6 More Weeks of Summer Break

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Originally posted on 7-13-2008

I was in Jewel yesterday on a very tight time schedule, zipping my cart around the store with darting eyes looking left, then right, then left again (like watching Pong) when my gaze landed on what looked to me like heaven! I stopped my cart, took a cleansing breath and smiled with eyes closed and hands to my chest. There were a thousand paper folders standing upright like cadets at West Point ready for a flag ceremony. It was the “Back To School” aisle. Hallelujah! It felt like ground hog day without the ground hog! It was my sign that there were only six more weeks of summer break.
I love my children and adore quality time spent with them and I welcome some of what summer break has to offer. But I’m ready for those early mornings to return where I yell “Bus” in the same manner and with similar urgency that someone would yell “Fire” in a movie theatre. There are three shifts for my five boys because they attend three different buildings in our school district. Since we live in the country, I can see the bus coming down the road when it’s about a 1/4 mile away.
So when I spot the streak of yellow and black coming down the country road, I yell “Bus” as loud as I can and the first two boys have about 2 minutes to get out to the end of our very long driveway. Then there is a 15 minute reprieve and “Bus” is yelled again. Son #3 has only seconds to “save” himself, because his bus comes from the other direction and we don’t have windows on that side of the house.
The oldest two boys drive themselves to school and should be old enough to get moving on their own. They are usually fine, but every once in a while, I have to roust them out of bed. I remember once when my son Luke (a very heavy sleeper) was still sleeping in his upstairs bedroom. I had been yelling for him to come down and get ready for school. No luck. I took a big silver referee whistle up to his room and blew it as forcefully as I could right next to his bed. He jumped out of his skin. That stunt landed on the boarder of funny/not funny and I’m quite confident that if Luke had been a 65 year old man, he would have had a grabber right there. He got up though!

Another thing I love about summer break is that there are no backpacks filled with papers. I don’t know if it’s just my school district or across the board, but the public school appears to be all backwards with the whole reduce, recycle, reuse program. They’ll send home 18 notices about Earth Day and that the children are going to be planting a tree and think nothing of the four trees it took to make parents aware of this nostalgic event. (No, I’m not a tree-hugger.)
We live in the 21st century where people not only have the net at home, but they have it on their cell phone and half the kids in the school have it on their psp. Yet, I just went on our district’s website and could find nothing about the date for the first day of school. Wanna bet I’ll be getting five letters in the mail about two weeks from now with a notice ” Back to School on such and such date….”


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