I Don’t Summer Well

Back close-up shot of a woman looking in the distance hiding from the sun with a hand

By Donna Shea & Nadine Briggs

“I don’t summer well.” That’s what my (Donna) younger of my two sons said to me the other day. And you know what, he put a name onto what I’ve struggled with myself for years. When everyone else is enjoying summer, going to the beach, the long and lazy days, I get completely out-of-sorts. It’s the first week of August and I find myself counting the days until summer is over, but not wanting to be the person that does that. I’m in this crevice between not being able to fully relax into summer (I’m so jealous of people who can) and not be able to fully engage in work (because everyone else is out having a summer!)

Even when my boys were young kids, I found myself being what seemed the only mom the dreaded the coming of summer vacation. Filling those hours and keeping them busy was an extra chore that I didn’t have when they were in school. For ADHD kids especially, lack of structure can be an enemy. If I didn’t keep them busy, they found less-than-desirable ways to stay busy.

Now that my boys are adults, it isn’t parenting that complicates my days. but it’s still the lack of structure that impacts my ability to be more productive. I like my routine and I find it very hard to create one over the summer that works for me. There are days I feel as though I am literally going in circles, trying to settle on something to do. I feel guilty if I don’t work, and I feel resentful that I can’t be carefree if I do. Every year I have grand plans of using the summer to write more of our books or to tick off projects, and then I feel guilty that those don’t happen (because I’m going in circles). I am so much better when I am almost too busy.

So tell me, am I the only one who goes through this? I know my younger son does. If you don’t summer well, and look forward to the advent of school and all things apple, pumpkin, and autumn, raise your hand!

2 comments on “I Don’t Summer Well

  1. I can’t stand summer. We don’t have the money to go places overnight to a decent summer-ish (read: ocean) destination (even a day trip to the beach is 1.5 hr away and usually involves parking fees, meals etc.). My guy doesn’t do well in most “social events” so he relies on classes to even bump into kids his age. I can’t wait til our classes and activities at Technocopia and Art Reach, and other teen nights, start up again in the fall!

  2. Wow! Thank you!! Summer is my least favorite season. I too dread it and look forward to the end. The unstructured time takes a lot of logistical juggling, and I do miss them when they head back to school/college. It’s the sensory stuff that overwhelms me: too bright; too hot; too buggy; too many get-togethers.

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