The saddest moment of my kid year was always Labour Day Monday, 3:20 pm. At that precise moment the holiday ended. Today might as well have been a school day, I would think, year after year. If it had been a school day, I would have the same amount of time off as I do now. I am already back at the grind. Hello Grade 3 (or 4 or 7 or 12). Three hundred more days until summer.
Cheery little fellow, wasn't I? No wonder I didn't get invited to many late summer barbecues. (Sure, I'll have another hot dog. Who cares about indigestion? Holidays are over. There's nothing to live for except the present ...)
In fact, it was even worse than that. I lived the entire season in a state of diminishing expectations. I would divide the nine or ten weeks into little playtime-sized pieces, and count them like a miser: how many were gone, how many remained. I loved the first week or two of July, but as the month stretched out I would be increasingly aware of time passing. In the middle of August I would think: Only a couple of weeks left now. It isn't really a summer-sized holiday any more. More like Christmas. Another week and summer would be the size of a March break. (March break? Why, that passes in a flash! It's barely a holiday at all.) I would play harder, faster, in an attempt to get more out of my shrinking freedom. In the last week I would count down the days, until there was only a long weekend left. Then a weekend. Then a holiday Monday. And then ... 3:20.
I told Ed about this last week -- one of those early morning coffee and toast musings. I don't know what I was expecting. A laugh, a head shake, a moment of sympathy. He stared at me over the comics page.
What a weirdo, he said.