Last Sunday, as I slammed the minivan into the last close parking spot at church in just the nick of time, my 5-year-old announced he’d forgotten his shoes. His shoes! He forgot he needed to wear shoes to church.

Cue the parental eye roll.

Just kidding. He would have gotten lucky with an eye roll. I was beyond an eye roll at that point. When I grilled him about how he could have possibly forgotten shoes of all things, he informed me that he didn’t even know where his shoes were. And he hadn’t been wearing them for a week.

I made him go to church anyway — barefoot and remorseful. I mean, we were already there, and I had gotten that last close parking spot after all.

Later, I scoured the house for the missing footwear, but was only able to recover one dilapidated flip flop. He had been telling the truth. His shoes were gone. Maybe forever.

But here’s the thing — I haven’t done anything about it. What he needs is a replacement pair of $3 flip flops from Old Navy. But in my summer-soaked brain, this is not a priority. He’s been wearing his older brother’s flip flops, and even though they’re two sizes too big, they seem to be doing the trick.

What is it about summer that compacts the chaos until I’m only a barely-functioning adult? We’re somehow simultaneously living our best lazy lives and so busy I can barely squeeze in trips to Costco for the semi-truckload of snacks I need every week to sustain these savages.

It’s like our days are so fun right now, we don’t even notice how our lives have slipped into mayhem. The baby’s nap schedule has been completely forgotten. He’s taking cat naps as we drive from activity to activity or while I rock him in my arms while we hang at the pool. Our bath schedule has been replaced with afternoons in the sprinkler and whether we rinsed off after the pool. I’m only barely concerned our hair is going to turn green from the chlorine. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

The laundry situation has become critical. With five kids home all day, every day and multiple trips to the pool or splash park, the number of outfits these kids go through is mind boggling. Give me another week and they’re going to be the kids running around in their underwear in the middle of the day.

And the food. The snacks. The sheer number of Ritz Bits crackers we’ve consumed this month is staggering. How many fruit snacks can one family consume? Too many. Gummy tummy is real and terrifying.

We’re about three days from being completely feral. There is such a thing as too much fun. We’re trying to live the island life, but it’s not exactly working out for us in the middle of landlocked Nebraska.

It’s hard to complain though. This is what we live for all year long. This relaxed, chaotic, crazy summer life where shoes are optional and tan-lines are imminent. We’ve done the structured thing for 10 grueling school year months. It’s time to kick up our bare feet and soak up the sun.


Rachel Higginson is a married mom to five kids. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has received a Utopia Award for Best Contemporary Romance and Penned Con Award for Best Novella Series. She lives in Omaha. To read more from Rachel, click here.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.