Raising Concord: It’s Not Back to School Time Yet
Summer is short enough so let’s enjoy it and not start the back to school mania too soon.
It gets me so irritated every year: It’s the end of July and the advertising industry, the fashion industry and Walmarts all over the country all want you to get ready for back to school.
Well I say "No!" No to buying new lunch boxes. No to buying new clothes that the kids won’t need until October. And No to packs of No. 2 pencils and reams of lined paper. I don’t think I am even going to open the overstuffed envelope that is due to arrive from my kid’s school any day now.
I will tell you what I am going to do though.
I am going to take the kids out to breakfast for local blueberry pancakes while watching the bi-planes take off. We’ll stop at the small farm around the corner and watch Mamma Cow be milked and the goats be fed. Then we will pack up for the beach and probably be there by 9 a.m., along with all of the other up-at-the-crack-of-dawn parents of young kids.
I will serve lunch the best way it can be served: On the beach, with sand in the sandwiches while seagulls watch on hoping for a wayward crumb. We will track loads of sand into the car and take outdoor showers in the buff (well, the kids will anyway) and we will slip on cool sundresses and, for the men in my life, a cool whale shirt.
I will stop in the midst of all of this summer fun and have a glass of wine and think how lucky I am to be able to spend summer with my kids. I will smile as the kids show their grandmother all the treasures they found by the sea. I won’t think about homework, test scores or head lice.
I will regroup in time for dinner and decide to have a picnic in our backyard tonight. Instead of using the outdoor table, I am going to make a fun summer dinner and serve it on a picnic blanket. I am not going to tell anyone of this genius “it is still summer” plan, but when I spread out that blue and white picnic blanket they will know and they will love it. I may even venture on over to Pinterest and see what yummy summer recipes they have waiting for me. And to top it all off, I will break out our fancy plastic wine glasses and serve dinner with a toast.
“To summer," I will say. But in the back of my mind I will be saying, “To all those back to school ads taking a hike”.
After leaving all of the dishes in the sink, putting away the ice cream and pouring my husband another glass of wine, I will tuck in the kids. Later than usual yes, because it is summer and frankly, it won’t kill them. As I join my husband on the porch we can hear the kids chatting with each other in their bedrooms. I bet they think they are being sneaky but someday they will understand the magic of summer. Not just for kids but for moms and dads, too. We let them talk and giggle and then ... quiet.
So to all of the big companies pushing their back to school agendas in July I say Bah Humbug! I am throwing out any back to school catalogs, deleting fall preview emails and turning my nose up at anyone who declares summer’s end is upon us.