Tomorrow is the last day of school for both my daughter and my husband. It’s mostly a joyous time of the year for all of us. Mostly. So many things are going to be changing that I see a storm building on the horizon. Kids and change are like cats and baths: They get through it, but not without hissing and scratching.

Here’s what’s next for this family.

First grade is over. So over. First grade was “real” elementary school in my opinion. Zoey left the safety zone of her warm and fuzzy kindergarten teacher and moved on to a…different teacher. I am so proud of how much my girl has grown this year. Not just physically (holy cow! 4 inches taller!) but academically too. She’s a super reader. After a year of fighting about reading at home, she’s finally turned the corner and is picking up books to read all on her own! The toughest part about first grade was the math. I’m seriously frightened for second grade math.

Say goodbye to Daisies, hello Brownies! Tonight, Zoey “bridges” to Brownies for Girl Scouts. I am so lucky that I get to be a co-leader for her troop. As part of the year-end ceremony, each family was asked to write a note to their girl letting her know what Girl Scouting accomplishment they’re most proud of her for. If I can get through mine without crying, I’m going to tell her that I’ve loved watching her be a good friend to her “sisters.” She has also shown courage in trying new things over the last two years. I am looking forward to sharing more scouting adventures with her while she thinks I’m still the “cool mom.”

Ready for summer!  Photo: K. Stevenson

Ready for summer!
Photo: K. Stevenson

Summer camp. Ugh summer camp is the bane of existence for many working parents during the summer. School’s out but my schedule doesn’t change one iota, so I have to find a summer camp with extended hours. Zoey’s experience with camp last year was less than stellar. I thought she would love the traditional camp I signed her up for. It was on a lake for swimming and boating. It had all kinds of arts and crafts, fun and games. Weekly themes even! Yeah, she hated it. This year, she’s going to a camp at our town pool. I also made sure that a friend of hers is signed up for the same weeks. There’s still the hurdles of swimming (she can’t do it) and new counselors (she’s super introverted) but maybe a buddy will make the difference. Fingers crossed (cross ‘em with me) for a short transition period. Nobody wants to see a 7-year old clinging to her mom at drop off.

House guests. We’re getting a couple of roommates for a few weeks and I am beyond excited! Over the top, you might say. Everyone else in my family is looking forward to it too, but none with my enthusiasm. We’re all used to having just the three of us in our space. Adding two more people will be an adventure (for the “glass-is-half-full” girl at least!) I’ve been busting ass getting the spare room ready and making our house more “5-people” friendly (Where is everyone going to sit?). My vacuum is getting a workout. Zoey is looking forward to having someone else to play with, but I think she’s a little apprehensive about her stuff being used by another kid. Only child is in for a rude awakening. Oh well, she keeps asking for a sibling.

Renovations. We’ve been putting off fixing up the fixer-upper until we had “more time.” Projects that were half done now have to be completed. Who needs a kitchen when you have house guests? That dumpster that’s been sitting in my driveway for 2 months? It’s time to finally fill it. When my husband asked me to send him a list of things he could chuck one day while I was still at work, I sent this:

1. Basement.

I think that covers it.

Summer vacation. Even though I’m working for most of the summer with the exception of one week, plus days here and there, I want to spend as much time with my daughter and family making fun summer memories. So I had Zoey create a summer bucket list. It was really funny to see what she wanted to do this summer. She wants to eat a lot of ice cream and look for Big Foot. I still haven’t planned an actual vacation. We still have time, right?

Creating the bucket list. Photo: K. Stevenson

Creating the bucket list.
Photo: K. Stevenson

For me, a little change can be a good thing. I like it when life shakes up a little bit. I hope your transitions are smooth and your hair isn’t too frizzy from the humidity. Whatever your summer looks like, be it lazy days or the same old running around you always do, take the time to catch some fireflies and smell the sunscreen. As soon as we get used to the changes, it will be time for back-to-school. Rinse and repeat.

Here's hopin'!

Here’s hopin’!