The Rules of Summer — One Moore Thing

lucy and sophia poolDearest Children,

Hello loves of my life, anchors of my world, angels among us. I love you and I am so proud of you. Can you even believe that summer is here again? Can you even believe that there were ZERO snow days this year so therefore you are getting out a week earlier than any of us planned for? I know I can’t. At all. I don’t know what I would even do with a bonus week with you all in school. No idea. I mean maybe one or two ideas.

But this is going to be a great summer. And how about the fact that you all don’t even go back for the first time ever, until after Labor Day?! THIS WILL BE THE LONGEST SUMMER WE HAVE EVER HAD. EVER. I can’t even believe it. Really. I can’t. It is going to be great. Absolutely. Great.
But here’s the thing: there needs to be a few ground rules so we (okay me) keep our sanity. You are older now, and I know that you can do this. If you follow these rules, I promise you that we will have an amazing summer. That’s it. Just a few small rules for peace, sanity and joy.

The Rules of Summer:

  1. Chores Before Technology. If you ever want to see your precious iPods again, make sure your room is clean and your daily chores are checked off. Get them done, son(s). And daughters, you too. I’m checking the closets too. I was a kid once. I’m onto you. The difference is we only had three channels and one Commodore 64. I know you don’t know what that is — Google it (something else we lived without, and I don’t really even know how).

  2. Be Kind. You fight, you lose that technology. Work it out. On your own. Kids getting along = happy momma = trips to get ice cream. See, math is useful.

  3. Be Grateful. If you don’t say thank you for the soft serve, you will no longer receive the soft serve. And believe it or not, vacations are not free. So fun? Yes. Cost saving? No. Manners are free and unfortunately vastly underused. Please dear cherubs, be appreciative.

  4. Wet Towels Do Not Go on the Floor. On what planet would this seem like a good idea? Your floor is not the place for a mold inducing science project. You have two options here. One: hang up the towel (there are hooks everywhere now because of last summer’s constant wetness). Two: wash it. Oh, you don’t know how? Don’t worry, you are going to take a summer camp week after week called laundry, cooking, gardening, giving back, etiquette and being a good human 101. And I’m your teacher. Welcome to class, kids.

  5. Clean Up After Yourself. Read it again. And again. You make a mess or pull something out or make a snack or leave your dirty socks in the hallway? Clean it up. Read it again.

  6. Close the Door. I love you so much. I really do. But if I have to tell you to close the outside door every five seconds this summer, the next time you have ice cream will be when you graduate high school. I do not desire 117 bugs to go into our house or to watch the dollars that are dedicated to cooling it, fly out of that open door. You are so amazing and self-sufficient but this makes me question your future survival in the world if you cannot remember to do this one simple task. Xoxo.

  7. Take Your Slime Making and Your Fidget Spinning and Your Water Bottle Flipping OUTSIDE. I’m going to bust a blood vessel in my right eyeball if I open the refrigerator door one more time and find my palm stuck to neon green slime. That funky gel is only to be made outside and played with outside and cleaned up outside. If it’s raining, you can wait for the sun to come another day. It will, I promise. But my eyeballs and the blood that runs to them, need to stay intact. And the sound of the fidgeting and the constant flip of the water bottles. I just can’t. Eyeballs twitching. I love you. Go flipping outside, out of ear shot please. And close the door.

  8. micah in the poolIf You Are Old Enough to Need/Want/Desire to Wear Swim Goggles, You are Old Enough to Adjust Them Yourself. I believe in you. I do. You do not need me to do this for you. Please be a problem solver. And back when I was a kid, you swam without goggles in all of the chlorine until the whites of your eyes turned the color of heirloom tomatoes. Just kidding. THERE WERE NO HEIRLOOM TOMATOES. There were just plain normal tomatoes. Not that we had those. Our eyes turned the same color as generic pasta sauce in a can, okay? That was the shade of red we knew. And you didn’t complain about it. You stayed in that chlorine until your skin was purple and you were almost blind in one eye because you didn’t know when you would get the opportunity to swim in a pool again. You are so lucky. You don’t even know.

  9. Do Not Even One Time Say That You are Bored. Not one time. You all know that this word is banned in our house. To me it is worse than any swear word. How can you even possibly be bored? You have a pool, a yard, friends, each other, a computer, a boatload of books and games and I’ve stepped on twelve of your Legos just this morning (please read No. 5 again). We are literally walking through your toys to get to the outside world. It is not my job to entertain you. It is not. I would be doing you a gigantic disservice if it was. You see, kids that grow up quick to be bored and quick to instantly have the need for someone else to entertain them, can grow up to be adults who need the same thing. And being bored is not an attractive quality to bring to this life. You are more than that. This is a beautiful land we live in and what a glorious thing to have a free summer afternoon to explore. Embrace it. Create. Invent. Paint. Write. Read. Play. Dream. Cleaning is of course welcome too. This is the secret to happiness — find the magic in the mundane and you will never be bored. Keep seeking magic. Keep feeding your mind. You will never ever regret that.

  10. Have Fun. Childhood is fleeting. Summer flies too fast. Let’s enjoy it while it is here, loves.

Here’s to summer.
It really will be a great one.

To read more blogs by Katie Moore click here.

MooreFam SKatie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled "Dream a Bigger Dream" and the children's books "You Are a Warrior" and "We are Family" and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.

© 2018 Chesapeake Family Life. All Rights Reserved.