I was almost tricked into believing summer was over. Does Summer have to end? Because I don’t want it to. Ever.
Saturday morning was listed on the calendar as the last day of the summer reading program in our city. That annual and familiar sense of dread cascaded over my thoughts as I skipped Indiana’s colorful fall in my head and found myself sitting in the grey parking lot of winter.
However, I looked down only to spy my red and white monogrammed bag given to me by my friend Cari when I saw her in Utah earlier this summer, and claimed the simple fact — I am walking from the Farmer’s Market to the library in sandals. It is indeed STILL summer and I need to stop my llama drama.
Disappointment at the Library
Upon entering the library, ironically I observe that it is largely void of books and lacks the busyness of the summer as everyone has already cashed in their books and cards for the trinkets. Hope rises as I behold, in front of the Summer Reading Program table, three kids with Surprisz-A-Mals.
And I have a giddy excitement.
We eagerly line up. The reward is so close and she has 5 points to spare.
Except, the librarian clicks her tongue in such a disdainful way that sends a large red x to my fore-brain. I dread the words that I know are about to emerge from her mouth.
“I just gave that boy in front of you the last Surprize-A-Mal.”
No. Surly not. Don’t you have any more hidden? Have you searched everywhere? There must be more. You JUST got the shipment in.
Mothering at its Best
I thought the mother in front of us would nudge her boys to be chivalrous. But no such thing happened.
Trying to make the most of it, I perked up like a recently inflated balloon and mustered enthusiasm. OK, let’s choose something else. Look at all the empty bins. I am sure there is still something lovely left.
She didn’t even bother to look. She quietly responded, “I don’t want a single other thing. I’d rather have nothing .”
I think I was more disappointed than she was. I’d sat there with each book and read them to her. I too was invested. I realized at that moment, reading had become a chore and by gosh I wanted to be paid my dues.
But sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.
In a rash parenting moment where I tried to band-aid the moment, I said, “Let’s finish your card at home. And then we will see if Amazon has your Surprize-A-Mal.”
Hindsight is 20/20
In hindsight, I wonder, should I have just let her handle the disappointment? Do I too often try and make every moment magical and thus give my children a false view of how the world really works?
Or did I just hang on to the card in an effort to spurn the Summer Reading Program?
Summer isn’t over, though the program falsely signals the approach of the structured school year.
Summer Doesn’t Have to End. Fact.
Summer doesn’t have to end, yet.
Consider a good book — the more you read it the closer you get to the end of the book. But you don’t stop reading. You keep enjoying the words that fly off of the page.
Likewise, the more you enjoy summer the faster it flies by.
So do you stop enjoying summer any less? Do you stop playing? Or do you bravely insert your feet into the flip flops, create your own year long reading program with prizes to celebrate 365 days of being present?
I vote to protest the end of summer, keep reading, and start a new book right after the previous one is closed. Summer doesn’t have to be the only time intentional fun is planned. I vote to always keep a bucket list of epic activities to do with our children.