School’s (Almost) Out for Summer


May 28, 2010 by Marj Hatzell

Never, ever think I’m gonna hear myself say it, but I will be sooooooo happy when school is on summer break (yes, I AM insane!).  This year, while great for both boys, has also been mentally and physically challenging for all of us. We’re tired. We’re worn out.  We’re just plain sick of it all.

Bug Boy made amazing strides this year.  He worked so diligently and carefully.  A boy who can barely hold a pencil persevered and learned cursive.  CURSIVE WRITING.  Can you imagine?  And he LIKES it!  He still types most of his homework and such but he often brings home work from school in cursive.   He is above grade level for reading (waaaaay above) and above grade level for math (waaaaaay…etc, etc).  Comprehension?  Above grade level. And that’s good!  HONEST!  But it still doesn’t come close to his reading ability.  Which is kinda an issue. You know, because we want him to understand what he reads. For some strange reason.

The good news?  He loves, loves, LOVES math and science. He is apparently related to his father. Imagine that.  He’s obsessed with technology, loves taking things apart and spends his free time with tiny building blocks and other things.  In short, although he has significant fine motor delays he can type like a fool and play video games and legos.  Which increase fine motor ability. WIN!

Third grade was tough for him but he did it!  He excelled!  He didn’t have many meltdowns at school (two the whole year, not too shabby!) and he uses the bathroom at school now (because in the past he didn’t) though this year we had problems with him going too often, and it turns out our old foe OCD had returned to make him wash his hands until the were bleeding.  And that’s kinda bad so we had to No worries, though, since we got that under control.

He has friends. Actual friends that he actually plays with.  One third grade friend lives twenty feet from our door, directly across the street. And he’s also on the spectrum, so it’s great for BOTH of them when one knocks on the other’s door for a play date.  He also has friends at school that he plays with regularly. At their houses, even.  Spontaneous play dates!  It’s awesome!

So why are we grateful for summer breaks beginning in two weeks?  HAVE I COMPLETELY LOST MY MIND?  Parents DREAD summer!  They hate it!  Their kids are bored and whiny!  But see, we NEED summer.   No more pushing him out the door. No more packing his lunch and getting reprimanded for packing the wrong thing (he helps to pack it).  No more arguing over homework. No more meltdowns over the same.  The kid is just wiped out. He needs a break.  A BIG BREAK.  And he needs time to just spend with himself. Of course, by “big break” I also mean that I bought him the usual summer bridge activity books and he’ll be doing homework every day.  ‘Cause I’m nice like that.

So, Summer!  He is signed up for tennis lessons (he loves tennis) and will be taking music lessons for five weeks to keep up with learning violin, which I’m pleased as punch he’s doing so well with.  Yet another thing I never imagined he’d want or be able to do.  The kid amazes me everyday.

Nothing like the sound of first year violins, also known as screeching cats. Actually? It was more than tolerable. They did a great job.

Bug Boy at his spring concert. Standing room only.

Bug Boy at his spring concert. Standing room only.
Bug Boy at his spring concert. Standing room only.

We also belong to a local swim club so will be there often, with him taking lessons for a few weeks.  And? He practically lives at the library in his free time (we can’t get out of there without at least a dozen books).  So I think we’ll be plenty busy.But the best part?  I get to spend time with JUST HIM.  Bugaboo will be in school all summer, with just a week in the beginning and one at the end (and I think one in the middle, but I’ll check on that).  That means Bug Boy gets me.  Only me.  Just him. And me.  No interruptions. We can stay in jammies and read and snuggle if we want to.  He rarely ever gets any time with just ME.  And that makes me sad.  So summer is our chance to catch up and just be with one another.  I am very much looking forward to it.

Remind me of that in about four weeks (one week into our break), won’t you?

4 thoughts on “School’s (Almost) Out for Summer

  1. MemeGRL says:

    I’m with you. I was looking at pictures from last summer and just loved seeing those little bodies that had spent months outside in pools and on hikes and hanging out. Here’s hoping for a summer that will let them do that (ie, no ridiculous heat waves or three week rainy spells). I think it gets long on the August end but that’s why we live near a city–distractorama!
    Congrats on the concert!

  2. Lora says:

    weren’t you the girl saying you couldn’t wait for school to start for the same reasons you now want it to end back in August?!?

    I totally get what you mean. I dread the rigidity when Jake goes to school. Structure and routine is good. Hard and fast schedules and rules, now.

  3. Amanda says:

    I get how you feel. I too get tired of the rigid routines the school year brings, but my son thrives on them. I’m just not that rigid in the summers. I can’t do it 12 months a year. And with a 3 year old at home, forget it. I think summer will be better since it will be full of doctor appts for both of them, so there will be more structure than usual between the 2 activities I do schedule each summer – swim lessons and vacation bible school.

  4. kwombles says:

    I wanted to let you know I’ve showcased your blog at; I’ll also post this at the Autism Blog Directory, as well.

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