After today’s Summer English Camp lessons were over and the kids went home, I walked over to a nearby Paris Baguette to buy lunch, passing a few of my non-camp students playing in their neighborhood. And suddenly, I was hit with a pang of nostalgia as I watched them accidentally hit a baseball too far and have it land on a nearby car, then start fighting over who’s going to get it. It reminded me of how I used to do just that with my friends when I was little. And incredibly, these kids weren’t hunched over their smartphones or glued to an iPad playing the latest mobile game, which is a rare sight these days. (I’m such a grandma.)
I miss how “summer vacation” used to mean running outside to meet your friends as fast as your legs could carry you after hanging up the house phone, crashing bikes, holding competitions to see who can roll down the hill the fastest, finally mastering your first 360 twirl on your fancy new rollerblades, climbing trees and not knowing how to get back down, doing cartwheels barefoot in the grass until you’re too dizzy to go on, diving into the deep end and fishing out your friend’s goggles from the bottom of the swimming pool, fighting over who’s turn it is to be the mom when playing “house”, racing over to the ice cream truck to buy a Mickey Mouse popsicle with lopsided, melting eyeballs (but we didn’t care, it was the most delicious thing in the world at that moment)… and the worst part of the day was saying bye to go home for dinnertime before your mom threatens to open a can of whoop-ass for being late again.
Now, everything is the opposite. “Summer vacation” means going into work, cleaning up after the students everyday after camp (which was fun for them but exhausting for you), driving home to cook dinner and clean the house, planning and preparing for the next day’s camp, with this cycle continuing until you are finally free to go on real vacation somewhere for just a few days. And even going on vacation is exhausting as an adult – the packing, the planning, making reservations, renting a car, stressing about wearing a bikini, etc. That’s a pretty pessimistic take on adulthood summer vacations isn’t it haha. Guess I’m still stuck as a 90’s kid at heart.