I love my kids’ teachers. I really do. They work so hard and they care so much and they’ve been nothing but amazing this entire school year.
So I’m not blaming them for the onslaught of time-intensive end of the year activities that always take place in June. I’m really not.
I’m sure it’s just written somewhere in the teachers’ handbook that they should always try to backload the school year with a multitude of plays, expos, special days and activities that all seem to require period costumes and potluck side dishes that feed twenty-five.
The thing is, by mid-May, my capacity to make any additional efforts beyond the standard make-lunch, check-homework-folder, send-in-permission slips has entirely evaporated. And by the beginning of June, even that is way, way, too much to handle.
I haven’t seen my kids’ homework folders in weeks. The school could be sending them both to juvey and I wouldn’t know the first thing about it. And lunch? For two weeks straight it’s been pasta with butter and a few pieces of cut up fruit. Yesterday, I mixed up the containers and gave my son two pastas and my daughter two fruits.
On Monday, my son went to the beach for a community service project, and I forgot to pack him a water bottle. He came home at the end of the day parched and wilting, like he’d been wandering in the desert for forty days with Moses. I’m just done. It’s Juuuuune, Things should be winding down. So why does it feel like they’re just getting started?
Last week, my son had Pioneer Day. The note that came home said that he needed to dress like a pioneer, i.e, flannel shirt, cowboy boots, cowboy hat, etc. If this had been earlier in the year, say, October, I probably would have made some sort of an effort to put together a relatively cute costume for him. But since it was June, and, as I mentioned, I’m done, I sent him to school in a checkered button-down shirt from the Gap, a pair of old sweatpants, sneakers, and a straw farmer’s hat that I somehow managed to convince him was cowboyish.
The poor kid was the nerdiest looking pioneer this side of the Mississippi, and when pictures of him from this day show up in the sixth grade graduation slideshow, he is going to be furious with me. But my plan is to invoke the June Defense. As in, it was June, sweetie, and I was done.
And because it is June, last week was also the fifth grade Night at the Museum, for which my daughter needed to dress like George Washington. I was like, there is no way in hell that I am going shopping with you after school to buy you a George Washington costume. All I want to do after school is dump you in front of the television so that I can deal with all of the other crap I have to deal with in June, like making twenty-five trips to Target so that I can get all of your stuff packed for sleepaway camp.
So I handed her my credit card and I told her to order something online. When my husband got home and discovered that she’d ordered a costume, a wig, and a pair of colonial boots, all for the low, low price of eighty dollars plus express shipping because it needed to be here in three days, he was like, um, WTF?? I just shrugged and told him that it’s June, and that if he would like to cancel the orders and take her shopping for a frigging George Washington costume, he was more than welcome to.
It’s June, and I’ve forgotten to send in the bus form for next year, I missed the permission slip that needed to be in by last week for my daughter’s September class trip to Catalina Island, I completely spaced on sending in a new book for a needy child, and oh, my editor needs a photo asap for the back cover of my new book, because apparently the resolution on the old one I always use isn’t high enough.
I was like, dude, it’s June, and I haven’t washed my hair in like, six days, and I don’t have the energy to make my kids a turkey sandwich for lunch let alone go and put on makeup, so you are just going to have to wait until July.
And oh, crap! I haven’t even thought about teacher gifts yet, and there are only two more days left of school! I love my kids’ teachers. I love them so much. But if I stick twenty dollars in an envelope and write “it’s June,” do you think they’ll understand?