It may not feel like it when you step outside, but the arc of summer is on its downward slide. At least, it is for people with school-age children.
I felt the tilt toward fall the other day, when my wife asked my opinion about day care options for Aug. 2-3. Apparently, those days aren’t covered by our summer day care plan or our fall after-school plan.
A quick check of the calendar revealed that Aug. 4 isn’t that far away, and an evil little part of me smiled a wicked smile.
Every spring when kids get cut loose from school, I experience a jolt of psychological pain, remembering how good it felt to have an entire bright and sunny summer with relatively few responsibilities waiting for me – yes, me!
Ah, glorious, care-free summertime – “No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks.”
That song always makes me cry.
What’s that you say?
Sure, I could’ve become a teacher and gotten summers off, but I lack the passion it takes to spend long stretches of my life confined in a room with a pack of other people’s kids.
Some take an alternate route and decide to be professional students, but I’d rather be able to buy things every now and then. A journalist’s pay is, after all, still pay.
So when school lets out, I die a tiny bit on the inside, thinking about the happy students and teachers getting to stay up late and sleep even later.
I imagine them driving cars or pedaling bikes by the Mighty Daily Journal’s offices, where they laugh and point at the unfortunate working schlubs.
But summer’s on that downward slide, and it’s time for students and teachers to start getting ready for “School days, school days, good old Golden Rule days.”
At home, I’ve been working with 5-year-old Evan on recognizing the letters in the alphabet. He hates it.
Olivia, our 8-year-old, seems to have forgotten how to subtract with numbers larger than 12, so she’s getting lessons, too. She likes her refresher courses almost as much as her brother enjoys his.
The lessons are for their own good. They need to be ready for Aug. 4. That’s responsible parenting, if I say so myself.
But I must admit to getting a certain amount of pleasure out of their discomfort. I probably wouldn’t enjoy it at all if they hadn’t recently come to me complaining of boredom during summer vacation.
“I don’t believe you,” I said. “Prove it to me.”
What nerve, right?
They won’t be bored when school starts. All will be right with the world, until my wife asks my opinion about day care options for Christmas break.
Let’s not go there yet; it’s not wise to think too far ahead.
Just keep in mind that summer’s on its downward arc. Pretty soon, school bells will toll, and they’ll toll for thee, not me.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal