Summer Zones Are Now in Progress
I don’t know about in your area, but last week was the last day of school around here. The kids came running out of the classrooms, tossing homework papers into the air that they never wanted to see again as visions of three months of freedom filled their heads. It’s on the same level as sugar plums at Christmas. They earned it and are eager to get the fun underway. No arithmetic. No writing. Of course, there will still be reading. However, science and social studies are now put on hold for the next twelve weeks.
Of course, that also means that the school zones can be safely ignored, those twenty or thirty foot sections of road where you have to slow down to 15 miles per hour for the safety of school children. Usually there’s a crossing guard somewhere about helping children get safely across the street and avoid those people that don’t realize there are such things as school zones. To be honest, they are quite easy to forget, even for those of us with school-aged children. We get busy talking to whoever is in the car with us or jamming out to the Fall Out Boy and have to slam on the brakes at the last minute as the School Zone sign comes into view. The crossing guard scowls at us as he waves his heavy STOP sign. We pretend we don’t see him as we inch along.
However, we don’t need to worry about those signs anymore. School is out. Teachers are now set free as are their captives. Kids aren’t crossing the streets anymore to get to school.
No, now they’re playing in them, instead.
School zones have been replaced with Summer Zones–no, not an actual zone, although it should be–and instead of having to be slow and cautious for thirty minutes twice a day, we need to be driving that way all the time, constantly on the lookout for kids at play. There are no more crossing guards seeing to our children’s safety. That job now resides on our shoulders, both as parents and drivers. After all, the responsibility should reside with us and not some underpaid government employee. They are our kids.
To be honest, I’m glad to see them running the streets of my neighborhood. They’ve been cramped inside a class room for 6 ½ hours every day, five days a week for roughly nine months. They need to be out in the sunshine, breathing in the fresh air and exercising their legs and lungs by running, screaming and laughing. I love to hear the sound of our neighborhood kids riding their bikes and chasing each other. The streets will again be quiet enough within a few weeks.
As a matter of fact, get out there with them. Play catch or Freeze Tag. Ride your bikes around the neighborhood together. You need the exercise and fresh air just as much if not more than they do. Turn off the television, close the laptop, and put that smart phone down. They’ll be there when you get back. Don’t allow your children to grow up with the memory that you were always on your phone or computer. Allow them to recall that you were just as silly as they were as you got out there and played with them. They may remember that video game when they get older as we look back on vinyl albums, but the memory of you playing Leap Frog in the front yard will make them smile and laugh much more than a game of Frogger. They need that. More importantly, so do you.
So, shift your mind into the Summer Zone and allow yourself to slow down and enjoy their time off. Nothing else is as important. I promise.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~