It's Aug. 21, two months into summer 2019. My bet is that students are ready to return to school. Oh no, they won't admit it, but it's true. After a few weeks of freedom away from the rigors of regimented study, some beach time and splashing in the ocean or pool, most youngsters are ready to go back to the daily grind for another 180 days.
If parents are truthful, they might whisper the same thing. (Shhh! I can't wait for the children to go back to school. They're driving me bananas.)
They look forward with mixed financial emotion to the obligatory “back-to-school shopping trip.” The credit cards take a hit, but the children must be prepared to return to classes a couple of days after Labor Day. That means their clothes or uniforms must be readied following youthful growth spurts that summer is known to harbor.
About this time of the season, if one monitors a police scanner radio, there seems to be an increase of calls regarding juveniles doing this or that, skateboarding in a shopping mall, trespassing where they should not, or other minor infractions.
I can imagine police officers being confronted by the same youngsters call after call, knowing they were probably ordered out of the house by a parent whose nerves were frayed. What's a body to do with those errant youngsters?
Maybe the answer is an ugly one, start school earlier.
There are some states where school starts before Labor Day. It's the envy of some here when they might compare notes with visiting cousins or friends. They hear that those schools are out by the end of May, and they look at the calendar. Mid-June and beyond locally is the time when schools close.
Many teachers are employed in summer positions, and to order them back to classes prior to Labor Day would cut into their second income. With some restructuring of teachers' union contracts, that could likely be remedied, too.
This time of year is a curse for small business owners. Why? Simply because it's when those college students, who have hustled the french fries and pizzas, and manned cash registers since Memorial Day Weekend have bid their employers adieu as they return to campus life. It means personally doing a lot of the work that help had done in the season.
"Help Wanted" signs begin to reappear in windows. They aren't long-range, but a job's a job, as are these end-of-season jobs.
As the sun rises a tad later each day and the days grow shorter by a minute or two, there is the anticipation among the populace that Labor Day is a brief moment away. High school teams and bands are beginning to practice for the upcoming scholastic rivalries that will fill autumn nights and Saturdays.
After Labor Day it seems there is a renewed, less hectic mood that prevails over the county. Ahead are those golden days of autumn when the temperatures will be warm, not hot, and the evenings will be cool enough to shut off the air conditioners and reopen the windows.
Those who enjoy walking on the county's beaches will be able to do so free from the fees imposed during the season. As the season cools into autumn, anglers will begin to reappear on the shoreline hoping to catch striped bass.
As of now, there are still days to be enjoyed before the school buses roll upon the roads and backpack-lugging youngsters dutifully take their seats on those conveyances. Hopefully, they won't get on their community's nerves too badly, and won't require police intervention.
Start school before Labor Day? It's something to consider.