By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Without fail, it was always about this time of year during my childhood when I’d start to feel anxious. It was this time of year when the days had long since begun getting too warm and sticky with humidity. It was this time of year when the sunshine would stretch out into the evening hours and encroach upon my entirely too early childhood bedtime.
It was this time of year when childish impatience would make it difficult to sit through school and concentrate on instruction when I could see that the calendar on the wall had been flipped to May and that a date near the end of the month had been marked with a highlighter signifying the last day of class. That one highlighted square represented the beginning of freedom.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved school. I looked forward to a similar day highlighted on the calendar in August just as much as I did that day in May. Like most people, though, it’s the things that are just ever so slightly out of reach that can seem more appealing to me. Well, that, and there’s a certain joy that comes from changing up a routine. As much as I loved being in school, by the time May came around it always started feeling a little like a tired routine.
The longer days held the promise of afternoons spent playing a neighborhood-wide game of hide-and-seek, or of practice karate sessions in the front yard with my big brother and his friends. The days held promise of mornings spent racing our bikes down our quiet street, or of walking to the municipal pool and staying in the water so long that I could still feel myself floating when I’d try to go to sleep at night. They held promise of trying to eat one too many raspas before they melted in the summer heat and accomplishing nothing more than staining our lips and fingers in bright shades of red, and purple and blue.
The warm spring days held such promise but there was just one thing in the way: school. I’m fairly certain teachers know kids have attention spans that seem to decrease exponentially the later into May the calendar gets. And I’m fairly certain that’s why Field Day is a thing at most schools, especially at the grade school levels.
I used to think the daylong carnival-like atmosphere was hosted by the school as a reward for us kids having done well throughout the year, for trying our best. Now, I think it’s an incentive to help keep kids focused just a little bit longer.
“There’s a finish line, and when you get there you can have as much fun as you want, but let’s focus on finishing these last few chapters, these last few lessons, this last test first.” That’s the Field Day incentive. It’s pretty smart, if you think about it.
Schools aren’t the only ones hosting field days, though. The Laguna Madre Little League is hosting one, as well. Beginning at 2 p.m. this Saturday, families are invited to attend a fun-filled day at the Laguna Madre Little League Park. If you go, save me a Frito pie! And as always, visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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