I work in a school, so my schedule changes in time with the school year schedule. I work a regular schedule while my kids are in school, and in the summer I work several part-time jobs while juggling the kids’ summer activities. Here are my Top Ten Things I Love and Hate About Summer:

  1. I don’t have to be presentable and coherent by 7am. Dear god, I love that so much.
  2. Flip flops. Comfortable, casual, easy, and they make that fwappy sound when you walk. That’s a quintessential summer sound in my book.
  3. Letting the kids stay up late. We’ll catch an evening movie, visit with friends, or they’ll just stay up late reading and it’s ok. They can sleep in the next morning and I don’t get hit with kid crankies.
  4. I get to stay up late, too! Welcome back, social life. I missed you.
  5. Gardening. And time to garden. Dirt under my nails? Eh. No big deal.
  6. Summer festivals. Art, music, and food are my Happy Place, and summer is the perfect time to find celebrations of all three.
  7. Projects. This is when I get stuff done. This year I built a new chicken coop and laid in three new garden beds. Last year the kids and I made a summer project out of incubating and hatching baby chicks and raising them. Next year I’m thinking tree house.
  8. No gym clothes to wash. We’re hitting tween years here, folks. There’s no deodorant strong enough for that. My nose appreciates the break.
  9. Night sounds. Summer is cicadas and tree frogs and sleepy birds riding the night air with their songs.
  10. No homework. Homework takes a chunk of time out of our family time, and I’d be more than happy to ditch the whole idea of homework.

On the other hand….

  1. I have to make my own coffee. Small potatoes, I know. But I kinda totally love the coffee pot that waits for me at work every morning during the school year. I don’t have to think before caffeinating. It’s my moment of ease before jumping into my day.
  2. Juggling. My summer calendar is a jumble of colored entries. Google does the best it can, but between part-time jobs with wildly varying schedules and any summer activities the kids signed up for, plus figuring out child care, it’s an adrenaline rush every week just to make everything line up correctly.
  3. Income. I don’t make as much during the summer as I do during the school year, nor are my paychecks as steady. It’s another layer of juggling.
  4. Humidity. Ticks. And mosquitos. What was Mother Nature thinking?! I think it went something along the lines of, “Hold my beer. This will be funny.”
  5. Beach laundry. Is it really necessary that I wash every towel in the house three times a week?
  6. Speaking of beaches, is the whole shaving thing really necessary? The great thing about work clothes is that they cover everything I don’t want to bother shaving. Bathing suits…not so much.
  7. Back to school shopping. It takes the wind right out of my “hey, it’s summer!” elation. Seeing those ads start by the beginning of July? Bah humbug.
  8. Humidity. Did I mention the humidity? And bugs.
  9. The smell of wet dog. Summer means lots of swimming time, and that means wet dog. I tried a cherry scented puppy shampoo last year. Yeah, there’s no way to make wet dog smell good, even with fruit scents. In fact, that made it markedly worse. Learn from my mistakes, folks!
  10. Not having the same schedule as my kids. Working in the same school district as my kids is a real gift when it comes to not needing to arrange child care coverage. Summer reminds me how good I have it during the school year.

Do I still love summer? Yeah, I do. Will I be happy to go back to school in the fall? I will. I suppose that’s a win-win. What are your Top Loves and Hates About Summer, dear readers?

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