Even though we all operate based on a standard 365 day calendar and there are four distinct seasons throughout the year, I am convinced that the school year is still hard-wired into our brains. As an example, today is the last day of school for Ella and somehow I feel a certain amount of excitement knowing that her school is out and she is going to have a full summer of adventures to look forward to. On the flip side, I also have to admit that I still feel a certain level of melancholy when the school years starts back up again. I still hate seeing back to school ads in the paper. Someday I may just miss the most important sale event of the century if it is mixed up with backpack advertisements.
It’s hard to believe that my wife and I now have a third grader on our hands. I’ve always heard other parents talk about how quickly their children grow up and I am sadly finding myself saying some of the same things. I also find myself asking a few questions here and there. Like, how on earth did second grade finish up so quickly? Are kids really using that kind of language in schools? Is there really such a thing as a Daddy/Daughter dance? Is my daughter really painting pictures in the style of Vincent Van Gogh? I found out the answers to these and even more mysterious questions during this school year. And all answers were “yes” too.
JJ and Ella are heading out camping right after Ella gets out of school today. It’s the talk of the household right now. What could be better than having your last day of school for the year and then having your Mom come pick you up to go to Central Oregon for a camping trip? I have to admit that JJ is amazing at planning these trips and that I do not at all share this trait with her. If I were the one planning the trip I would be completely scrambling around the house without much of a clue of how to proceed – even as I am writing this at 8 AM. To the contrary with JJ – she already knows exactly how everything is going to work out and by the time I am at work everything will be packed up and ready to go.
These days I’m busy enough at work where taking extra time off would be the equivalent of putting customers and co-workers in front of a speeding bus. Or a pickle truck. You get the picture. I’ve explained to Ella that work is kind of like homework but I actually get paid to do it. And there simply isn’t an actual break from it unless you actually plan to take time off. At this time of year, I have to admit that I really do miss having an entire summer off. I can still hear that final bell of the year ringing and realizing a whole summer full of fun is ready to unfold in front of me. Can you hear it too?