When I was a kid, the end of the school year was brutal. I was ready for a languid, lazy summer by mid-April. My brain, which generally fired on all 4 cylinders, was limping toward the finish line on a flat tire and a crappy suspension. The days were warm and my feet were sore. The idea of finishing my diorama on Jamestown was more torturous than being trapped in a pit of snakes.
Turns out I still feel that way.
The moms who drove our carpool back then must have sensed this fatigue because at least once a week that last month of school, one of them would stop on the way home and get us Slurpees. Everyone had a favorite concoction. Mine was a Coke Slurpee with a thin layer of cherry in the middle.
And we’d sit in the wayback of the station wagon with the windows down with the wind in our hair and think maybe we can make it 2 more weeks after all. Maybe it was just the sugar rush. Maybe it was the brain freeze. Maybe it was the silent but clear acknowledgement from our mothers that we were all in this together. Or maybe it was just the brief taste of summer that reminded us that freedom was just around the corner. The Slurpees would be gone by the time we got home, nothing left but sticky fingers and the telltale colored tongue.
Today was one of those days. And so today seemed like the perfect afternoon for a Slurpee for the drive home from school.
It might be 25 years later, but I still get Coke with a thin layer of Cherry in the middle. And they were gone by the time we got home. We giggled, we stuck out our colored tongues, and we made plans for summer. Plans of doing nothing. Of going to the beach, sitting on the dock, catching grasshoppers in the backyard, roasting marshmallows, reading books, and sleeping in.
Maybe, just maybe, we can make it two more weeks…