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SUMMER VACATION FINAL REPORT

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Summer vacation is over, and the children are back at school. I do love my kids, but summer vacation is hard on everyone. As a dyed-in-the-wool hare, having no structure to the day sends me and everyone else into a tailspin. The first echoes of “I’m bored” were heard not 48 hours after eighth grade graduation. By July, inquiries were being made as to when school was starting. One child was counting down the weeks, and one was assessing each day, “I’ve done nothing this summer.” And others were honing their skills in “crazy-making” behavior. So, below is my final progress report for the summer of 2012.

Uses of Various Forms of Media — Since I had two writing projects to accomplish this summer, I was depending heavily on our favorite babysitters, Ms. Cable and Mr. Internet. I was tempted to prepay the cable bill three months in advance just to be certain these two were around to help placate the children. They scored high in utilizing electronic media. New accounts at Club Penguin were made, Minecraft was played so much it crashed a computer and various forms of music wailed…I mean wafted up the floor boards. They pass this section with flying colors.

However, use of literary media remains at an all time low. I love books, and I always have suggested to my children that reading them was a way of alleviating boredom. I really did say that, in English; however, it did not translate well into their minds. They need improvement in this area. To one child’s credit though, while reading his summer assigned book from school, he said to me, “Mom, why didn’t you tell me there were good books?” The temptation to defend myself was overcome with my joy that there is hope for these kids and their relationship with literature. “Yes, there are many,” I responded with muffled glee.

Physical Education — my children met standards of sufficient physical activity. One honed her swimming skills, one learned a new trick on the skateboard, hikes were taken, walls were climbed…you get the picture.

Interpersonal Skills — Unfortunately, this is where my children exhibit exceptional skills. Bickering was taken to a new level. The older children have abandoned bickering altogether and have resorted just to yelling and throwing previously said literary media; but the younger ones felt their need to explore how far their talents would take them on this road of excruciatingly annoying communication. “I’m smarter than you.” “No, I am smarter than YOU.” “No, dummy, I am older, that makes me smarter.” Crying, “Mom, she said I was dumb, am I dumb?” Multiply that conversation by the number of days of summer and you know why I had to dye my hair by the end of vacation.

Like I said earlier, I do love my kids, but now I am becoming reacquainted with peace and quiet, and am enjoying their company, at least until 3 o’clock. “Mom, there’s nothing to eat.”

#OOMF – ONE OF MANY FOIBLES

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I consider myself relatively hip. I have four teenagers, and they keep me abreast of all the newest music, videos and lingo. I have a Facebook account where I keep in touch with my older kids and reconnect with pals from the past. In fact, my Facebook friends have been a great support and encouragement in my writing career. I have a Twitter account. This I don’t use as much as Facebook. I have a whopping 11 followers, and I follow about 40 people or groups.

I follow a couple C.S. Lewis and Henri Nouwen groups. Their quotes are often very serious, which I don’t mind; but if they’re tweeting up a storm, it can get a little too serious. So in order to lighten up my Twitter page, I follow one of my kids and #Portuguese Problems. Between the two of these followers and the others, I now have a pretty balanced source of information. Beautiful, thoughtful inspirational quotes find themselves next to “We are not alcoholics, we just get thirsty a lot…” and “I don’t wanna be a playaaa nomore.”

I noticed some of my daughter’s tweets referred to #OOMF. She seemed to have an on-going, drama-filled tweet-a-tête with this person. As any attentive mom would do, I tried to find this friend. Was it somebody I knew? I looked through her Twitter friends and couldn’t locate someone with the handle #OOMF. I went into full helicopter mom mode (#HMM) and searched Twitter for this handle. I got really nervous when all these people were tweeting about #OOMF, at about 20 tweets per minute. #WTHWGO?? (What the heck was going on?) How does my daughter know this person who has so many friends, people I did not know at all? I got very nervous that my daughter might be #ISSS.

I finally went to Yahoo and searched #OOMF. Well I had to #BTTU (back the truck up) when I learned that #OOMF means “one of my followers.” #MB (my bad). While I #WEOMF (wiped egg off my face), I whispered a little prayer of thanks like Steve Martin did in “Bringing Down the House”. But, honestly, I did feel even hipper and cooler now that I knew what #OOMF meant. I told my daughter about my little excursion into her world, and after she #ROTFLHBO (figure it out), she said, “That’s dope!” Huh??