Are You Ready for the Summer?

I was on vacation last week.  In fact, since I was relaxing, I didn’t even do the work to write this post last week.  The me writing is doing so a month earlier (Hello from the not-so-distant past!), and, once I am done, I will upload it to Vampirenomad.com, schedule it to automatically post on July 12th, and then not worry about it while I’m away. 

DISCLAIMER: If I die between writing this and it posting, um…sorry?  You can just ignore the part about my vacation.

Speaking of, assuming all went according to plan and the weather was nice, I spent most of last week with my family lounging beside a gorgeous lake.  It was a nice way to spend a Summer week.

It also was one week away from my job and other cares.

And that’s why it’s a complete and total crock.

One week?

Seriously?

When I was a kid, I got close to three months!  I’m not sure exactly how long it was, but it sure felt like a nice long break.  I do know that my kids are getting 11 weeks out of school this Summer, which isn’t a bad break at all.

Life as an adult has many privileges, and I have no interest whatsoever in returning to my days as a child.  But how did the adult world allow Summer break to slip away?  That was by far my favorite thing about being a child (Ok, Christmas morning is up there, too).  We’re adults!  Shouldn’t we be smart enough to continue the good aspects of our childhoods and toss out the not-so-great stuff?

But what are we doing instead?  Trying to take Summer away from kids!  Year round school?!?  Why?  Yes, I know the students actually get shorter breaks at different points in the year, but that…Is Not…SUMMER VACATION!

That’s not the way of the world, though.  We have jobs and need to earn money to pay for things like homes and food (minor details there).  Maybe I can take a week or two of vacation time (and I am grateful for that, since I know many don’t have even that luxury), but the freedom of taking three months to do pretty much whatever I want is long since passed.  And, if I’m honest, it was gone before I even made it out of high school, thanks to my Summer jobs.

But the extended Summer vacation was nice while it lasted.  And, at least I have the memories.

I remember spending hour after hour in my family’s little above-ground pool at our house in Tennessee and never ever getting a sunburn.  It was magic, I tell you.  Magic that ceased as soon as I hit adulthood.  I tried that crap in Louisiana when I was in graduate school, and I got the worst burn OF MY LIFE!

I remember spending my days off on my bike riding around the neighborhood, seeing friends, and occasionally heading off with a group to the Stop’N’Go convenience store a mile or so away.  I have to wonder now what the store clerks thought when a “gang” of ten-year-olds showed up to buy soda, candy, and those hot dogs that had been sitting on the spinning rack for who knows how long?  And speaking of not knowing things, my parents didn’t know where I was until I showed back up for dinner.  I can’t imagine letting my kids run off like that now, but at the time it seemed perfectly normal.

I remember long drives to visit my relatives.  Nine hours to Ohio for one set of grandparents.  An eternity across Texas on the way to Arizona to see the other.  All while trapped in the backseat with my little brother and his Dancing Eureka Girls (Dancing Eureka Girls = Take two fingers. Dance them like two legs doing the can-can.  Do this near, around, and on your brother until he snaps and attempts to break said fingers.  Cackle evilly and repeat.). 

I remember the nights, sitting with the girl who lived a few houses down from me on her front lawn, talking and looking at the stars until our parents called us inside.  Seems romantic until I remember that I was 10 or 11 at the time.  Cassanova I was not, but I still recall those evenings fondly.

But now that I’m an adult, I get a week of RELAX NOW!  This is the only chance you’re going to get!  While you’re relaxing, don’t forget to keep an eye on your kids, make sure they have sunscreen on, respond to their requests for food, and see to it that they don’t get hurt.  Yay vacation?

As kids, we just didn’t realize how good we had it.

- Alan Decker

@CmdrAJD on Twitter