Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

The Days of Summer


August 9, 2017

It's happening. Summer vacation is getting shorter and shorter. I remember when summer vacation started Memorial Day* weekend and went through Labor Day. Yes, I am showing my age. I think it is time for someone to speak out for the children's sake. These kids are being denied their hard-earned summer days off.

Put a frog in a cool pan of water he will stay even when the water begins to boil. He doesn't appear to notice the change in temperature until it is too late for him. This is happening to summer vacation. Has anyone noticed the summer break is now only about nine to ten weeks long? What happened to the "dog days of summer"? Lazy days of summer? Going to bed late and sleeping in?

Much like Mr. Frog, we have all stayed in the water too long. I think that is what's happening to our kid's summer break. A while back, the school year began to change.

No one said much when school ended in June instead of May. After all, everyone understands, weather days must be made up at the end of the school year. The change barely caused a ripple, the heat was turned up a bit more.

Whoever made the decision for the annual school calendar must have thought, everyone is done having the kids around, swimming, bar-b-ques, picnics, star gazing, camping, and other family and community bonding. Families won't miss a few days at the end of August shaved from summer vacation.

Children return to school in summer clothes. Why? Because it is still summer! Check a calendar. It's true. Summer is the same length as the other seasons. New school years should start closer to the beginning of Autumn. Not summer!

I admit I am from the generation of no seat belts, no cell phones, or anything digital. I'm from the time, when neighbors, teachers, school bus drivers, and coaches communicated with our parents in person. When we did something dumb we knew every adult in our lives would have a chat with our folks about our misdeeds. I grew up in a time when we had summer jobs, summer fun, and awesome summer memories.

I wish we could return to a slower pace when people really connected. A time when we sat outside and visited with our neighbors or when families lived close to each other. A time when we laid on the grass to watch puffy white clouds and use our imaginations. When we ran through water sprinklers and had the time of our lives.

I would love to return to a simpler time.

The truth is I'm guilty. I look around and realize, I'm in the boiling pot of water too. I write this on my laptop. I email my column into the newspaper. It can be read online or on a smart phone. I connect with my kids, grandkids, family, and friends using social media, text, facetime, Skype and occasionally snail mail. I still love face-to-face chatting.

I say enjoy the rest of your summer and try to have a few more amazing memories.

Ribbet! Croak!

*This author realizes Memorial Day is not the unofficial first weekend of summer. Memorial Day is a day to honor all the people who have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms and our country. I am an American who is thankful and proud of all those who have gone before me. Thank You.


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