Thursday, May 25, 2006

Something Burning At The End

We're down to the wire. There's a light at the end of the tunnel that is the school year. The Trio all have their last day of school tomorrow and I am anticipating it with all the gusto of my own days spent in class because when they're finished with school then I get my mornings back. I can go to the gym. I can have a leisurely breakfast at one of my favorite downtown restaurants. I can sleep in. Kristy will spend the summer at home with four children while I get up and virtually sneak out of the house before anyone else is awake. Is this selfish? Probably. Should I feel guilty? I probably will, eventually. But there'll be time to think about that over a Spanish omelet at Bon-Ton Cafe. For the entire school year I've been responsible for getting these three little morning-time monsters up, dressed, fed and out the door (you can read more on that here), so for a couple of weeks anyway, I'm going to revel in just a little Daddy Time.

Before Daddy Time starts, though, the people that run the school where JP & S go, the work camp we send them to every day, are going to extract a little more precious time out of us. There is some sort of program planned for tonight. I don't know anything about it other than there will be food (nine-month-pregnant Kristy is required to make a desert today for it) and singing and that my presence is expected. JP is holding a flag and S is holding a candle during the singing portion of the program. For that, I give up a Thursday evening. JP sings every night, the flag is just gratuitous showbiz glitz as far as I'm concerned, and S is always walking around with candles, or matches, or some such incendiary device. I suppose there will be other children there, all running around, wiping their noses on whatever is handy, their hands most likely, and then my pant leg.

My fear is that this sort of thing will become the norm. I was talking to a friend yesterday who had spent the morning watching his daughter "graduate" from kindergarten to first grade. Seriously, people, these kids are going to have enough milestones in their lives without us parents forcing them on them for the sake of our scrapbook needs. Isn't the promise of summer enough? It was for me. But this has all snowballed beyond my control.

So this will be one last hurrah for the school year. One last chance to play with friends, one last chance to sing and run and laugh. One last chance to poke your neighbor with the flag you're holding but not paying attention to, and one last chance to catch a playmate on fire with a candle. Screaming and singing and general carrying on is on tap for this evening, it's the final price we pay before a summertime of sleeping late and "staying up late," as C has been looking forward to, and Daddy Time.