Savoring every sip of summer and back-to-school

Scott Gill

(Rockwall) August 25, 2013 – On a particular day toward the end of the August, Starbuck’s is stormed, ladies line up for lattes and there’s not an open table in the house. The chatter is so loud, the baristas fight to hear the orders (I was once a barista). There’s laughter, the air electric from the moms celebrating their freedom—school is back in session.

Being a teacher, I sympathize with their sentiments. Being home in the summer I hear the bellyaching of boredom, and the vampire lifestyle of staying up all night (I can’t sleep for the noise!) and sleeping all day (don’t they have chores?) drives me crazy. Then their friends invade and they all eat like locusts. Literally, in a couple of hours, my boys consumed a whole gallon of milk and three packages of cookies (and that was after dinner snacking). It’s gotten so bad that I’ve resorted to neighborhood pond robbing (fishing) and shooting squirrels just to keep food on the table!

I wish they could go back earlier.

And if my Mammaw were here she’d pitch a fit, “Scotty, you’re gonna wish your life away!” She’s right, you know, we’re rarely content. At 12, I couldn’t wait to be a teen, then I couldn’t wait to drive, then graduate, and on and on. We start school longing for summer, then summer’s here and we’re ready to go back (well, ready for them to go). Like a judge in a dessert contest, I sample a peach cobbler, then nibble the blackberry, then chew a corner of apple, not savoring a morsel. Funny, I never remember saying how great it is to rush through life but instead sing the cliché with the 80’s hair band, Cinderella, “You don’t know what you got, till its gone.”

So I guess I’m not in such a hurry after all because this year is unique; this year our oldest enters college inColorado. In fact, by the time you read this, he’ll be attending his first classes and playing college lacrosse; and our little house will be a bit less crowded.

Nevertheless, this summer I determined to wake each morning and smile and enjoy the privilege of an extended vacation. I’ve fished with my sons, took my daughter to the zoo, and plan to kick around a few days with my wife in the San Luis Valley after we drop Phil off. But that smile, that attitude shouldn’t be a summer-only thing. Sure, school marks the end of my leisurely stroll along a quiet creek and begins torrential flood of due dates, game schedules, and meetings, but I can still enjoy the ride. It’s just more like white water rafting. So instead of longing for “greener pastures,” I need to grab a paddle, hold on, and keep digging, drinking deep of every minute of every given day—for whether it’s summertime or back to school, it’s all a gift to be cherished. 

By Blue Ribbon News special contributor Scott Gill of Rockwall. Scott is a teacher, coach and author of Goliath Catfish. Follow his blog at Follow him on Twitter @scottgill5.

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