Do the words “Back to School” make you panic?

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Once upon a time the first day of school was the Tuesday after Labor Day. In those days, summer break was really a summer break, as in it lasted all summer. My little brother Steve and I spent many hot summer hours playing at home with Mama. I was 14 before I lived in a house with air conditioning. Most days we walked across the parking lot at the back of our yard at least once to enjoy a visit with Daddy while he worked in Daddy Leland’s air conditioned grocery store. Air conditioning was such a luxury back then that stores had the words “Air Conditioned” on the door to encourage customers to come in and get cool. Daddy Leland was so modern that he had air conditioning and an automatic door. He was what you call “uptown!”

In the afternoons the popsicle truck rolled along the street in front of our house, playing its alluring music. Sometimes Mama gave us a nickel or a dime to buy a treat. Of course, we could buy those at Daddy Leland’s store, too, but it was fun to buy them from the popsicle truck.

Ice cream truck. Washington D.C., 1942. John Ferrell, photographer. Courtesy Library of Congress.

Ashland City didn’t have a city pool, so swimming was something of a luxury for our family. Except for the rare trips to Marrowbone Creek with Mother, my Aunt Lavon, and my cousins, going swimming was a whole family event that we enjoyed rarely when Daddy could take us to the city pool 20 miles away in Springfield or to one of the private pools that were also several miles away. If Steve and I wanted to cool off by getting wet, we sprayed each other with the hose, which we Tennesseans called a hose pipe back in those days. Kinda redundant, huh?

So, what does all this have to do with school starting and you panicking? Well, just this: children deserve lazy days. They deserve summer memories. And you deserve a summer break, too. What if you didn’t start until the Tuesday after Labor Day? Would that really be such a bad idea? If  your children have some more days for playing, that’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing!

When God was prophesying better days for the city of Jerusalem, He described what life would be like there then. Keep in mind that the streets He was talking about didn’t have fast cars and semis barreling down them. They were the gathering places of the people.

Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem,
each man with his staff in his hand because of age.
And the streets of the city will be filled
with boys and girls playing in its streets.”
Zechariah 8:4-5

Don’t panic. Don’t worry if you don’t have every day planned for this fall. And certainly don’t worry if you don’t have every day planned for the next 12 years! God is kind to give us only one day to live at a time. I don’t do such a good job of living more than one day. Don’t get me wrong. Planning is good, even necessary. Panic, though, is not a good thing. Letting tomorrow’s worries steal from today is not a good thing either. Need a few more days or weeks to get ready for the fall? I don’t think your children will mind.

This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24





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One comment

  1. Thank you so much for all of your posts. They are truly encouraging! This one was very timely for me. I was about in panic mode realizing we wouldn’t be able to start as early as we usually do because of home renovations due to a water leak in our kitchen. So thank you for encouraging me!

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