It feels like it was just yesterday that summer vacation was here. Suddenly it’s here again.
Wait a sec.
Didn’t I already go through the “What are we doing for summer vacation” Q & A?
Didn’t I already try to explain that even though The Kid had a break from school, I still had things that needed doing?
“I know what we can do!” I say excitedly, trying to pretend he’s 5 years old again.
“What?” he says glumly, arms folded across his chest.
“You can be my shadow this summer. When I need to have something done, I will call on you to help me. You can perform all the tasks that I need help with.” Big smile, big bright eyes, all for show. I want him to “feel” my excitement at having an extra pair of hands at my disposal.
He rolls his tongue around in his cheek and rolls his eyes at me.
“Boring.” Is his singsongy comeback.
“OK, how about if I have you cook all the meals this summer. I will buy the ingredients, and you figure out how to put it all together. We can even video it for YouTube.”
“Well, how about if I show you how to use the iron and the ironing board. I was ironing sheets when I was 6 years old.”
“Iron? What do we need to iron anything for?”
“It’s a good way to pass the time and release tension. Kinda like handwashing the dishes rather than using the dishwasher.”
“All right then, how about doing yardwork? I always have things that need doing in the yard. Pulling weeds, re-potting plants, watering....”
“Nah. I don’t like it out in the yard. I don’t like the sun.”
Yes. I know that, my little cave-dweller.
“Then how would you feel about going shopping for some new computer hardware? Possibly some new video games?”
A sign of life at last.
“Really? Could we do that?”
“Sure. Why not,” I respond, throwing my arms out wide, “The world is your oyster this summer! Whatever you want, let’s just go for it.”
He begins to bounce up and down with a maniacal smile on his face.
Suddenly the names of games come pouring out of his mouth, as if he were having a system downloaded into his mini computer brain.
I stand back as he rapidly announces the games he wants, as if in a trance.
When he’s finished, he seems to come back to earth and says, “When can we go?”
“Oh, I don’t know. How about as soon as I have a shower and get dressed.”
Again he bounces up and down.
This time as he bounces, he turns himself around full circle.
Kinda how I feel when I find a bra that fits.
Which is almost never.
“Now,” I start my next sentence with, “what are you going to do for me?”
There is a loud “thud” as his heels hit the floor.
“Do for you? What do you mean?”
“What I mean is, if I take you shopping, what are you going to do for me? I mean, I love you and all that, but I gotta get a little something outta this deal, too.”
“Well … isn’t spending time with me at the store enough?”
“Oh, its what I live for! But I think this little proposition could work very favorably for both of us. You know... 50-50.”
I get a blank stare back.
“Are you talking about that ‘You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ thing?”
I put my right index finger on my nose and point at him with the left index finger.
“DingDingDing! That’s right!”
He sighs heavily — something he learned from me — and groans, “What do I have to do?”
“Close your eyes!” I say excitedly, bouncing up and down like he just did.
He closes his eyes and I make a mad dash down the hall.
“Don’t open your eyes yet!” I holler.
“I’m not,” he hollers back.
I quickly shuffle back out to where he is, and have both hands behind my back.
“OK. Open your eyes now.”
He tries really hard not to smile.
“What is it?” he asks, trying to peek around behind me.
“Fifty-fifty. You do this, we’ll go look at games.”
I whip my arms out in front of me, a toilet bowl scrubber in one hand and some cleaning product in the other.
“Is this it?” he asks, placing a hand on each item.
“For now,” I tell him.
“Is it gonna be like this all summer?”
“Yes, son. It is. Welcome home.”
He takes the items from me and sloooowly walks down the hall.
I hear him mutter, “I wish I was back in school.”
I bounce up and down again, quietly clapping my hands together.
I’m gonna have a fuuuun summer vacation!