William is done with school for the year. I picked him up in the car and we went to the grocery store so that he could pick out the celebratory desert of his own choosing. He chose a cheesecake sampler, in case you are curious.
He said it several times: "I don't have to go back for 3 whole months..." and he would give this big sigh, and such a happy smile.
I remembered that joy, getting off the bus for the last time in June, having the summer stretching before me, an empty notebook waiting to be filled. It's different now. When I was a child, no one looked for things to fill our days. We lived in a remote area. My mother did not drive.
Every two weeks, the book mobile came and we would walk into town with our books, crossing the old railroad trestle that scared me to pieces because of the open spaces between the ties. I could see the water rushing below. I was afraid of heights.
For a week in the summer, a church held a vacation Bible school, and one of the mothers from that church would drive out to pick us up.
One day we always got to go to the Garland Gala Days. My grandparents bought us each a book of ten tickets. We would talk about nothing BUT the rides we were going to ride. In those days, one ticket equaled one ride. There was live music. We always got to play one game.
For a time, the local radio station played the old time radio shows, a half hour of pure entertainment starting at 5 PM. Fibber McGee and Molly was a huge favorite. The Lone Ranger, The Shadow.
And day by day, summer writ itself. We were often bored, but we had great imaginations, and that carried us through.
It is different for William. There are pool passes and sleep overs. A trip to Michigan. A trip East to see his aunt and uncle. The summer reading program. Camping trips, Minibike riding. Time with his cousins. A lot of effort is put into figuring out how to keep William entertained this summer.
It's a good mix of fun and opportunities to make money and seeing new things.
He won't be bored, and I guess that's good, but I cannot help but remember those long ago summer days. There was a sweetness to long empty days which wrote themselves. I hope he has a chance to experience that as well.