As school bells ring out across the country for the final time before summer break, I was reminded about what a special time this was for me as a child. Starting around, well, January, I would begin my countdown to the final day of school. My father would even start telling me how many “wake ups” I had until the last day of school. I got so excited I would make myself sick.
Why? Because summer meant countless hours of reading whatever I wanted, playing outside, swimming, and, most importantly in seventh and eighth grade, spending time building a universe with my best friend and writing stories in that universe. Hot summer days in Georgia gave birth to the early versions of Star Runners.
Particularly, I remember the summer my mother and father bought a boat. I had so much fun sitting at the front of the boat as it bounced across the lake. For some reason, gazing into the brilliant blue sky of a scorching summer day in Georgia always sent my imagination swirling. Either it was the heat or the time away from school, but something sent my mind into the imaginary universe we had created. My, my, those were great days.
What am I talking about? Although I’m older than my seventh grade self—and it might not be considered the “mature” thing to do—I still spend all available moments in an imaginary world. I can’t help it. It’s who I am.
Growing up is for quitters.