Open Letter To My Kids About Summer

Hey Kids,

Feel free to leave your stuff wherever you want this summer. Half drunk smoothies in the family room? No problem. I got it. Socks in the hall. I’m on it. Dishes in the sink? Keep ’em coming. Legos? Everywhere? Love it. Oh, and feel free to drag your blankets all over the house and abandon them the moment you no longer want them. I’ll fold them lovingly for you and return them to your rooms.

And doors? Shutting them is optional. I’m right behind you, so, seriously, don’t worry about it. I love when the wasps get in and the air conditioning gets out. Who are we to be sequestered in our climate controlled house? Open door policy in this house. We have endless money.

And it’s totally fine to leave your wet bathing suits and towels on any surface from the floor to the banister. I love heaps, but be creative! Oh, and putting them on painted wood surfaces is the best. I’ll grab them so they don’t warp the wood. You’re busy. Stop. Get back to your Netflix. Friends is not going to binge watch itself.

And let me know when you are hungry. Don’t be encumbered by normal meal times. And please don’t coordinate with each other. The kitchen is open 24/7 and I’m happy to whip up anything you need, whenever you need it. I majored in short order cooking.

And if you make something yourself, just leave every single item exactly where you last needed it. Milk, too. If it goes bad…I’ll just buy more. Money? Please. I’ll just work more. And I got the clean-up. I will walk in your footsteps and put things away. It’s fun for me to live vicariously through your cooking. Like, wow, how did they get so much shredded cheese on the counter? Impressive.

And every time you are thirsty…get a new glass. We have tons. And a dishwasher I love to load and unload. And, as far as I know, endless electricity and water. The world is our oyster.


And if something comes up with your friends? I’m in. I’ll drive you there or back, or hell, both. I mean, I have a car and a license. I should put it to good use. And please, no need to give me any advance notice. I can easily stop whatever I’m doing, even work, to take you. I know how valuable your time is. Need some money for the movies? You got it, kiddo.

And to the little one, when you feel like it, I’ll take you to the pool. Before we go, you can complain and squirm while I put on your sunscreen. Don’t hold back. Just be you. Express how you’re feeling. It is cold, isn’t it? I love the challenge of when you inch away slowly as I’m applying it. Good stretch for my arms and back. Kind of you to think of me.

And just one thing on goggles. I’m on it. Don’t bother to keep track of yours. I’ve made it my summer mission to know where your goggles are at all times (in the car…left side…wedged in between the seats). At night, I’m sleeping with them under my pillow. We can’t be too careful. How will you swim without them?

Just a few last minute housekeeping items: Eye rolling? Yes! I love the immediate feedback of my thoughts and ideas. How else can I gauge if I’m pleasing you or not? Showering? Optional. You know what’s best. I defer to you. Wearing a hat? No way. The more sun the better. Chores? Just tell me when it’s a good time for you. The weeds and messes aren’t going anywhere.

One last thing…please always wear your headphones so that you can’t hear me when I’m talking to you. Communication is totally overrated. Little known fact about me? I love yelling things at the top of my lungs three or four times with no response. It’s very cathartic. Look it up.

Well, call me crazy, but if you guys follow all of these guidelines, I think this summer is going to be a win for all of us.

Or if you don’t understand sarcasm, you won’t make it until July. Either way…

Love you guys.

The Default Parent
Meredith Trotta


  1. Trish on August 19, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    I printed this out and left it on the table for my boys, ages 9 & 12. The 9 year old found it first, and understood instantly that it was sarcastic. After telling me he loved the bit about the sunscreen and the goggles (our weekly argument), the older one came in and read it and loved the headphones and the LEGO comments.

    The hardest part was convincing them that I hadn’t written it. Well done, you. This blog was hilarious to entire family because it’s truth.

    The only thing I would have added for my bunch was:
    And for mealtimes, let’s get back to our caveman selves and forego silverware except to toss it directly on the floor, because we all know that it where it will be at the end of a meal, along with paper towels and at least one crunchy bit. Cleaning up after each meal really helps me get in a few more steps and stretches. And closing mouths? What a fruitless exercise! I want to see what you’re eating and how your back teeth look for each bite. And remember to stop at least once each mealtime to disrobe and run for the loo. And while you’re there, don’t bother aiming. I like the shiny, sticky pattern urine makes as it dries on the bathroom floor. You can play a little hide and go seek by throwing the hand towel on top so that everybody can take a new one out of the linen closet. And make sure you leave the light on for the next person! You know how hard it is to keep flipping that switch up and down every few hours. I wouldn’t want my little pudding to get a callous or something, because I know how you need that finger to play Minecraft for the next hour.

    • M. on August 24, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Great additions! I love that they didn’t believe you didn’t write it. Hey, thanks for giving me the credit! 😉 I officially hate goggles.

  2. Mandy on August 19, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    You pretty much nailed it. From a mom of three, two of which are teenagers who are currently sucking the life out of me <~~~ they are still very loved, but WOW 16 and 17 are excruciating.

    😉 Mandy

    • M. on August 24, 2015 at 10:39 am

      Yup. I’ve got two teenagers too. We are all in the same, somewhat hilarious when not making us crazy, boat.

  3. Libsg90 on August 17, 2015 at 12:04 am

    The goggles omg so funny

  4. Tamara I on August 12, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Absolutely great…couldn’t stop laughing….same thing happening in my house with 3 kids, ages 13, 11 and 7. Proof that i am not alone…

    • M. on August 13, 2015 at 8:30 am

      Thanks, Tamara. Glad to have you along for the ride that is my blog!

  5. shlom on August 5, 2015 at 4:58 am

    Am I the only one who just finds this post incredibly sad, and H’s letter reminiscent of a suicide note?