the house. The more kids, the less time you can trust them alone. One young teen can probably manage rather well. Give him a younger sibling to watch and you have the beginnings of a dictatorship, add another and you may have a revolution on your hands.
If you are blessed you will have two kinds of children. Early risers and night owls. The latter will stay up watching late night TV while his sister or brother sleeps. In the morning the roles will change and with any luck at all the two will meet only briefly in mid afternoon. If there is one thing I am sure of – it is that every working mom can tell you the date of the first day of the new school year!