The end of the school year new jersey familyWell it’s finally here. The end of the school year. While my children are rejoicing, I can’t seem to get that REM song out of my head, “It’s the end of the world as we know it.” Don’t get me wrong, I love having my kids home all summer, but the last day of school is always a huge adjustment.

My boys hop off the bus, race into the house, and hurl their bookbags across the room. Jacked-up on cupcakes, cookies, and Kool-Aid from their end-of-year parties, they are noticeably vibrating, intoxicated by the freedom that now lays before them. Then the grilling begins.

Mom, what are we gonna do today? Let’s do something fun! What are we going to do? Mom. What are we doing? It’s Summer, Mom. Mom. Mooooommm.

They were somehow led to believe that four seconds into summer break, I was going to have a spectacular experience planned for them—like a trip to Disney or bungee-jumping off a bridge. To their astonishment, my plans are far less exciting. “We can go out for ice cream!” I say. Based on their expressions, my idea clearly isn’t the amusement park they had hoped for.

While they absorb the buzz-kill, I begin to empty out their backpacks. Inside I find 98,000,000 papers, crafts, and the strangest collection of random objects I have ever seen: rocks, deformed paperclips, broken pencils, purple string, lint-covered candy, a rubber dinosaur, melted wax…So I weed out the keepers and forcefully cram the rest of the junk into the recycle bin. Now I’m left with two sticky, battered backpacks. One has a broken zipper with all the pockets blown out, and the other is mangled beyond recognition. Buh-bye.

After dinner and ice-cream sundaes, it’s time for bed. Welcome to round two.

Why do we have to go to bed nowwwww? We don’t have school tomorrow and the sun is still out. C’mon, mom. Seriously? This stinks! Can we do something fun tomorrow? Let’s go on vacation. Can we go to Atlantis?

I saw this commercial on Nickelodeon and it looks really cool! I want to swim with dolphins. And fly on an airplane. And go down a 2-mile water slide. Kids eat free! Can we go? All my friends are going. If I don’t get to fly on an airplane and swim with dolphins, I’ll just die!

Exhausted, I do my best to assure my kids that we will have an awesome summer. We’ll swim, bike, and, yes, even go on vacation. Somewhere. But not tomorrow. (Curse you overly advertised, super-cool vacation places!) Gently, I try to remind them that no one has ever expired from not having the vacation they wanted, and not EVERY child in their class will be cavorting with Flipper in the Bahamas. Of course they tell me I’m wrong and clutch their chests, dramatically falling to the floor twitching, their tongues sticking out as far as possible, just in case I didn’t “get” that they were fake-dying. So I grab my chest and join them.

Lying on the floor, it occurs to me that this last day of school isn’t so bad. As quickly as the garbage men will carry away the 14 tons of recycling on the curb, we will adjust to our new summer schedule. And, if I remember correctly, that REM song ends with, “And I feel fine.”


Jane Suter is one funny mom. Check out more of her blogs here:

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