The Twelve Days Left of Summer (sung to The Twelve Days of Christmas)

I am busy busy busy getting ready for back to school which is in two weeks.

I am so done with summer. I am so ready for school to start. So ready. As in, I might let the bus slow down a smidge before I fling my kids on it that first day. But no promises.

I thought I’d bring back a post of mine from around this time last year. Not much has changed from summer’s end last year compared to summer’s end this year, so why reinvent the wheel? I’d rather focus my energy on reinventing something that might actually be useful, like my will to live.

Pretend that it’s only twelve days until school starts instead of two weeks. Then this post will make much more sense.



With twelve days left of summer break …


There are only twelve days left of summer break and then comes one of the holiest of all days in our house. We call it THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. This is the day when rainbows appear over our roof and angels fly and sing all over our house and my kids wake up earlier than they have in the last 2½ months and trudge around the house all bleary eyed and half asleep and moaning and complaining while I jump and dance excitedly all around them, telling them to hurry up! Here’s your breakfast! Get dressed! Don’t want to be late! Let’s go, let’s go! Isn’t this wonderful?! The bus will be here any minute! Let’s go! C’mon! Out the door! LET’S GO ALREADY.

I love my kids. I adore them. I would kill for them. I could not breathe without them.


And yes, I know perfectly well there should never be a “but” in this context but seeing as how I have been experiencing some sort of freakish premenopausal thing where my hormones wig out every so often, there is most definitely a “but.” If it makes you feel better, I’ll substitute the word “however.” Is that better?

And see? That snarky attitude right there is a classic example of my hormones getting their panties in a twist and wigging out. That reminds me … could someone call around for Nate? I haven’t seen him in awhile. Tell him it’s safe to come home.

Anyway … However, I have two girls, one’s a highly emotional teenager and the other is a highly emotional budding tween and they either love each other or hate each other, depending on the exact shade of blue in the sky that day. They have been with each other and me almost 24/7 for 2½ months with no camps, no vacations, no break. Get the picture? All but one of my nerves are frazzled. Shot. Destroyed. Decimated. And the one nerve left is scared shitless but can’t escape because they’re standing on it.

I will miss them after they go back to school. I always do. The house becomes too quiet. Too still. And I will berate myself for having had these thoughts of celebration to see them go, I will wallow in guilt by thinking that if I had been a better mother, I would have handled the summer better and I would have appreciated all the time we spent together, even if a good portion of it was spent breaking up fights and yelling. I’m all too aware that these days are going to be gone soon enough and like Trace Adkins says in his totally sexy deep voice, I’m going to miss this. When they get on that bus, I will wish that I was a different kind of mother, the kind with unending patience, the kind that can calm down a hysterical child with a kiss, the kind that doesn’t fly off the handle when being disrespected or when finding clothes dumped on the bathroom floor for the umpteenth time or when tripping over a heaping pile of soggy, smelly pool towels that have been clumped together for two days. I will wish that I wasn’t me. I will wish that I was someone better.

But this won’t happen until after they go back, when I’m sitting here alone and in silence, wishing that my kids would just stop growing up so damn fast and, since I’m at it, wishing that I would stop growing old so damn fast as well.

Until then … my windows are rattling as they are literally screaming at each other because one called the other a bratty snot and the other called the one a freaky loser so here I sit, counting down the days until THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. This is the countdown to an event rivaled only by Christmas in this house so in honor of this occasion, I present the following tune, based very very loosely … so loosely, in fact, that half of the lyrics are missing and the rhythm is all screwed up but it’s the end of summer and I’m lucky I can tie my shoes at this point so bear with me and close your eyes and just pretend … on The Twelve Days of Christmas.




With twelve days left of summer, my two kids gave to me

A dozen smelly, mildewy pool towels

and a one way ticket up a pear tree

With eleven days left of summer, my two kids gave to me


and a one way ticket up a big ass pear tree

With ten days days left of summer, my two kids gave to me

Ten hours of crazy stupid

and a one way ticket up a really, really, really big ass pear tree

With nine days left of summer, my two kids gave to me

Nine possibles for the stench emanating from the kitchen

and a one way ticket up a big ass. Oops, sorry. I mean, a big ass pear tree.

With eight days left of summer, my two kids gave to me


and a one way ticket up a big ass pear tree. With thorns.

With seven days left of summer, my two kids gave to me

Seven reasons to run away

and a one way ticket up a big ass pear tree. With thorns. Surrounded by poison ivy.

With six days left of summer, my two kids gave to me

Six hours of driving and driving and driving and then some more driving

and a one way ticket up the stupid pear tree that I swear to GOD is mocking me

With five days left of summer, my two kids gave to me


and a one way ticket up … you guessed it … the big ass pear tree

With four days left of summer, my two kids gave to me

Four hours of peace and quiet interrupted by five hours of yelling

and a one way ticket up that goddamn pear tree that won’t die already

With three days left of summer, my two kids gave to me

Three more summer reading assignments. Surprise! *Thud*

and a one way ticket up the &%$#@ pear tree

With two days left of summer, my two kids gave to me

Two tons of dirty clothes

and a one way ticket up … ugh, I can’t even say it anymore

On the last day of summer, my two kids gave to me

An apology and I love you’s

and a brand new, gift-wrapped with a bow and sealed with a kiss … ladder.


~ The End ~



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13 thoughts on “The Twelve Days Left of Summer (sung to The Twelve Days of Christmas)”

  1. Avatar

    My youngest left for college last week and his brother leaves this Saturday. I have been doing the dance for the past two weeks in preparation for my first empty nest experience. it’s the very first time in my life I have ever lived completely alone. I’ve been told it’s going to be great, and liberating, and a new normal for me. The jury is still out, but I’m dancing anyways!

  2. Avatar

    We started today and I’ve had a crying headache for 2 days. I don’t have teenaged girls though, just sweet little boys. In fact, I’ll never have teenaged girls, so I can laugh right along with you remembering myself in those days and moods dependant on the particular shade of blue in the sky. Wishing you a peaceful 12 (14) days!

  3. Avatar

    I felt exactly like this a couple weeks ago. That bad feeling you get for not feeling bad about something, guilt once removed. I try to be one of those calm patient mothers but it never seems to work, in fact it seems to escalate the problems sometimes. So then I go back to yelling, then feel bad & count down the days & hours until school starts and then feel bad & resolve to be calm. Then it all starts again.

    Love the song!

  4. Avatar

    I feel your pain. But my kids are grown and I am depressed that it is the end of summer. It is August. Where are those hot August nights? What is up with fog and cold? Please summer do not end so quickly…

  5. Avatar
    Amy Tara Koeppel

    We started back this week. Yeah, it’s a love hate relationship. I’m never really ready for summer to be over. Have a great day! Amy Tara

  6. Avatar

    Gotta love it! And I dare you to find me a real honest to goodness mom like that anywhere…can’t do it, lol. Enjoy the peace and the guilt…it comes and goes, and life gets back to normal until next summer! And then they are gone and out and you miss the little buggers…just a little! And you will be posting about how much you miss the little girls, but do so adore the women they have become! Like me….

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