New Castle News

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June 8, 2013

Josh Drespling: Students get a summer vacation — what about parents?

NEW CASTLE — About nine months ago, we parents were all prepared to attack the new school year with vigor and determination.

We had a new stash of supplies, including the perfect pencils and pens, a crisp new backpack, and all the other wares our children could ever need or want. The clothes had that inciting “new” smell and the brand-new shoes were spotless.

We were bound and determined to pack healthy and nutritious lunches. Had our hearts set on being completely involved in all aspects of our child’s education. We had every intention of helping them excel to greatness while visions of a Parent of The Year award danced in our heads. We were going to be the super parents, the best of the best, and our resolve was evident by the smile on our faces and the twinkle in our eyes.

Fast-forward 170 or so school days, past several holiday parties, countless spelling tests, and a plethora of homework assignments. Past night after night of struggles with bedtime and taking a shower or bath. Past several open house nights, sick days, and a monstrous amount of extracurricular activities. The energy is depleted, the determination is drained, and the gumption is gone.

As June shows its smiling face, it taunts us with its beautiful weather. School mornings seem to come quicker and time slips away. We have become content to rush through the homework just to get it complete. Give me the paper, I'll sign it. Wait, did you even do this assignment? Well, whatever.

A few moments of extra sleep or uninterrupted relaxation would be pure heaven on Earth. If I could just have back the countless hours spent selling for every considerable fundraiser and the days expelled delivering those overpriced items to our friends and family members who felt obligated to purchase something. It would have been worth it to just write a check for the whole thing and be done.

We have been exhausted by the expanse of the school year. In these late days, we find ourselves trying to convince our kids to simply buy their lunches or lower our quality standards and buy some Lunchables.

The snooze button is worn thin from constant use. Those once new and spotless shoes are scuffed, scratched, and tattered, yet we convince ourselves that they are good enough, because we are getting so very close to the end.

This shirt only has one small stain — nobody will notice, will they? Who cares, we gotta go! Five minutes is not really late anyway.

Remember back in September, we were truly amazing! Even in November and December we were still on the ball. Maybe it was the downward slide following the holiday, but each week became slightly more lax. As we rounded the corner facing Easter, we had switched to autopilot and truly hoped the Easter Bunny would come and take care of all the Easter chores for us.

April saw us just simply give up as leftover Easter candy became a rational substitute for breakfast. The rest of the year is a blur. Check this, sign here, give me money for this and that. Only one more week and it all comes to an end.

Here’s to hoping this summer is refreshing and rejuvenating ... wait, the kids get a break, but I don’t?

Grrr ...

Who do I have to talk to to get this changed?

 

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