When did summer shrink (and yes, I know I blogged about it earlier this month, but for some reason this is really, really bothering me)?


It’s the end of July and the Dallas Morning News ran a feature on things to do with your kids during the “last week of summer.”  So I stared thinking about my summers.

First off, if memory serves correctly, it ran from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

When I was younger, me and a friend would mow two lawns in the morning and then we’d go to the pool from after lunch until dinner, and then play games in the neighborhood until 9:30 or 10 at night.  Stuff like hide and seek, kick the can or sardines.

When I got older, I’d work 40 hours…at the country club golf course or the movie theatre.  It was funny, because I made more money per hour mowing lawns, but for some reason, we all had to “go get jobs.”  Then me and my friends played in an organized baseball league at nights…and there was a girlfriend, but she hung out with me after games.

There was a week-long vacation in there somewhere.  My entire extended family would go to the Gulf Coast to be with my grandparents and we’d stay at the beach.  My paternal cousins and I spent a lot of ouir weekends having drunk uncles drive us around in a ski boat while we were hanging on desperately to this inner tube during our stays at the family cabin on the Warrior River.

By this time during my summers, it was total boredom (and, I really think there’s value in rest and decompression, even if you’re bored.  That’s why moms say, “Well, you could vacuum, or read a book.”  For some reason, we’d fake finding something to do, like ride your bike to Jimmy’s and stay there, bored, until his mom started scurrying up chores, then we’d head off to Frankie’s because he had cable/MTV and we’d be bored there until his mom came home).  You’d still have four weeks to go of this routine, too.  Two weeks if you played football or were in the band and had to report for practice or camp.  Three if you were involved in some sort of extracurricular thing like student council or yearbook.  Coaches and teachers understood if you missed some of them if your family was squeezing in one last week of vacation, too.

But now, school stuff kicks off next week.  And, frankly, some teens have been attending “voluntary” (read:  it’s voluntary, but if you aren’t there, you won’t play) camps with their band sections or football 7-0n-7 teams, since school ended the first week of June…and this is the last week of summer…

I guess I’m wondering what happened to lazy summers, and for whatever reason, I don’t like the warp speed feel to these.