Summer break has arrived at the House of Chaos, though you wouldn’t know it by the weather. Chicago is having an extended spring. A very wet, cold, miserable, going straight from winter to blazing summer kind of spring. It has been less than pleasant. Last week I wore jeans, a long sleeved T-shirt, a sweater normally reserved for the bowels of November, socks, and slippers. And still I shivered. Go home Mother Nature, you’re drunk.
Yet J is out of school for the next few months and A has completed his assignments for 6th grade (um…you’ve been promoted to 7th grade, consider this your report card), so summer must be here. Also the dog stinks seven ways from Sunday…and all the other days of the week…so yeah, must be summertime. Ish.
We have a week of break under our collective belts and all I can think is how different summer breaks were for me at that age. For starters, computers. When I was 12, know what I had for a computer? Yeah, me neither, but it was my dad’s and used only for writing papers to be printed with the dot matrix printer. Maybe Zork on the weekends (my geek cred just skyrocketed). So no computer for hours of gaming, or programming, or farting around while vaguely hearing mom nag about getting off the computer. I read books, took classes at the library, played in the middle school summer band. I played outside, mainly
chase that damn ball tennis or riding bikes (sans helmet, natch). I don’t recall ever whining about being bored, probably because I was deep into a book.
Let’s compare that to summers of today. The boys joined the library’s summer reading program (as have I), yet I’m mean for insisting on afternoon quiet time with a book. On most of the previous days an old desktop computer has been in pieces on my living room floor, only to be reassembled in perfect working order (how does he do that?). A hacked his Raspberry Pi to stream media from my iTunes. The boys are filming a stop motion animation movie on something, I know not what. There are wires everywhere, code is spoken here, and dear god what is that smell? Summer camp has begun (though not without bumps), the bikes are ready to go at a moment’s notice, and popsicles are a food group.
Actually, with the exception of technology, it looks a lot like the summers of my youth. May they have as many fond memories of this summer as I do of mine at that age.