It’s that time of year again: summer. Water parks, trips to the zoo, beach fun, pool parties, family vacations, and camping trips abound during the carefree, summer months. Everyone is happy, everyone is tan, and everyone is longing for the sweet call of the ice cream truck. However, for custodial parents, this is the time known as “extended summer possession” in those pesky divorce decrees. The time can also be considered as, “I freaking miss my kid, and although I have to share time for an entire month, I’m a selfish parent, and I really don’t want to lose that time every year.”
However, there probably are a handful of custodial parents thinking, “Finally! Alone time! One solid month of me time! Yay!”
I fall in the former category. I miss my child. His vibrant attitude, constant questions, and boisterous laughs fill my days with joy. Okay, okay. Maybe not the constant questions, but I’m sort of getting used to those. During the time of summer possession, my days are filled with everything not Tiny. My greatest wish during this time is to curl up on the couch, and cry. Seeing as crying gets nothing accomplished, I decided to start a list of ways to pass the time. Some of the suggestions are sane. Others are of the “please don’t kill yourself while performing these items, I would rather not be held liable” variety.
In saying that, if you decide to follow some of my suggestions, please do not kill yourself.
1) Create a reading list, and challenge yourself to get through the books in time.
There are over fifteen books sitting on my nightstand, begging to be read. But, I always create an excuse as to why I’m not reading. I need to write, my son isn’t falling asleep, there’s a new TV show I want to watch, my bones hurt. But, during this time, no excuses can be made. The books can be read, because there’s nothing but time.
2) Spend a weekend doing nothing but watching adult television.
Can anyone say Netflix Binge? Lay down on the couch, stretch out, grab the remote, and drool away! What is stopping you? A child? … Nope! No one is saying, “Mommy, I want to watch Dora,” or, “Daddy, can’t we watch a movie?” The TV is in adult control, for at least the next month.
3) Go to the movies.
Go out into the world, and watch a movie above a PG-13 rating. I don’t remember the last time I went to the movies to see something not G-rated. Last year, this time?
4) Go out to a restaurant, sit on a patio, and enjoy a meal … and a cocktail or two.
I spend days with limited adult interaction. When I get around adults, I vomit words, because I spend my days debating super heroes, mystical creatures, animal feelings, proper hygiene, clothing styles, and proper nutrition.
Sit around other adults and eavesdrop. Listen to the way other adults, especially those without kids, communicate. Better yet, take an adult along, and debate politics, religion, and philosophy. … But don’t kill anyone while drinking and debating.