Summer, like pregnancy, goes on for three weeks longer than is tolerable.
One of the reasons we left Texas and Tennessee is that in both states, summers were brutal. Texas summers started in April and went until October. Temps hovered around the century mark; for months, the skies would fail to yield even a single cloud.
Tennessee summers were shorter but 9,000 times more humid. You could almost feel yourself starting to mildew.
Both of my kids were born during the summer. The Diva made her entrance in late June. The Boy was evicted in late July. I distinctly remember the unpleasantness of being eight months' pregnant in Tennessee. I'd come home from work, strip off all of my clothes, blast the AC as cool as it would go and lie under the ceiling fan until I could control the murderous rage that the heat had sent me into. Good times.
I do like certain parts of the summer, mind. Those first few days above 80 degrees are pretty sweet. You can stretch out on a rock outside and finally banish the long winter's chill from your bones, like a lizard might.
I'm also fond of the first few weeks that the kids are out of school. Possibilities seem endless, then. There are vacations yet to take. Movies yet to see. General lazing around yet to laze. Late June is all about potential.
Late August is all about anticipatory listlessness. We're all done with summer and killing time before school starts again. My husband and I go back to teaching almost two weeks before the kids go back to school, so we always spend this part of the year furiously juggling professional and personal obligations. This works about as well as you'd expect it to and makes the end of August exceptionally irritating.
Then there's the weather, which is one topic that makes you seem ancient if you complain about it. I'll run that risk, though, since my students are convinced I'm older than dirt anyway, especially when I tell them tales of the dark ages before the Internet and cell phones. I can almost hear them cry when they imagine it.
Even before we moved to the South, I hated being overly hot. As a kid in Pittsburgh, where summers are as mild as Oneonta's, I would find a patch of shade to spend August in, like one of those spiders who only stick a leg out when food is nearby.
To this day, I'd much rather be half-frozen than half-baked. Um, no pun intended. When you are cold, you can toss another layer on. When you are too warm, you quickly run out of things to take off, especially if you intend to leave your house.
I'm an adult and can deal with my dislike for the first two months of the season. It's August that throws me over the edge. Not only is it hot, but the Diva is bored. She claims that there is nothing fun left to do. The only enjoyment she has is complaining about how dull everything and everyone is.
She's not wrong. I've run out of good ideas for filling summer days and lack the energy to foster creative boredom because I am too warm to think. I'd like to crawl into my shady spot, frankly, and emerge after our first frost.
I can't, of course. Because this is the time when we have to get ready for school and make supply and clothes runs on what feels like an hourly basis. I swear that all of the sun is making the kids grow faster. How can a skirt be long enough in the morning but pop-star short by bedtime?
My saving grace for the last three summers is that I've only had one kid to sweat with. Because I am the meanest parent ever, the Boy has spent the last few summers in day care. That's all about to change.
This fall, he'll start kindergarten, which means he'll be booted out of day care just as his parents are going back to work. We'll be juggling two bored and ansty kids this August rather than one.
Still, he's ready for "real" school and seems excited to start. The better question is whether "real" school is ready for him.
As one of his preschool teachers put it, "He wants to be the class clown but hasn't figured out what's funny yet." Which means that he has to keep trying different approaches _ including extra sass and plastic fork-related violence _ to suss out what makes people laugh.
George Carlin got his start in pre-school, right?
In addition to all of the other milestones that going to kindergarten entails, what this means is that the weeks running up to school's start will be filled with twice the boredom, twice the supply runs and twice the clothes shopping trips. There are certainly worse problems to have but, still, is it fall yet?
Adrienne Martini is a freelance writer, instructor at the State University College at Oneonta, mom to Maddy and Cory, wife to Scott, and author of "Sweater Quest," which was published in March. Her columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/ parentingimperfect.
Summer, like pregnancy, goes on for three weeks longer than is tolerable.
Why did you serve?
Numerous local residents have spent time in service to our country in the military. Some joined out of a duty to our county, others were pressed into service through the draft, still others wanted to take advantage of the G.I. Bill. In honor of their service and Armed Forces Day on Saturday, we asked our readers why they served and what they took away from their service.Continued ...
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- Why did you serve?
- Around The Arts
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Arts encompasses so much more than visual, performing, musical things
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School may be out, but there's lots to do to keep kids busy
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- Local programs help children's creativity grow
- Music Beat
Music Industry Tips About Professional Musicians
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Practice really does make perfect for professionals
Shortly after I was hired at the age of 25 to work in the Music Department at State University College at Oneonta, I played a concert for members of this community. At the end of the concert, a young audience member said to me, â€œHow many years have you been playing the cello and do you still have to practice?â€�Continued ...
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If we are to be defined all our lives by our high school mascots, then I suppose I am a Viking. But I'm also a Panther, having transferred schools after my freshman year.Continued ...
From SUNY Oneonta to CBS Sports
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- 12 Music Industry Tips from Joseph Miller
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- Parenting Imperfect
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A tactical error in the handoff
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A potentially quiet afternoon interrupted by a dog and a balloon
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The dog is a getting to be an expert at training
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Bad things can happen when trends are no longer trendy
When I was a kid, it used to drive me bonkers that my mom didn't know anything about the most important things in my world. She had no idea what a friendship pin was or how you'd make one. She couldn't name any good band, i.e., the ones a pre-teen would listen to like Duran Duran or Wham. And she didn't find Robert Downey Jr. nearly as dreamy as I did.Continued ...
- I'm relieved it's not just me
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Looking Back: Take your time, think ahead before making decisions
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As Time Goes By: Getting sick in the southern sun
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- Looking Back: A sad ending for adorable, sweet Taffy-toes
- Tech, GP
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Businesses need backups for their computer people, systems
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Visit a construction site and you'll probably find an iPad
It was just about two years ago now, that the iPad came out, and I wrote a column about it. At that time, I went out on a limb and said that thought it was a product which would fill certain niches very well, but that it wasn't very likely to fill in for what is normally considered a computer.Continued ...
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Luhrmann brings Gatsby new life
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Over spring break, my family and I spent time in Newport, R.I. While we were there, we walked a path known as the Cliff Walk. This walk is nestled between some Newport mansions and some cliffs overlooking the ocean. While we were walking, my sister and I noticed how this path was a perfect metaphor for life and the journey it is.Continued ...
- On the Go: Patriotism doesn't mean keeping status quo