Oh, my! It’s barely past the middle of May, and school is already out for the summer here. When I went to school, we attended school until after the first of June! Years later, when I was employed at school, we still went to school until after Memorial Day. The twist was, we didn’t go back to school until mid to late August. These days, school is already back in session by the end of July or the first of August! What ever happened to the days of summer?
When I was a kid, the fourth of July pretty much signaled that summer was officially in “full swing”. These days, by the fourth of July, “back to school” sales are already being advertised on television. Something about this just doesn’t seem right!
When I was a kid, I sort of hated to see the school years end. I never seemed to get comfortable with everything until after Christmas. It took me that long to feel at ease with my teachers and classmates. Then the inevitable always happened–school would end, and I’d have to start all over in the fall!
While I worked as a paraprofessional at school, I felt the same way. By the latter part of the school year, I knew each student’s strength’s and weaknesses, and we all felt like family. I knew their behavior patterns, and how to best handle them. I’d watched them learn and grow. Of course, by then it was almost time for school to get out for summer–which meant starting all over again!
I always loved “post planning” days at school(the days after the children are finished, but the employees aren’t). We could wear shorts to work, and we did lots of cleaning out and throwing away in our classrooms! Who doesn’t love a good “spring cleaning”? Out with the old, getting ready for the new! We also had a couple of end-of-the-year staff luncheons, which always meant GOOD FOOD! What a wonderful treat–no cafeteria food, and longer than twenty minutes to eat! Pure Heaven!
After three days of post-planning, I was able to go home to be with my children for the summer. Our family filled our summers with lots of camping trips while our children were growing up. We had a camper, and we always took two full weeks of vacation each summer. We would camp for a week in June, then another week in July. We didn’t usually travel very far, because none of us liked to ride. Our trips were usually within two or three hours of home, and included state parks, the beach, and a few area tourist attractions.
We spent many happy hours swimming, fishing, riding bicycles, telling ghost stories and roasting marshmallows around campfires, playing on playgrounds, and of course, shopping! We always did lots of shopping, usually at Wal-mart. We had to visit every Wal-mart along the route!
I miss those sweet days. They passed entirely too fast. These days, those precious children, in the photos above, range in ages from thirty-two to twenty-four! Two of them now have children of their own. The youngest, the little one in the little raft, will be getting married in five more weeks.
These days I’m watching my family fill the summer days with activities for their own children. Madison’s pre-school just ended last week, and she’s already been to a t-ball game, story time at the local library, and had a playdate with some little girls at my daughter-in-law’s house. It’s already another fun summer–and it’s only mid-May!
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