School’s out for summer
Today is the day every boy and girl anticipates from the time the school year starts: the last day of school. Yes, every day, every piece of homework, every convocation in the gym, every computer lab, and every field trip throughout the year is nothing more than passing time until that last bell goes off at the end of May(or in our case here sometime the beginning of June.) It’s a tingle in the belly and a buzzing in the brain that is hard for me to remember, though I know it was a feeling unlike any other. I guess the closest I get to it as an adult is the day before a long holiday from work, but no holidays I take are 2 months. In the adult world that’s known as “long term disability” or “unemployment”.
Still, I can say that I do love this time of year for my kids. I remember how freeing a feeling it was to leave school behind for the summer. The late nights, the sleeping in, the bike adventures and day trips. My mom taking me to the mall on a Tuesday morning, or my dad driving me to the bookstore on a Thursday afternoon. The sleepovers and lunches at the park. Building forts in the woods and sleeping in tents. 2 am frozen pizza and schlocky late night TV. All the trips to the video store and stocking up on horror movies for a two or three day movie binge. That August trip to King’s Island or Cedar Point and the inevitable sunburn that would ensure I’d be hanging out in the air conditioning covered in Aloe Vera and listening to heavy metal cassettes in the basement.
School’s out forever
I think some of my best memories were the trips my mom and I would take every other week or so to the town of Rochester, Indiana to see my grandma Ruth. She and my grandpa Jack lived on Lake Manitou. Those trips usually involved lunch(at my grandma’s or at a great burger place called The Streamliner), some fishing(either off the pier or out in the pontoon at some location on the lake), swimming in the shallow waters, getting sunburnt, then hanging out in the house in the air conditioning watching MTV in the basement bar drinking soda and eating too much Nestle chocolate(my grandpa was a salesman for Nestle and had an entire room off the bar with nothing but chocolate bars.)
My mom and grandma were very close, so I spent a lot of time at the lake house. When my parents would take their “adults only” trip over the summer to South Haven, Michigan I’d spend that week with my grandma. We’d take boat rides, go swimming, go out for lunch, head over to see my great-grandma and my aunts and uncles, and occasionally one of my cousins would come back with us and stay at my grandma’s as well. It never occurred to me as a simple pre-teen, but that was probably just as much for my grandma’s benefit as it was for mine. I’m sure she was ready for a break from me after a couple of days.
School’s out with fever
There was one last day of school I will always remember. It was the last day of 8th grade and my mom picked up me. We got some lunch and then headed to my uncle Mark’s house where I would spend the whole week hanging out watching movies, playing Nintendo, eating horribly, and hanging out at the Concord Mall. My older brother came over that evening and stayed almost the whole week with us as well. My uncle had to work that week, so my parents didn’t want me alone all day while he was gone so they talked my older brother to come over and baby sit I guess. It turned out great, though. We stayed up all night playing games, eating bologna sandwiches and it was also the week my brother bought Metallica’s Master of Puppets. That was a pivotal moment in the Hubner boys’ lives.
It was a great way to kick off the summer break.
Summer break doesn’t necessarily have to be about big trips. The little ones are just as important. I think my kids have made the best of their summer breaks and have made some pretty great memories over the years. And it’s always those little things they remember more than the bigger ones(though they do remember the bigger ones, too.) For me, it’s a closet full of chocolate, driving around in my brother’s car with “Disposable Heroes” blasting in our ears, riding on a pontoon, and playing pool in my parent’s basement with my shoulders glistening from the Aloe that I remember most. The trip to Disney is barely there anymore(though the week prior in a rental house and hanging out by the ocean is there in my brain fully intact.)
Here’s to making more great memories with nothing more than a few bucks, some chocolate bars, and some late night horror movies.
School’s out completely