"I Could Win a Parenting Award!" (said no parent ever during the month of August)

If there was a month during which I would be least likely to receive a parenting award (if such an award even existed), it would August.

August is a beast.

I struggle to sludge through its hot and humid days.  I feel the looming weight of the semester ahead, yet I can't fully immerse myself in the preparatory work I ought to be doing because the kids, who feel the looming weight of the school year ahead (subconsciously, at least), are uncannily constant in their needs and intensified in their outbursts.

I've grown weary with applying sunscreen.  Popsicles no longer thrill me.  I'm mentally over the zucchini plants that keep producing like it's their job.  (Which, come to think of it, is their job.)  My emotional and physical reserves useful for outings -- to the pool, to the playground, to an amusement park -- have been depleted.  For three months I've uttered the sentence, "Close the door behind you," Every. Single. Time. my kids have entered or exited the house.  I have no desire to cook, anything, ever again. 

I daresay, I'm ready for fall.

When fall arrives, it brings with it the structure that we lack during these summer months -- structure that hedges us in (sometimes uncomfortably so), but provides boundaries nonetheless.

At this moment as I write, my children play outside with two of their neighborhood friends on our Slip and Slide.  They're soaked and covered with grass.  Based on the bubbles, I know they've snagged my dish soap to make the slide faster.  The entire scene makes me smile, but in a tired way.  I sense the clean-up ahead.  The grass in the bath tub, the dirty towels dropped on the bathroom floor.

This scene won't be happening in another month.  These seemingly endless, repetitive days actually will come to an end, so for now -- during this month of August -- we simply hold on and live them.

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