Dog Days Of Summer (Any Day Around Now In Which You Have To Do Something)

Hot Dog on Summer Dog Day

At a certain point mid-summer, the days become dog days even if not beastly hot.  If, that is, they are work days.

Many, in my generation (boomers), were lucky enough to be raised on summer vacations.  I say, raised “on” rather than raised “in,” because summer was a halcyon time of little supervision; we were hardly raised at all during those hot months, but were out in the street, a back yard, someone’s basement, the pool (or a slow rota of all of the above).  Adults were there but not right there.  They were sort of like life guards  – near enough to be summoned in a crisis, occasionally blowing a figurative whistle, mainly just hovering somewhere vaguely above us, and (on weekends at least) sunning themselves.  Their reprimands could usually be avoided by some judicious tip-toeing or scoots.

There is something magical about unstructured time, especially for children, and especially when screens (other than perhaps sunscreens) are kept, more or less, off-limits.  Unfortunately, today’s kids experience unstructured summer days less and less; school is succeeded by various day or sleep-away camps, summer schools, prep courses, and when all parties (parents and children) have vacation, it’s such a brief, valuable, time that the conscientious working parent feels (rightly) compelled to spend it actively together with their child, doing something planned.

I started to write – what about some good old-fashioned boredom?  But I’m sure modern kids get plenty bored; it just seems to be a more frenetic/passive kind of boredom, a boredom fed by digital or electronic current, or, at a minimum, a current of someone else’s control or content.

Adults suffer too.  We were raised on summer vacations, remember!  Days and days of trying to think up something fun, sometimes succeeding.

Explore posts in the same categories: children's illustration, dog, Vicissitudes of Life

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