A Very Long Summer

“But, WHO is Nick Saban?!” I thought he was joking. I hoped he was joking. He was not.

Summer, for my son, is a magical period of no deadlines and minimal expectations sandwiched between Christmas and his birthday. Summer, for me, is a string of weeks to be filled with, “I don’t have ANYthing to do!” and “I don’t have ANYbody to play with!”

Surely it’s not such a stretch to understand why I no longer find summer to be magical. This year I am armed with an impressive arsenal of counter arguments, and am (was) quite proud of myself. I have books, purchased and successfully hidden since Christmas. I have a jar with extra chores written on twenty five tiny squares of colored paper. I have a chart of standard chores, for which he isn’t compensated, posted on the fridge. I have movies worthy of viewing, games that emphasize strategy and planning, and a flow chart to jumpstart conditioning for (the only season that REALLY matters) football season. Even his electronics are reprogrammed to accommodate his extended leisure. I mean, come on, I’ve been Pinning and plotting for months!

The first day of summer, we slept all day. I counted that as a success and puffed myself up for day two. Now, mind you, my little darling is a morning child. Obviously, he didn’t get that from me. I was too excited to even go to sleep that first night- I was already up well beyond one in the morning, which is my usual bedtime. Something about crawling under his bed at midnight to retrieve the first hidden book was exciting…I could be the next Jason Bourne… Anyway, I placed his new book on the table beside his box of cereal. I wrote him a note, stuck the note inside his devotional, and finally slept. He finished that first book before lunch. This is going to be a long summer, and it’s not even summer yet!

It’s been five days. The house is spotless, three books have been devoured, pen pal letters written, and healthy diet plan is at full throttle. I am broke. And hungry- I’ve resorted to hiding my snacks in shoe boxes. There are no more books hidden under his bed.

Emergency rations from Amazon arrived today. The postman rang the bell this morning, and of course, my child threw open the door, snatched the package out of the poor guy’s hand, and slammed the door in his face, before I can even get to my feet. Remember, y’all, this is the same child that rolled out the welcome mat for the TruGreen ChemLawn dude two years ago…he’s not supposed to be opening the door at all, much less receiving parcels!

He tossed two of the new books onto the couch, and proceeded to begin reading the other. The DVD I’d ordered remained in the box. The random and spontaneous side of me removed the book from his sweaty little hands, and replaced it with the DVD. I have waited three years for this particular DVD, convinced he would be just as excited as I, because- hey, anything in crimson and white is thrilling: Gamechanger.

We were twenty minutes into our screening, but not one word was yet written on his notepad. Say what? Yes, of course (!) I expected him to take notes. We are talking about the modern day KING of college football, aren’t we?! Good grief. He hadn’t written a word. I paused the film and waited for him to catch up. He still wasn’t writing. In fact, he appeared to be daydreaming.

“Son,” I said, sounding (more than) a bit like Foghorn Leghorn, “you should be paying close attention. Show a little reverence.”

He didn’t say anything at all. Thinking all was righted, I backed the DVD up a scene, to clarify things for him.

He mumbles to himself when he is truly thinking. I don’t know where he gets that, either… Irritated, I asked him to speak up. Use his words. Say it like he means it. Speak in complete sentences.
He shook his head slowly, then very clearly said, “Mama, I just don’t get it. Who is Nick Saban?!”.

It is going to be a very long summer.

Be blessed, Y’all.

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