Archive for Monday, July 9, 2012


River City Jules: Summer halftime

July 9, 2012


It’s halftime, and you know what that means …

Time to finish (or start and then finish) the summer reading program you enthusiastically signed your kids up for the day after Memorial Day.

Time to take that day trip to that one historical site you have been threatening to drag your children to during these education-deprived weeks.

Time to dust off the flash cards you swore you would use daily, right before you joined Pinterest.


When you slowly find yourself moving from “It’s so nice to be able to sleep in a little” to “I can’t wait to wake them up for school again.” When your dishwasher begs for mercy. When you take a snack break, only to find the stock of healthy foods you vowed would always occupy the fridge has been replaced with cookie dough and cheese-in-a-can. Goodbye, edamame; hello, Jelly Bellies.

During halftime, the suffocating humidity tricks you into longing briefly for that negative windchill you detested mere months ago. Don’t fall for it. It’s just a delusion, a falsehood planted into your boiling brain cells by the devil himself.

Speaking of Columbia, Mo. …

Some of you may be ready to hit I-70 for your family vacation, wondering how on earth you are all going to survive in one car after hanging on by threads in one home.

(Answer: Twizzlers)

Others may be gearing up to take the long, long journey through airport security with three-ounce bottles of nonexplosive shampoo and conditioner, wondering if this might be the time you cruise through without having to wait for the randomly-selected 10-month-old baby in front of you to be hand-screened by an agent.

(On a related note, many apologies to everyone waiting in line behind us en route to Phoenix in March of ‘04.)

Still others may already be back home from summer vacation with the family, wondering if there is any possibility the newly constitutional Affordable Care Act requires insurance carriers to cover laundry service for improved mental health.

(I am starting a petition.)

No matter the score at this point in the game, we parents hit summer’s halftime exhausted, maybe frantic, but always ready for a break.

Go ahead and take that break.

Hide in your closet with the People Magazine you stole from your dentist’s office in a moment of kleptomania while entertaining your four young sets of molars during their summer tooth-cleaning.

Treat yourself to your favorite radio station while waiting for construction traffic to move. If you turn the radio volume up high enough, it not only drowns out protests from the back seat but allows everyone in the car to learn the words to “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” a life skill for which your children will thank you someday.

Take an extra-long shower at night and remember that eventually the buzzer will sound, summer will end, and “I’m bored” will be nothing but a vague memory filed well behind the ones where victory was yours.

— Julie Dunlap can be reached at


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