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Good grief, can Labor Day be here again? Where did summer go?
The seasons seem to be twisted up. Spring came late, summer was short and it surely feels as if autumn were on the doorstep. Was it just three weeks ago that I was dying from the heat and today, I’m bundled up in a sweatsuit, drinking hot soup and shivering a bit because all the heat’s turned off. To make matters worse, the trees outside my windows are beginning to turn.
This has never been my favorite time of year. As a kid I hated to see school; vacation end and I felt worse about it when my four were kids.
I hated to see them having to give up the blessed summer freedom and trudge back to classroom confinement. No more happy days of running off to the sea, plunging into the backyard pool or just lying on the deck while I read Dickens, Tolkein, R.L. Stevenson, Kipling, and others, aloud. We’d have to wear shoes instead of flip flops, jeans instead of shorts.
There’s a commercial on TV that I do not like. It shows a goofy father running around a store selling school supplies, singing , “It’s the happiest time of the year” while loading the cart with notepads, books, crayons, pens, pencils, erasers and the like. Behind him are two small children looking horribly sad. You can bet I’ll never buy a paper clip from that place.
There have been all sorts of articles warning about the bad effects of heavily loaded backpacks on school children’s spines yet this doesn’t seem to have changed the teachers’ demands and the parents’ supplies of enough stuff to tax the spine of a pack mule.
I’ve seen them, the poor things, walking through the snow or waiting, in the cold for a school bus. I can identify with them, because that’s how I went to school in the winter and I’ve never forgotten the misery. It was just such that fueled the fire of my determination to go to California at the first opportunity.
We didn’t have school buses in our town and nobody carried books in a back pack. We all lugged book bags which became heavier with each passing year. I’m sure we all ended up with one arm longer than the other.
I’m really glad I’m not a kid today. The demands are far too great. Practically every adult goes around stating that school was harder in their day and kids today have it too easy. Oh yeah? If school was harder and they learned more and better, then how come so many of them are ignorant and obviously poorly educated? I know I would never been able to master a lap top and there would have been so much more complicated math and science I would have floundered.
Let us not forget the overload of extra activities on today’s young. Ever since the TV has shown the glory and money to be gained in sports there have been more and more after school lessons for kids to take and more and more “games” for kids to play, all organized by frenzied and competitive soccer moms and hockey dads not to forget the little league which started as a good idea but killed off the fun of playing pick up ball on any empty lot or even city street.
Ever since some loud mouthed professional football coach and some equally obnoxious baseball manager stated “Nice guys finish last”, the good old adage “It’s not whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game that counts” bit the dust.
I recently was visited by a dear little girl aged six. She is smart as a whip and is ready for he fourth grade rather than the first which she is about to enter. She is not the least bit conceited but she is anxious to learn how to do many things. Her parents, not the least bit pushy have provided all the instruction she has requested. As a result she takes swimming lessons, golf and tennis lessons, speaks a foreign language, and studying, of all things, belly dancing. When I asked her why belly dancing she said because it’s good for your stomach muscles and she likes the jewelry you wear.
It’s just not easy being a child today. The world around them is so messed up. They are allowed to dress and act like adults, while adults dress and act like kids. I think kids should be de-programmed a bit and be allowed to lie on their backs and read the clouds.
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