I remember when I was a child how I anticipated the end of school. The thought of sleeping late in the mornings and not having to meet a schedule was so alluring. Every once in a while we got to go swimming but most of the day we just laid around or as my grandchildren would say, "we hung out."
The summers were so free and we went hiking with neighborhood kids and searched for treasure. There were not many summer camps but I did go to a church camp a couple of years and I can still remember the smell of the bug repellant and the special cup my mother bought me that collapsed into a small container.
Now my grandchildren already have their summer schedule of fun activities and learning opportunities in place. I think both experiences are important. We need the freedom and we need the learning opportunities. It is exciting to watch them as they end the school year with the pride of all the things they have learned this year, new friends they have made and the curiousity for what lies ahead.
I am constantly amazed at what the children are learning today and how far advanced they are above where we were at the same age. Last week I went to my grandson's fifth grade concert. He plays the violin, piano and guitar very well. He will listen to music on his Ipod and pick out the tune on his guitar and has a great ear for music. This week I went to my other grandson's fifth grade end of school program where they presented the American Living History Museum. Each of the children had chosen a character from American history and wrote a report on them, drew their picture and then dressed as that character would. In the program you could walk up to the child and push an imaginary button and they would begin to tell you about themselves just as if they were in a real museum. My grandson was Ronald Reagan. As he told the story of Reagan's life he showed pictures or momentos from his past. He did such a good job and it made me realize that our public schools are really quite good.
So whether you have children in your life right now or not, it is a wonderful time to reflect on the freedom of summer. Just relax, leave your necktie and high heels at home and look for treasure or swim in the swimming hole and enjoy yourself.