Find. Your. Summer. Joy. (dammit)

I'm going to hand you the following advice at a time when it will probably make you want to throat punch me. It's August now. You're likely sick of whining and bickering. You're likely 100 percent over buying groceries and being told, "there's nothing in this house to eat." You're most certainly out of ideas and thin on patience.

I'm aware of all of these parental feels. However, despite the fact that you may be crossing off the days until school starts again, now is also the perfect time to give you this.

And so I will.

Because timing.

And also, I'm too honest not to tell you.

If your school is a "summer vacation" school then you probably have around three weeks left before routine-life resumes. We, in my house, have approximately three weeks until my two youngest start the year. And we have that same amount of time before we take our oldest to college to begin his freshmen year.

Now before you think, my lanta she's old - know this: I am. But with that age comes the ability to pass this on to you. You younger moms. You parents-of-elementary kids. You dads of toddlers. You who are in the throws of she-took-my-toy hood - you need to heed the words of this decrepit mama.

These summers are the stuff that so many good memories are made of.

They are water fights and bike rides, they are over-sized ice cream cones and remember-that-time-that-we-found-a-turtle. They are picture-worthy, so-much-water-play, car trips and toasting marshmallows.

Oh look, its my children. I took this picture, oh - two months ago, I think.

They are. Make them be. Because those 18 summers you get with your kid, they are five-months-ago-we-took-his-training-wheels-off. They will pass you by in a blink. And this mama wants you to look back and know that you were the boss of every. damn. one. of them.

You road tripped. You took in zoos. You camped. You went to the beach. You had days of too much sugar and watermelon-is-to-a-food-group kind of weeks. I want you to get summer joy handled. In these last three weeks or however long you have before it all comes back to calendar-chaos.

Find your kids. Scream over their screaming. (Don't listen to those "experts" who tell you there's no need to holler. Hollering is how they hear you.) Tell them to get their butts in the car and take them to the nearest dollar store, buy a package of water balloons and then take them home and show them what you're made of. (They're water balloons, your kids will survive.) Laugh. Giggle. Run. Play. Put your phone away. Beat the heat for a bit when that freezing cold balloon breaks right in the middle of your back.

Sometimes memories aren't "made" - sometimes you have to chase those suckers down.

Do it. Because in three weeks, on the night before school is set to start, you can look at your kiddo and ask them, "Did you have a good summer?" and be nothing short of gleeful when they reply, "Yep. My favorite part was that day we played water balloons and I got you in the back."

Do it because next summer they'll ask if they can have a water balloon fight like you did last year.

Do it because when your kids turn into teenagers they throw like Minor League pitchers and those water balloons HURT. Then you have to shut that crap down and come up with a new memory.

You have three weeks.

Three weeks to find your joy. To make it happen. Quit counting down "days til school" and start counting down "days left to show these kids I am the boss of summer fun."

Now go. Be the kick-ass parent I know you can be.

Make me proud.

Listen to me: if I can teach you nothing else - always make your kids stick their faces in these things when you see them. They are pure entertainment. Trust me.

See. I told you. Pure. Entertainment.