summer, summer, summer, it turns me upside down

Summer, summer, summer, its like a merry go round. This post’s title is the first phrase of a song I remember from HS. This summer is bound to turn me upside down for many reasons.

I will start out on a positive note. E just completed 8th grade. Though the first six years of his life consisted of multiple changes in caregivers and schools, I am proud to say that E successfully completed his 9th year in the same school.  We were fortunate enough to have a public K-8 school in our neighborhood with a phenomenal group of special ed teachers and a great social worker.

That being said 10 weeks of unstructured days have just begun. The kid who only wants to BMX bike and watch biking videos has no plan for the summer. A one week family vacation and a week at CYC camp will break up June and July quite nicely, but the rest of the time I can expect to come home to chaos.

To complicate matters, I will be starting a new job on July 2nd. My close proximity to home and the ability to flex my schedule to run home at a moment’s notice will be a thing of the past. There is an upside to this story and that is the fact that my sister who leaves nearby took the summer off to be with her own kids. An adoptive parent herself, she is my emergency backup plan.

She came to my rescue last summer after E got a ring stuck on his finger and called me crying about it. I was 30 minutes away in Minnetonka so my sister drove to my house to assess the situation (love having a nurse in the family) and ultimately drove him to the ER where they proceeded to spend 25 minutes cutting the ring off of his blue, swollen finger.

A byproduct for me of parenting a special needs child is that I find myself wishing away the summer months. Even when E was young enough for summer day camp programs, I couldn’t wait for the summer to be over. Too many phone calls and reports of bad behavior interrupted my work day.

Summers full of unstructured time has not been good for my non disabled children either.  P fell off of a roof and sustained cuts that went the length of his back, buttocks and legs, the result of hitting a gas grill on his way down.  M landed a jump wrong on his bike and  was seen at the doctor’s office to rule out a broken jaw. Summers are no picnic. They bring a level of stress into my workday that is not present when school is in session. And so today begins the countdown to Tuesday September 4th.  The first of August, I start to wait for the first Target ad featuring school supplies. I begin singing that famous Christmas song “Its the most wonderful time of the year.” My kids give me dirty looks when I sing.

This coming fall, all three of my children will be in the same school for the first time in 9 years. I will go from tracking 3 school calendars down to one. This is a good thing!! I’ve save the details for another blog post.

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