First Day of Summer

Mother and Father with small children
Barbara, PJ, Jill, and Phil Gretter

head shot of while male in suit and tie

By PJ Gretter

My dad, who dropped me off and picked me up from school every day until I could drive, was amazing at helping my sister and me make the most out of the good things in life. One particular idea he had created one of my fondest memories of summer. On the very first day of summer (i.e., the day after the last day of school), my dad would get us out of bed and follow the same routine as if it were any other school day. He would then drive my sister Jill and I to the school and park in the same spot we always parked.

We would sit there for approximately 5 minutes just beaming ear to ear, knowing what was coming next. After we couldn’t stand it any longer, one of us would break the silence with something along the lines of “Hmm, it looks like school must be cancelled today.” We would share a laugh and then head off to McDonald’s for pancakes and begin celebrating the official start of summer. Oftentimes, people say you don’t appreciate something until it’s gone. My dad showed me a remedy for that: make an extra effort to appreciate a good thing as soon as it begins. My dad has since passed, and while I miss him terribly, I can’t wait to steal his idea and share it with my son on the first day of summer.