Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer

From “Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer”
By Charles Tobias and Hans Carste

“Are you going to the puppet show?” Maura’s mom asked us when she spotted Beth and me sitting in the Starbucks a few blocks from Noah’s school. She was eyeing the line and thinking maybe she didn’t have time to pick up a coffee after all.

“It filled up all of a sudden,” I said.

She joked that maybe everyone was going to the fourth-grade puppet show. While the entire clientele of Starbucks did not follow us to Noah’s school when we left, the puppet show was a big production. The kids have been working on it for months. They read folktales and had to rewrite them by changing the setting and the characters. Noah’s group reworked an African tale about convincing a man not to cut down a tree because of all the animals that would be affected into a story about convincing an oil company not to drill in a coral reef. Noah played the narrator and a sea turtle. The kids researched coral reef eco-systems, made the puppets and the set (which was a drawing projected on a screen behind them), wrote the script, practiced and performed it, along with the rest of the their classmates, who were doing a few more tales. On Tuesday they performed their skits for the third and fifth grades. On Wednesday, the second to last day of school, they did it for the parents.

It was definitely a feel-good event. The puppets were lovely; the kids were endearingly enthusiastic. I particularly liked the last skit, “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears” transformed into “Why Crabs Pinch People’s Toes.” The kids in that group did a great job making the characters come alive. I did leave wondering why so many of Noah’s classmates chose to have their animals speak in seemingly random accents. There were a couple of British animals and one who spoke in a Texas drawl, but I guess that was just part of the fun.

The end of the school year was full of fun, there was field day and the kids watched movies (Tangled and Gnomeo and Juliet) and had ice cream sundaes on Thursday, the last day. That day was a half-day, but Noah didn’t get home until 4:45 because he went straight from the bus stop to Sasha’s annual last-day-of-school pool party. I made blueberry pancakes for dinner at his request to celebrate the end of fourth grade.

Even though he didn’t get home early, Noah was at loose ends for a while trying to figure out what to do when he didn’t have hours of homework. “I don’t think my brain can take it,” he commented. He hadn’t actually had much homework for the past two weeks or so, but he still hasn’t quite adjusted yet to the idea of free time.

Today Beth offered to take Noah to work with her, which is something he usually enjoys but he decided to stay at home. I had a very busy day hosting June’s play date with the Mallard Duck, then taking our poor flea-bitten cat to the vet (a two and a half hour adventure I won’t go into here), then reading to Noah (we’re almost finished with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series), then taking the kids on a walk and in between all that doing enough laundry for our upcoming trip to West Virginia (more on that later). Noah took a scooter ride in the morning and came along on the walk, but he spent most of the day holed up in his top bunk finishing book 2 and starting book 3 of the 39 Clues series, pausing occasionally to play “Ode to Joy” on the recorder. He forgot to eat breakfast (well, I forgot to make him what he’d requested and he forgot I never gave it to him) and he didn’t eat lunch until almost two, he was that absorbed. I was a little jealous, but I’m glad he got to have a lazy first day of summer break, reading in bed. He deserves it after all his hard work this year.

About two weeks before school ended we had a meeting with Noah’s main teacher and his math teacher to discuss his difficulty finishing work in class and paying attention. We came out of the meeting having decided to get Noah tested for ADHD this summer, by the same psychologist who tested him for Asperger’s last summer. It’s something we’ve thought he might have for a long time, years actually, but since he always did well in school, we never took any action on it. But now that he’s in a program that’s actually designed for kids of his intelligence, his slow processing is starting to hold him back, especially in math. We think the accommodation of extra time, if it turns out he’s entitled to it, could be a big help to him and now’s the time to get a plan in place, before middle school. Everyone from his teachers to other parents seems to agree on that.

We also came out of the meeting feeling like he’s in the right place. His teachers seem to understand him and what makes him tick. When we mentioned his social troubles of last year, they said from what they observe, he fits right in with his quirky classmates. The main teacher told me he seemed especially close to one girl we’ve never met, and that they were always helping each other with their work. (Ironically, she was the one who didn’t come to this birthday party because she lost the invitation and forgot to tell her mother about it.) I’m glad he has another year left in elementary school and at this elementary school in particular. I think before the summer’s out we’ll invite his new friend over. I’d like to meet her. I have a feeling she’s probably a very interesting person.

Tomorrow, after June’s t-ball game, we are driving to Charleston, West Virginia to attend a ceremony at Beth’s father’s grave. We’ll spend some time with Beth’s mother, brother, sister-in-law, uncle and aunt, and on Sunday YaYa will take Noah back to Wheeling with her for a week of fun and grandmother-style spoiling. We’re calling it Camp YaYa. It will be the longest I’ve ever been separated from Noah, but he keeps saying he wishes he could stay longer, so I think that’s a good indication it’s a good way to usher in his summer vacation.

So roll out those lazy hazy crazy days of summer. Noah doesn’t like soda and I think we’ll pass on the beer, but I’m good with the pretzels and the song of good cheer.