Guest Post: The Longest Month of the Year

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If August were a person it would be my frenemy.

I love the nostalgia that is associated with “back-to-school” time.  It reminds me of my childhood and my mother stocking our “school drawer” with all of our school supplies, shopping for new shoes and clothes and later in life of me beginning a new chapter of my life and going off to college.

Now that I am a stay-at-home-mom to three of my own and living in coastal North Carolina, August seems to be the longest month of the year.

You see, school starts back here in late August but it is also our “monsoon” season as I like to call it; hot, rainy and kind of insufferable.  Patience are short and days are long when you can’t spend your time frolicking at the beach, pool or park because it won’t stop raining.

Just last Friday, my children were being exceptionally good.

I mean, “entertaining-themselves-all-day-with-my-foot-spa-and-giving-each-other-foot-rubs-good”; yeah, their idea of “fun” is different, I am aware.  It was 4:00 and I had been doing housework most of the day while they played together so when I was preparing dinner and realized that I was short two ingredients, I didn’t think that it would be much of an inconvenience to any of us to hop in the car and drive the two short blocks to the store to grab what I needed.

I think you know where this is going, right?  Mistake.  Big mistake.

Not having been in public all day, my children did not know what to do with themselves.  And as soon as I walked in the door there was a complimentary table set up whereby I was instantly distracted.  How could I refuse a sample of Hawaiian Moonfish/Opah that had been flown in from the Big Island that day (did I mention that I love all things Hawaiian?).

As I’m talking with the Fishmonger I turn in horror to find my three children on the floor like a pile of dominos!

They are tangled as if they were a pair of double-knotted shoe laces and I can’t tell whose arms/legs are whose or whose cries belong to whom.  That high pitched sound didn’t come from my oldest boy, did it?  Surely these are not my spawn!? With a mouth full of fish, panic sets in.  What the (bleep) would my Mom do?  Nothing!  My sisters and I would not dare dreamt of behaving like this in public.  People are looking at my children as I am frozen with a smile on my face. This is going to have to go further back than “What Would My Mom Do? “We’re talking “What Would Jesus Do?”  

So I look over at the other sample table. Water–>Wine.

The wine rep gives me an empathetic smile, pushes two sample cups towards me and offers, “I have 5 children.”  I calmly sipped my wine, gathered my children off of the floor and proceeded to the self checkout.

Sanity is optional but dignity will remain.


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  1. Connie Boring says:

    Robin, your story cracks me up! There is a HUGE difference between the feelings generated by seeing that first “back-to-school” logo between us as children and us as parents. As children, most of us felt anxiety and dread. As parents, it’s elation and instant recall to the steps of the “happy dance”!!!

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