The final weeks of school are the hardest for us all. This is what I say to my kids:
It has been a long year; I know you are D.O.N.E!
I see it in your weary eyes and your deep sighs. You’re tired of carrying your heavy backpack every day. You’re tired of getting up and figuring out what to wear. You’re tired of eating the same lunch, following the same routine, and managing the same strict schedule that you have had to carry out for what seems like forever. And of course, you are so tired of having to pay attention in class for 7 hours a day.
You. Are. Tired.
And as much as you want this school year over, as much as you so desperately want to sleep in, scroll through social media for hours, play video games all day, go to the mall and shop, watch an entire series of your favorite show on Netflix, hang at the pool with your friends, and do all the things you want to do, you still have a little bit more to go before you can be free of this tightly wound, exhausting existence.
You’re not done yet, kids. You can’t check out at this stage of the game. You can’t give up. You simply can’t shut down.
It’s that time of year when you need to do hard things.
You need to continue to remember your instrument on band days, bring home those important school papers, study for those final tests, and for the love of all things sanitary, let’s get those gym clothes home to wash, okay?
You need to buck up and bust a move on that homework and study for those tests, even when you’d rather watch four hours of “The Office” or spend endless time in the virtual world instead.
I know you feel brain dead — like you can’t for one more minute do one more thing that requires your mind. But this is the final lap, the last big sprint to the end. And this homework, this test, this report, is just as necessary as your first. Remember way back, like ten months ago? Oh, dear children, it has been a long year indeed. I’m genuinely sorry you’re so tired, and this is so hard.
But here’s the thing: This is how life goes, so it’s best you learn how to manage the exhaustion, the burnout, the ‘hit-the-wall’ moments now. Because, let me tell you, being an adult will require you to live under such conditions much of the time.
This is the training ground for your future life, no matter what you end up doing.
I want to help support you through this last stretch as best I can. So here’s what I promise to do for you:
I promise to help you a little more these days, despite my own fatigue. I’ll help pack your lunches and make your breakfasts and even do ALL your laundry.
I’ll be more gentle with you in the morning and offer many more reminders because it’s just so hard to keep up, I know.
I promise to throw in a few unplanned stops for ice cream because ice cream always helps.
And I promise not to get too frustrated with your weariness, your attitude, and your procrastination of all the things.
I won’t get rageful in the pickup lines and annoyed at drop off traffic or infuriated with the kids who drive at top speed through the school zone.
And I’ll try my hardest to not lose my ever-loving mind when I am attempting to manage the ridiculous end of year schedule that requires too much headspace for this old gal, too.
I promise to show up at every concert, talent show, award ceremony, end of year picnic, performance, banquet, and presentation I can.
I promise to make sure to have enough groceries in the house to feed you and make sure your soccer uniforms, baseball uniforms, swim towels, etc. are washed before the next practice, game, or meet.
I promise to start your last school days off with encouragement and positive affirmation. I promise to pray for you when you get discouraged, anxious, or angry.
And most of all, I promise to love you unconditionally through every delirious, depleting detail of these final days.
It’s almost over. You’re almost done.
You have had an incredible year and summer’s almost here.
I’m so proud of you.
We’ve got this, kids.
*This post was originally published over at Your Teen for Parents.