Mom can’t wait for the end of school

It seems that wherever I go these days, someone will ask me if I dread the idea of the kids being home all summer.

Truth of the matter is, I can’t help but look forward to the end of the school year.

I know that makes me sound as if I just lost my last marble. Still, I long for the day when projects aren’t due, permission slips don’t have to be signed and when I can have a cup of coffee without being asked to help a child memorize the processes of life from the level of cellular chemistry to populations.

Best yet, I can’t wait to spend an evening without Petri dishes, science experiment and in-depth studies at the kitchen table.

I, for one, have been tortured by “Invent America,’’ suffered at the hands of detailed solar systems, agonized with science fair involvement and once experienced an episode of inadequacy from a cell project that fell short of spectacular.

Yet, I should know that the end of the school year is homework mania. Springtime is the time when students learn to create tornadoes, volcanoes and, if they’re doing it up right, king-sized replicas of DNA.

Therefore, on any given morning, I, as a parent, am expected to find blank poster boards, vials of vinegar and portfolios as if I had a warehouse fully stocked with classroom merchandise.

The shortcomings are mine; still I’m sure that I’m not alone in my incompetence. I’m sure that there isn’t a mother alive who doesn’t long to have display boards on hand. Who doesn’t dream of the day that she can run to her supply of construction paper and find a slab of red? What woman wouldn’t love to reach into a cupboard and pull out spray adhesives or modeling clay, for that matter? Surely there are other mothers out there who would kill to be able to lay their hands on a ballpoint pen.

I’m a firm believer that if supplies are needed for school projects, advance warning is a must. The need for obscure and abstract objects must be addressed weeks in advance with forms filled out in triplicate.

What I wouldn’t give to push a Staples “Easy Button’’ and have an exhibition box pop out. Not only do I not readily possess the necessary items on the kids’ "to do" list, but I come up painfully short of the brain power needed to get us through the average night.

Last evening’s events would have had the most diligent of mothers crying in her meal replacement shake. I was wanted, I was needed, and more than once I was addressed as, "Mommy."

Did you ever notice that the kids will only call you "Mommy" when they want something?

"Mommy, all of the other mothers bought 13 tubs of cookie dough for the school fund-raiser so that their kids could win a giant sized whooper. You do want me to win a giant sized whooper, don’t you, (pause for effect and a batting of the eyelashes before driving the idea home with), Mommy?"

Before I could answer, the eldest was dragging a bag full of textbooks in my direction and saying that I simply had to help him understand our congressional system, like I’m going to pull that little feather of wisdom out of my hat. I’ve forgotten more about congress than I ever knew. Furthermore, I don’t know a biology term from a geometry term, the Ming Chao dynasty from Genghis Khan, and I’ll be darned if I can remember how to split the atom.

"I have about a bajillion papers for you to sign," announced another child as he walked into the room. "We’re going to need to glue a bunch of stuff and can you help me figure out my math?"

"Are you new to this family or what, Charlie?" inquired the eldest. "Mom doesn’t do math. The last time one of us asked Mom how her decimals were, she thought we were truly concerned about her well being."

"No sir," Charlie replied. "Mom’s smart. You know about the basic concepts of addition, don’t you……Mommy?"

And they wonder if I’ll be sad when the school year ends.