Summer break: my personal doom

We have reached the end of the season I like to call Death by a Thousand Sign-up Geniuses. Teacher appreciation week, the ice cream social, and zoo field trips are behind us. For ten weeks, we will be free from requests to bring, buy, chaperone, and chip in.

And now I must face my weightiest choice: whether to let my kids spend the summer in front of screens or to let them destroy my house and yard. Do I let them kill brain cells on Netflix or do I allow them to conscript every item we own into “creative” endeavors?

Long experience has shown me that, at least for my children, these are the only two options. If there is no screen, they will not play in a pleasant or organized way. They will proceed immediately to enact outlandish, fantastical scenarios in my previously orderly home.

Oh, sure, I know what the experts would say. Vive la creativité! Fan those flames of imagination  and see where they lead!

But here’s the thing. I know where they lead. Straight to great personal suffering pandemonium. Without fail, they lead here:


While you are being treated to moans of “I’m bored,” I will be hearing urgent cries for “a feather boa and a staple gun!”

And “Mom, can we go to the store RIGHT NOW? All I need is the flag of Burundi and doll-size pantaloons!” Day after day, I will receive ominous exultant calls of “Mom, come see what we made!” as I slowly give in to despair.

Please note the string hooked up between the house and car. And the stuffed animals about to be sent on hangers down it.

So, you see, this trading in screen time for “open-ended, free play” is a fool’s bargain. And you know who the fool is?

That’s right. Why, oh why, did I not have the good sense to get a full-time job so that we could have both the money and the excuse for day camp??

Want to know how I feel as a summer at home with my “imaginative children” looms? Exactly like this:


As though a large, cold water balloon is about to break over my head. And there is nowhere to run, no shelter to seek.

I depend on your prayers.

P.S. As is my custom, I will take a respite from writing for the summer. The reality described above should make plain my reasons. May I return in September refreshed. Or at least lucid.

P.P.S. If you are new here and would like to see more posts on what I like to call The Curse of the Imaginative Child, see the list here.

© Laura Goetsch and Thinking about Such Things, 2017.

3 thoughts on “Summer break: my personal doom

  1. Pat carlson

    More time at the beach may help. Remember some day your house will be very quiet. There is a popular song to remember “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone”. On the journey with you.


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