It’s Memorial Day and I want to wish each of you a great holiday. Let me also encourage you to spend some time thinking about the reason for this holiday. The freedoms we enjoy in this country have never come cheap and still don’t. Thousands upon thousands of American soldiers have paid the ultimate price to keep those freedoms in place. Please don’t let their sacrifice get completely lost in all the vacations, barbecues, picnics, etc.
As you know, Memorial Day serves as the unofficial opening of summer, just as Labor Day serves as the unofficial closing. In my county, though, it isn’t so cut and dried because our kids never get Memorial Day off from school. Between all the snow days for which our school schedule has to account, as well as various other factors, the holiday always falls in the last week of the school year. I guess our local officials feel that’s just too close to the end to take a day off. So, Memorial Day becomes just another school day. Our real “summer” starts this Friday when the school bell rings for the last time.
If everything goes off as planned, it will be a typically busy summer for me, Tonya, and the boys. Right now I have a couple more weeks coaching Royce’s recreation-league baseball team for the 9-and-10-year old players. The past couple of summers he has played on our county’s all-star team during June and July, but he will be tackling something different this summer. He got a set of junior-golf clubs last Christmas, so he’s going to try his hand at that sport. Sometime in June he’ll get a week’s worth of individualized instruction from the assistant pro at our local public course, and then he’ll attend their golf camp in July. Tonya’s dad, Charles, was once an excellent golfer and says that Royce is a natural for the sport. We’ll see. Thus far, all my memories of the boy holding a golf club involve me trying to manage him as he persistently ran three or four holes ahead of us on putt-putt courses when he was younger.
As for Ryan, he’ll be playing baseball with a team out of Asheville, which is about an hour away from where we live. He’ll also be attending three days of basketball camp at Clemson with some of our county’s other rising freshman. And let’s not forget about football. Since he’ll be playing on the j.v. team this fall, he has to attend two-hour workouts at the high school on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday all summer. It’s a good thing we live only ten minutes from the school.
In addition to all this, in July we plan to drive down to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for a family vacation. We’re looking forward to that. By then, I’m sure that we will need a “vacation” from the boys’ summer “vacation.” I have no doubt that when I’m older I’ll look back on these days fondly and remember them as good times, but right now they just seem like a lot of time, energy, gas, and money.
Someone asks, “And where is the Lord in all this?” Oh, trust me, He’s right there. Tonya and I really do make a point of praying about summer plans, potential vacation trips, what activities to let the boys pursue, etc. And, as best I can tell as of this morning’s prayer, we are smack dab on God’s schedule and itinerary. So, we’ll get on His summer train and try to enjoy all the scenery and blessings of the ride. After all, the boys are only young once and we only get one shot at raising them. I just wish that summer “vacation” involved a lot less doing and a lot more resting.
Whatever happened to summers where you didn’t have all “that” to do? I sound like my grand-father, but when did summer get so complicated that I need a day planner or PDA. I will say this though, it is a systemic problem…my schdedule looks about the same as yours. Matter of fact, we haven’t found that week to get away… and may not. As I’ve said, empty nest is not a lifestage, but a goal..lol