Moshannon Valley kids look forward to summer with the same kind of eager zeal they feel in the days leading up to Halloween and Christmas.
Parents? Well, it’s fair to say that our feelings can be a bit mixed.
We are so proud to see the children run out of Philipsburg or Osceola Mills elementary schools, about a foot taller than they started in September, with report cards that show the growth that happened inside their little heads.
But we also remember all those snow days and how eager we were for the weather to break so they could go back to school. August? That long? Really?
We can’t wait for all the same things they want to do. Sandcastles on the beach at Black Moshannon State Park, picnics at Cold Stream Dam, a peanut butter milkshake at Goody’s after a baseball game.
But we know that for every perfect summer memory, there will be “Moooooommmm! I’m bored!” plus whining, wicked burns because somebody didn’t listen when he was told to put on sunscreen, and probably a fish hook in somebody’s thumb at some point.
We love taking them to Heritage Days. We dread saying no to a small fortune in greasy fair food. We can’t wait to share fireworks against the black sky with them. We do it gritting our teeth, knowing it might mean overtired, cranky beasts the next day.
And as much as every day can be a sweaty treadmill of “Will you please shut the door before the bugs get in,” and we might mentally have that first day of school circled in bullseye red, we still pack them up for another day at the Clear-Centre pool, another curbside seat for the Fourth of July parade in Osceola, another box of popsicles even though we know it’s going to be a melty mess.
We do it because we remember our parents doing the same for us, giving us little summery touchstones that stay with us forever, so how can we not do the same?
For Philipsburg-Osceola children, vacation starts June 4. For parents, it will be about 12 weeks of ups and downs, but hey, who doesn’t love a good roller coaster ride over the summer?