I hated summer vacation as a kid. The reason being, I got used to the routine of getting up early, going to school, coming home to take care of chores and do homework, then repeat the whole process the next day and days beyond. With summer break, I had nothing to do. The teachers always assigned us reading lists and whatnot for over the summer, and I’d tear through those in a couple of weeks, to say nothing for the fact it was supposed to last me until the 3rd week of August. I loved school, as I was that weird nerdy kid that always got straight A’s and did their assignments weeks before they were due so I wasn’t cramming last second to get them done. I was never the kid that told the teacher he/she forgot to assign homework before we left for Christmas vacation, though. That was always someone else. When I got into high school and college though, my feelings about summer break changed. I was less angry over the lack of intellectual stimulation, because I was old enough to go the huge library downtown by myself, or to any one of the countless museums that Chicago has. I didn’t need to just sit in the house staring at the calendar. I also got a job, the summer before I started college, and that took up all of my time between graduation and open house.
As an adult….the end of summer can be depressing. I’m in my 30s now, and when summer ends and a chill returns to the air, it reminds me that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming, which means New Year’s too, and that means yet another year I’ve spent alone, steadily marching toward middle age. It’s amazing how your perspective changes when you move from childhood and young adulthood to actual adulthood. Things that used to matter don’t, and things that matter now never did before. I hate summer because of the heat, but I also love it because it means the year isn’t over yet. There’s still time. Autumn and winter do more to remind me that time is ever-fleeting than any clock or calendar ever could.