Summertime, take it easy

Kids Count

Summertime maybe our most memorable season as it is so short yet so fantastic. As we all muddle through months and months of cold weather, just getting outside is a delicious feeling.

If you are over the age of 30 or so, you may find yourself occasionally waxing about a special summer from years ago. Maybe it was the summer that you got your first car and your first taste of real freedom. Maybe you got your first real job and your own money. Maybe you experienced your first romance with a summer girl or boy from outside the area.

Kids from my generation were free to do whatever they wanted to do as long as they did not get into trouble. Given the fearful perspective of most parents today, what I am about to say may sound unbelievable or even a little crazy. Most days in the summer, kids from my generation got up early, left the house and sometimes did not return to the house until supper, or sometimes not even the depending on what was happening with friends on any given day. We were free to go where we wanted and to do what we wanted, there was no set schedule.

Kids today are experiencing a world that is highly structured and adult dominated. The school year is packed with many activities beyond academic pursuit and those activities now reach into many weekends. I have never agreed with activities during the weekends, I have always believed that weekend should be for family to do things together. I realize that I am in a distinct minority in this belief.

For many kids, summer will simply be an extension of the school year with a tightly packed schedule that leaves little discretionary time. Many kids will go not just one sports camp but several. They will play in adult organized sports, go to summer camp, take swimming lessons, go on family vacation and, in most cases, always under the watchful eye of an adult.

Reach the writer at hurlburt@ wildblue.net.

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