Late summer finds kids, adults with feelings of relief, regret


August 17, 1999|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE WANING DAYS of summer have a special feel in our neighborhood. The dads (and many moms) who awaken to rude alarms at 5: 30 a.m. for the commute to the distant city first notice that it is no longer daylight at this "break of day" time, and the birds are not serenading the neighborhood before the coffee-makers and showers commence.

By the time people dash to their cars and head for work, the sun is up but the shadows are growing longer, and they suddenly realize that those late fall days of having to work "dark to dark" are rapidly approaching.

On the other hand, fathers appreciate that the grass isn't growing so fast and many moms appreciate that the household demand for "hot meals" has diminished in the sweltering August heat. Late summer does bring some advantages.

Kids, on the other hand, are growing more restless. Baseball practice is history, the swim and dive teams have hung up their suits for the season, and summer camp is a rapidly fading mix of photos and new first-name-only friends from far away.

"I'm not ready for school," said Shane Denman, 6, son of Jeff and Eileen Denman of Crofton. "I can wait. I still want it to be summer because we have only been to the beach one time."

His sister Devon, 4, agreed: "I still want to go to the beach again." Their parents confessed that one final trip to the family beach house in Pine Beach, N.J., is in the works.

In contrast, full-time mother Eileen Denman gave the nearly universal motherly reply to the end-of-summer question. "I can hardly wait until school starts," she said.

Older children have mixed emotions about the demise of summer. "I'm a little bored and a little glad to see summer over," said Katie McDaniel, daughter of Chris and Debbie McDaniel of Crofton. She will be starting high school at South River. "I love school, and I'm looking forward to new classes, a new school the whole high school experience." But, she worries that her friends from Crofton Middle School are being split up, with some going to Arundel High and others to South River because of school crowding in the far-west end of the county.

"It's really not fair for the kids," said Katie.

The first day of school in Anne Arundel County is Aug. 30. Alas, the last holiday of summer follows on Labor Day, Sept. 6.

Welcome home

On Sunday, Crofton's Community United Methodist Church will celebrate a Welcome Home Barbecue after the 10 a.m. service. The party will honor the Rev. Chris Holmes, his wife, Margaret, and their children. The pastor and his family have recently returned from a six-week sabbatical in Australia.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Proceeds will benefit the Betty's House Fund. Information: 410-721-9129.

Pub Date: 8/17/99

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