I’ll share some insight on how fast life is actually lived. A summer milestone stands as testimony that another school year and sports season is just one month away!
My mother is 88 years young, bless her heart, and doing fine.
She lives with my sister now, totally independent. She drives, she shops, and pretty much does whatever she wants and when she wants to do it. I’m proud of her for that, and pleased.
What I’m not so pleased about is her tenet about how time passes and the reality of another school year being at hand; something she’s dictated to any willing ear now for a quarter century, since her retirement as a public school teacher.
Well, actually she began with it before she retired, for you see Mom taught for 35 years. So for the past 61 years she’s started with this philosophy of hers around the 4th of July. That being, the 4th, like Wednesday in the middle of the week, is the hump of summer. So for all intent, in her mind, the summer’s over. It’s too late now to plant late garden. First day of school will be here in seven weeks, she’d tell me. Now get with it.
In her view…July 4th meant loathing the remaining days of summer before going back to those brutal classrooms without air conditioning and the day-to-day routine of life. But school was her life’s routine, and she always functioned better in her routine…always! So it really wasn’t loathing at all for her, just her way of making others loathe at the thought.
She reminded me again this week. “Here it is the 4th of July,” she said. “You don’t have the late beans planted, or any corn. And your grandmother always said garden planted after June 20th wouldn’t make it. School starts in a few weeks, you know.”
I know, Mom. I, above all others, know when school starts because I see kids conditioning for fall sports every day. Already coaches are sharing with me their concerns about their opening opponents. Chilling as it sounds I realized this week…these guys are the next generation of my own mother. She…we…we’re all work-a-holics. Working our lives away, or at the very least, prisoners of the never-ending system.
If July 4th really is the end of summer vacation, emotionally and philosophically, then I say we really have little hope for down time and relaxation in life…ever. One coach shared with me last week that he’d just gotten back from a week at the beach with his family…their family time together for the year! For the year?
And then, what? Back to the grind?
Truly, yes, when you consider that for the past three weeks Press Pros has been assembling material and data for fall football profiles on Press Pros; beginning the Tuesday after the final pitch of the state baseball tournament. If you think about time and your life in that sense…there is no time away from work. The next year truly starts with sunup the next day. That’s sick! But it’s how we live.
Mindy showed me a photo of the kids the other day, all suited up for their soccer game as grade schoolers. I had to stop to think…to remember. Did they actually play soccer? In Covington?
But yes, once upon a time, beside the old Stanley plant at the south end of town, there was actually youth soccer in Covington…and my kids played. Long forgotten after years of preparing for the next year and activity in their lives…without adequate consideration for the ones past.
Seriously, as we work on preparing for this fall, and the likes of Caleb Martin (Ft. Recovery), Andre Gordon (Sidney) and Darian Tipps-Clemons (Piqua), it’s already hard to remember and appreciate what Josh Nixon (Minster) and old “what’s his name” (Brody Hoying) did just a couple of years ago.
I’m not kidding; I had to go back and look up Hoying’s name to write this! I bumped into him recently and couldn’t remember his name, this after he electrified the state by leading Coldwater to three consecutive Division V football titles. And it seems like ancient history already.
There really is no down time for kids and families anymore. Summer isn’t vacation, just a working transition.
Football conditioning and camps are in full swing for August. Basketball players have been in summer leagues of some kind since the week after their high school season ended. And I tried to reach one baseball player last week only to be told he’s traveling with an “elite” team in Georgia. He won’t be free until August 4th, just about in time for football two-a-days.
Maybe Mom was right, after all. And she never heard of two-a-days back then. Never paid attention to anything but her own schedule…her own mind. In her view the end of one season only meant the oncoming rush of another. More work. Do this. Do that. And do it now. And do it before the 20th of June.
July 4th is the end of summer!