“It’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it!”
(Eccl. 11:9a TLB)
Those of us in, ahem, our later years were deprived. Deprived? Yup. We didn’t have things like…
- air conditioning
- videos or DVDs
- chat rooms and social media
- big screen TVs (or color for that matter)
- games like Wii
- text messages
- cell phones – ‘cause the only blackberries we had came out of grandmother’s garden!
Forced to be outsiders, we actually got exercise by running around playing tag, kick ball, or roller skating. We circled the neighborhood subdivision on our bikes until dark and the bugs hit our teeth or Mom rang the bell to come home.
To cool ourselves, we played in the hose in the backyard and, yikes, we even drank from the hose! Going swimming in a swimming pool was a real treat. We made forts, either outside or inside the house. We played games like Mr. Potato Head, Pick Up Sticks, Parcheesi, Chinese Checkers, or Clue. And Saturday mornings brought fun cartoons.
We respected our parents, our teachers, and other grownups. We said things like “yes, ma’am,” and “no, sir,” “please,” and “thank you.” Being mean, stealing, or hurting someone was not part of our personalities. Well, not most of us anyway.
On clear nights, we would lie on a blanket in the backyard, waiting for the house to cool for bedtime. We would gaze up at a bazillion stars sparkling against the black velvet sky.
Ah, those never-ending summer days! But then, it was time. Time for you-know-what! School to start!
I remember each summer as the first day of school approached, Mom and I would get all dressed up to go downtown (because that’s what you did way back then) to shop for school clothes.
I loved it. It was a great treat. We invaded all the big department stores (we didn’t have suburban stores until I was in junior high, the early ’60s).
When finished shopping, we always stopped by the candy department of our favorite department store to get some goodies to take home. And a stop in the book department was a must to get one or two or the latest Nancy Drew mysteries.
Each year was a new beginning. A new class. A new teacher or teachers. Even new friends.
The first day of school, to give the kids something to do, the teachers always had the students write out: what I did this summer. Freshly-sharpened pencils in hand. Writing began.
School should always be a challenging yet fun time for kids. But times have changed drastically since I was in grade school and high school.
We had very little, if none at all, of things like drugs, bullies, abduction by strangers, alcohol, and sex. The worst anyone did was get caught smoking or skipping school. The few that drank did so on the weekends. Getting pregnant was a huge roll-your-eyes-and-whisper deal.
It is so much more difficult for kids today and for parents as well. So many more things to deal with. So many more things to talk to their kids about. To warn them about.
And now it’s time again. Time for pencils, notebooks, paper, and all the other things kids need for school supplies. The harbinger of fall.
One of my favorite scenes from You’ve Got Mail is this:
Clicking away on his computer to the unknown user Shopgirl (Kathleen Kelly played by Meg Ryan) in an internet chat room, user NY152 (Joe Fox played by Tom Hanks) types: “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.”
I love fall. I love the vibrant reds, golds, and yellows of the leaves. It’s a little early yet for fall’s color parade; the leaves still wear their green robes. But the starting of school for another year reminds me that fall is just around the corner.
School memories. Smell is said to be the greatest memory trigger, and the smell of freshly-sharpened pencils is a great trigger of some wonderful memories.
May your kids make wonderful memories this year!
Don’t you love the smell of freshly-sharpened pencils?
From one mother’s heart of love to another…
Today, we’re linked up with Women Living Well!