The Mom of No: Summer fun


The Mom of No

The school year is winding down, and the Son of Never Stops Eating is eagerly looking forward to the first day of summer. A few days ago, we had the following conversation:

Son: Mom, are you ready for school to be over?
Me: Well, school was over for me about 25 years ago.
Son: Everyone is ready for school to be out. No one likes school.
Me: So what are you going to do this summer?
Son: Sleep, eat and go swimming. And play Minecraft.

I suspect that within about two hours of being freed from the onerous burdens of the formal educational process, he will begin uttering that summertime phrase dreaded by all parents: “I’m bored.”

In preparation for that, as a preemptive strike, I have prepared a list of suggested activities for the offspring to engage in this summer. Feel free to borrow shamelessly if you see anything you like.

Dear offspring,
Here is your summer 2017 “No Boredom” list of things to do. If you are tempted to utter the phrase “I’m bored! There is nothing to do!”, review this list and select an activity that appeals to you. Otherwise an activity may be chosen for you. It will probably involve cleaning something.

Speaking of cleaning, show your own room some attention. Your room can never be too clean. Besides, who knows what you will find in there? Forgotten treasures? Overdue library books? Maybe even some money? You won’t know unless you look!
You could even go through your clothes and sort out what you still like from what needs to go away in preparation for back-to-school shopping.

Go to the library. The library is filled with great books, and they are all available for the low price of free. As a bonus, the library is very well air-conditioned. You can cool off and read great works of literature at the same time.

Invite some friends over for a Monopoly tournament (or Scrabble, or Clue, or dust off those old chess skills I paid big bucks for you to learn way back in elementary school).
You can never, ever, have too much clarinet practice.

Bake your mother something delicious, like some brownies or chocolate cake. Offer to cook dinner and clean the kitchen afterwards. Summer is a great time to improve those cooking skills. One of these days, you’ll be in your own place. When that happens, you will be free from stupid parental rules but you will also have to cook your own meals. Eventually, you will get tired of cheese sandwiches.

Don’t you have some college applications to work on? I thought so. Also, remember the magic phrase that makes your parents’ hearts sing with joy: scholarship money.

Go outside. Yes, I know it’s hot. What do you think people did back in the olden days when they had no air conditioning or television or iPads? They went outside.

Somewhere in the garage there’s a Frisbee; you could play Frisbee at the park. Take the dog for a walk. Make sure the concrete’s not too hot for her paws.

Start a lemonade stand. You could even donate some of the profits to a good cause.
Find out what is at the dollar movie theater and call up a friend to go see a movie — okay, text a friend. Yes, I know, no one actually calls anyone anymore.

Or hang out at the house and have a 1980’s movie marathon; you can laugh at the 1980’s technology.

Call your grandfather.

Clean out your school backpack. I know there is probably paperwork in there from October. Chances are good you probably don’t need it at this point.

Enjoy your summer. Before you know it, you’ll be a real adult, and then summer break will become a distant memory as you toil away at work — until you have your own kids, who will also likely be bored during summer vacation. And don’t forget that clarinet practice.

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