Summer As I Knew It


On the afternoon of the last day of school, celebrating the start of summer break

The routines of the first 21 years of my life were dictated by a school calendar. Summers were defined as the time between when school let out in the spring and the time it started back in the fall, regardless of the “official” first and last days of summer in June and September.

When I graduated college this was a noticeable shift. In the adult world seasons rolled on more seamlessly than they did when I was a student. Summer then wasn’t defined by when school was in or out but by the weather. If it was hot, it was summer. If it was mild it was either spring or fall; cold was winter.

I got used to it and no longer missed summer as I knew it.

It all changed again when my oldest son started elementary school four years ago. Summers are once again “official,” and how long our summer will be is determined by the end and start dates of school. For example, this year, the state of Alabama pushed the back-to-school date til later in August giving us three more weeks of “summer.” It’s like Alabama saw it’s shadow or something (a reference to Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day.)

Initially, after college, it was a little strange that summers weren’t “official.” It was discombobulating even. But once I got used to it felt good and freeing.

Now I feel constrained and I look forward to having and embracing a more broadly defined summer timeframe of my own choosing, someday.

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