When was the last time you thought about elementary school and those last few days before the start of summer vacation? Open classroom windows, sorted textbooks, empty desks and bulletin boards and clean chalkboards signaled what was about to come. Even the noise on the playground seemed louder. Waking on that last day and riding the bus to school was wonderful. The bus was roaring with talk about summer fun to come. The last bell of the day would ring and everyone poured out of the school chasing one another and the days to come.
I have always loved seeing the small pranks graduating 8th graders and high school seniors would play. Seeing ties lining entrance hand rails or forks filling the front lawn of the school signaled graduation and an earned rite of passage.
Every year as June arrives I feel an excitement matched only by snow days. The coming summer seems as endless as the opportunities for fun and exploration. Visiting friends and family, car rides, vacations, amusement parks, cookouts, baseball and soccer games, bike rides, visits to the library, boat rides, fishing trips, kites, go-carts, camp outs and sleeping in all seem new and real. Possibilities are endless and days never seem to end. Sleep and meals become pauses to gain strength and replenishment for the next day and every day becomes a weekend day.
This year when your child finishes school take time to revel in the way he or she sees the world. The end of school signals the arrival of summer. A summer filled with limitless choice bordered only by imagination. A place where dreams come true and opportunity and laughter fill the air. Don’t sit back and watch. Jump up out of that chair. Grab a sandwich and a cooler and discover the world with your child. Ask about their dreams and join them in the freedom this summer will provide. By giving your child encouragement and entangling yourself in their fun and excitement you will not only see the world through their eyes but also find and relive all the joy of past summers. Don’t waste a minute! Sit down or go for a walk with your child tonight and start planning all the rituals, rites of passage and absolute fun you want to pass on to your child and to your child’s child for this summer and every summer to come. Hear the bell. Summer is here.