Summer Vacation

Summer stretching on the grass.
Summer dresses pass…

The most anticipated day of the year for students and teachers has arrived. It is the first day of my summer vacation. Because I’ve either been in school or teaching it, I’ve had a summer vacation for most of adult life. It is a wonderful thing, and apologies to my friends and readers who do not get a long break, I don’t think I could give it up very easily at this point in time.

Teaching is an exhausting and demanding profession, contrary to popular belief. It follows most of us home in the evening and on the weekends. We grade papers and plan lessons during our personal time because there’s just not enough time during the school day to get it all done. Yes, other jobs do require long work hours, but few go home with you nearly nightly. Teacher’s don’t earn overtime for all the extra hours they put in.

Summer vacation provides teachers with time to rest and recharge. It gives us time to read and travel, attend conferences and take classes. Sadly, many teachers I know work at extra jobs over the summer or teach summer school to supplement our ridiculously low incomes. One of these days, I probably will too but not just yet. My summers are for my children.

My oldest daughter will be a high school junior in August, and my little boy will be 3 in July. Time is slipping away, and I want to catch as much of it with them as I can. Summertime means laying on a blanket in the yard watching clouds. It’s peanut butter and jelly breakfast picnics at the park. It’s lemonade and homemade ice cream. It’s early afternoon dinners with the hubby before he goes to work in the afternoon. It’s fireflies and bug catching. It’s water balloons and swings. It’s sleeping in and staying up late.

Summers are getting shorter as I get older and as my children grow up. They will be driving me crazy by July, but there will come a day when my house is silent. The backdoor won’t slam. Sisters won’t be fighting. My son won’t be crashing toy cars into the fireplace hearth. Sticky lemonade won’t pool on the kitchen counter. Used Popsicle sticks won’t be hidden under beds. Sprinklers won’t cool little bodies. Grass stains won’t fill my laundry basket. While there are days when I fantasize about a quiet house and grown children, most days I dread the thought of it.

Make the most of every minute you have each summer. If you have children, don’t let a single moment go to waste. If you don’t have children, live like you do! Embrace every opportunity for fun that comes your way. Start now, start today. Don’t wait another minute because the next minute may not come.

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