If you have seen High School Musical 2, you'll know the first scene where the kids count down the last few minutes until summer vacation starts, and then break out in song and dance when the moment arrives. I kept envisioning that scene playing out in reverse this morning as parents celebrated a return to normalcy.
We had lots of fun early in the summer, but by the second week in August we were as lifeless as the vegetation drying up in the 100 degree heat. It was too hot to play outside, and most of our playmates were out of town. Even my daughter said, "This was the worst summer ever!" I didn't take that too much to heart, because I have noticed a trend that if the last three weeks of the summer were boring, then kids will say the whole summer was boring. This was true even of my neighbors who took their teenagers to China!
But I am happy to be back at my desk, digging out from about 1001 emails I need to write back, piles of paper that you don't even want to know about, and reveling in a chance to plan my fall.
The sensation of freedom comes from not having to be accountable to anyone for my time during the day. I felt guilty all summer trying to write while my daughter was home. That is never a comfortable fit for us. Most of the summer, when I had a break, even a "break" to work, it had a definite and short time limit associated with it. I am a creature of habit and I am happy to report that I love my normal life, no extended "breaks" required.
As a final summer fun suggestion, I wanted to say that if you haven't seen the movie version of Hairspray yet, you should really catch it before it leaves the theaters. I didn't think I would like it, but I loved it and so did my parents, husband and daughter. It was exuberant, joyous, and the music was fantastic. We bought the soundtrack right after we saw the movie, and we've been singing and dancing to it all summer. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky rocks the house as the heroine Tracy Turnblad, holding her own among the incredibly talented cast members.
I think 7-year-olds are obsessed with disguises and reality, so just deciding which hair was real and who was wearing a wig really intrigued my daughter. She couldn't get over John Travolta as Edna Turnblad. I showed her Grease the other day and it blew her mind to try to put together a hot teenage stud and an overweight, shy, age 50+ woman (who finally channels her inner mojo!) as the same person.
And yes, High School Musical cutie Zac Efron costars in Hairspray as well, as the sweet teenage heartthrob. Even if you are completely burned out on all things HSM, don't let that stop you from seeing Hairspray. It's too much fun to miss!