Summer’s Almost Over · 24 August 2019

There is something melancholy about the words, “Summer’s almost over.” But whether you are a kid, a parent, or a teacher, the words, “Summer’s almost over,” conjure up different images and feelings.

We have all certainly heard those words as students and thought we needed to shush our peers for saying them. Or we cursed our parents under our breath for saying those words. Or we secretly cheered when somebody said those words. At least those are the reactions that I imagine my friends and I had at the end of each summer growing up. We were sad that the time of little responsibilities were going away. We were sad that we did not get to just go to swimming lessons and then later go back for free swim. We were sad that we did not just get to go to our friends’ houses to goof around. We were sad that we had to get back into our normal clothes and put on our shoes. I know that I was always sad that our family did not get to spend as much time on our relatives’ farms as we did in the summer. Working and playing and making mischief with our cousins. Yes, it was always sad to hear the words, “Summer’s almost over.”

I have not been one of those parents who sighed a sigh of relief when hearing the fateful words, “Summer’s almost over.” Those parents who know they will be free from worrying about scheduling every minute of every day of summer for their kids. Those parents who for whatever reason cannot just tell their kids to go out and play when those kids are bored or rowdy or just bouncing off the walls. But I know they are out there. Those parents who are relieved when they hear the words, “Summer’s almost over.” Many of them even add a word. “Finally.”

I am somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. Not quite relieved that summer’s almost over. Not quite sad that summer’s almost over. Somewhere in between. I am almost like the kid who secretly wants to go back to school. That kid who enjoys summer and all its freedom and fun, but who secretly likes the structure and interaction of school. My feelings are similar. I enjoy summer and I like school. So I have mixed feelings when I hear the words, “Summer’s almost over.”

This summer, like most summers, I feel like I did not get enough done. That I did not play enough. That I did not write enough. That I did not do everything enough. I enjoyed vacation. I enjoyed travel. I enjoyed my time off. I enjoyed the time with my family. But I did not enjoy it all enough. I did not do enough. I did not treasure it enough. Or so it seems, now that summer’s almost over.

There is still time to enjoy the summer. Time to treasure the time with your kids. Time to endure the time with your parents (if you are still a kid). Time to get a little fun in. But life is like summer in some ways. We need to treasure all our time with each other all the time. We need to enjoy life all the time. We need to love each other all the time. For in reality, we never really know when summer’s almost over.

Like I already said, I am somewhat like that kid who is secretly glad that summer’s almost over. Or maybe like the relieved parent. Sure, I did not get everything done that I wanted to do. Not as much writing. Not as much time spent with my family. Not as much treasuring the moments. But I will like the routine again once it has started. I will like seeing my new students. I will like seeing my old students and interacting with my colleagues again. I will like the routine with my family again. But even though I know there is excitement and adventure ahead in all the seasons of the year and of life, there is something melancholy to the words, “Summer’s almost over.”

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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