Yesterday I watched the yellow bus driving up the street and knew they were making the run to check timing on their run. School was starting and I’m not ready for it. I’m sure parents are, but it signals the end of summer. My most favorite season. I played all summer with the kids. It was glorious, except for a few years.
For a couple years, summer seemed hard and I was relieved to get the kids back to a schedule, routine, and give me some peace of mind. About the summer my oldest was out of 6th grade, life seemed easier. It was like 2 or 3 years and the summers were tough. Maybe they were older. I don’t know, but my friend and I sat down one day and made plans for summer. At least 3 times a week we fixed lunch, whatever we had in the house and met at a park between us. The older kids rode their bikes and we stayed for several hours while they rode bikes, played ball, and played on the playground equipment. We had enough food to keep them happy and some days other friends would be there. We spent time at the pool and each others house. Movies, painting, canyon picnics, watermelon busts, and anything to keep them active. We had reading contests, chess competitions, monopoly days, puzzle days, and cleaning contests. Sometimes we would just put a video in and have downtime. We even had things written on scraps of paper, so the kids could take turns drawing the activities out of a hat. With 7 kids between us, we had variety. These were the days before everyone had a tablet, cell phone, or lots of computers. We enjoyed the outside mostly and each other. I actually cried when school began, I know, crazy. It was fun to be with the kids.
Every year now, you can feel it in the air and see it in the stores. Nostalgia hits and I feel tears in my eyes. So, this morning I felt a bit teary eyed as I saw my neighbor’s grandchildren outside waiting for the bus. The bus came and some kind of quiet settled in the atmosphere. My garden is dying and harvesting starts. I’ll take my grandson Sweet J to pick some peaches and tomatoes today, but the swimming pools are closed, the amusement park is only open on the weekends, and it’s feeling like now is the time to gear up for lots of homework and changing our routine. I hate being pushed into this stuff and yet, it is needed.
With structure, the children thrive. Homework, practice, school events. It brings a sense of community. My son’s community did a back to school event. They had a pie eating contest, a dunk tank, the D.A.R.E. car and officers, along with city officials, and a movie in the park night. Kohl’s donated stuffed animals and other gifts for the kids who turned in their summer reading cards. It seemed like a wonderful event to bring the families and kids together. Back to school night is all we usually get, but it isn’t as fun as this was. Kudos to Clinton City. I hope other communities will follow suit. My son said he felt a bit jealous they had this and he didn’t when he went back to school.
So yes, it is that time of year already. Time went fast. Weekdays into weekends and so forth. We had fun celebrations in the communities surrounding us, fireworks, swimming, picnics, and lazy days. I loved every minute of it and when my grandchildren are old enough to go to school, I’ll cry more because I like playing and reading with them.
Now I feel as though I need to go buy pencils, pencil boxes, and notebooks.