I remember childhood summers. The first day, how big, how exciting, how many things you were going to do, how much fun you would have.
And there were things to do. My brother and I would play with the kids across the street or with friends down the street. We'd go and try to catch frogs or raise Monarch caterpillars or watch birds' nests (but never touch them, out of fear that the parents wouldn't come back). And there was the public library book club to join (I took part in that, even long after it ceased to be cool for the age group I was in. Later on, I worked as a volunteer handing out stickers and hearing kids talk about the books they'd read). And there were crafts to do. And trees to climb. And books to read. And elaborate games with stuffed animals or little animal figures to be acted out with my friends.
But eventually, summer got to be too much. Too long, everything we wanted to do had been done, we got bored. It was hot. And secretly, I wanted to go back to school. Oh, I'd drag my feet, especially as the day approached. Complain about having to go and get school clothes and shoes. Worry about whether I'd get the "mean" teacher that year.
But secretly, I loved back to school. I loved having new supplies: un-written-in notebooks, new pencils, fresh-smelling folders. I liked the excitement of new textbooks (I remember taking the books home - we were allowed to carry our textbooks home - and reading through them, especially the reading or language-arts one, looking for stories or poems I particularly liked). I liked the idea of fall coming on, of the changes in the weather and the leaves taking on color, of different fruits and vegetables in the store, of the whole idea of harvest-time.
I still feel that way. Granted, "fall" here doesn't come until early to mid October (in Ohio, sometimes you could get the first hints of it in early September). But I like the feeling of a new purpose, of things starting up again, of the promise that it will be cool again sometime. (And that our grasshoppers will go away. So sick of the grasshoppers.)