Kids await joys of summer

By Regina Villiers. Originally published June 9, 1993 in The Suburban Life, added November 2022.

I’m not sure what kids do on the last day of school anymore.

When my own two sons were in grade school, they’d run home singing, “School’s out. School’s out. Teacher let the monkeys out.”

 For them, summer meant a time of unconditional freedom. Not old enough yet for 
summer jobs, it was a time when summer stretched out before them as endless as their 
dreams. A time that would never come to them again.

It was a time to leave school behind for wifi1eball games in the backyard. A time for 
long lazy days in the treehouse. A time for watching stars from the garage roof at 

Alma Linn says that when she was in school, kids in Madeira used to dress up in their 
best finery to go to school on the last day of the year.

Dressed as if going to church they’d go to school to pick up their report cards. It was 
a ritual observed with formality –  a passage  between  duty  and freedom.

When my son, Kelly, was in third  grade,  I  observed  this passage to summer by an 
entire room full of kids when I was room mother for his class that year. This was the 
same group who gave me handmade valentines on Valentine’s Day.

On the last day of  school everyone in the class wrote me a letter which they 
presented to me in a packet. I still have the letters, and they are all painstakingly written 
by small hands on ruled paper.

Most of the letters are polite notes, written, I’m  sure,· with many  guidelines  from  
the teacher, Mrs. Jo VanBlaricum.

In glowing terms, they thanked me for being their room mother and all the things I 
had done, especially the parties. But a few of them added their ow touches to the notes.

One little girl, Hope, got totally caught up in her enthusiasm and could hardly stop. “I hope 
you are our room mother for the rest of my life,” she wrote. “You are the best one of all 
my school years.”

Frank showed enthusiasm too “‘Thank you for the parties,” he wrote. “I liked the games, and
I liked the books. But most of all, I liked you”

Kelly used his note to once again apologize for losing my camera when we took a zoo trip as  
a  class. Actually, it  was stolen. Snatched from him by a hit-and-run snatcher as a purse would be.

Kelly also thanked me for ”being cooperative all year.” I think he was merely flaunting a 
new word in his vocabulary.

Tracey  Kennedy  and  Kris Freese both thanked me for having them sing at the 
valentine party. I had tried to launch their careers as rock singers. Unfortunately, disco 
happened before they got their feet in the stars.

My  favorite  letter,  though, came from David, who wrote: “Thank you for being our 
room mother. I want you back next year. Don’t do a lot of hard stuff this summer. ‘Save 
yourself for next year. Don’t wear out on me. Your friend, David Wick.”

I didn’t do a lot of hard stuff and I tried not to wear out on him. I spent the entire 
summer trying to recapture some of the idyllic joys of being a child in the summertime.

And although it took me an extra year to do it. I saved myself to be his room mother again
in the fifth grade.

So, I w1sh the joys of summer to all the boys of summer, and to all the girls too. May this
summer seem to them as if it will never end.

The ending to the May 26b column about the boys who published the Madeira Sun was
omitted in printing, prompting calls and inquiries about the ultimate fate of  the  boys,
especially  the whereabouts of Jack Morgan.

Jack doesn’t know what eventually became of his publishing buddies. Alfred Stuart 
moved to Virginia, and over the years, Jack lost touch with all of them. Jack moved 
away from Madeira and has lived most of his adult life in Georgia and in Jacksonville, 
Fla. He and his wife now live at Ponte Vedra Beach.

Their children and grand-children live in that area as well. 

Regina Villiers is a writer who has lived in Madeira for 25 years. her column appears
regularly in the Suburban Lile-Press. If you have an idea or comment, you may write
to her in care of Press Community Newspapers,  9121 Union Cemetery Road,
Cincinnati Ohio 45249

Class photo of Madeira Hills School 1970-1971
Mr. John Dumont – Principal
Mrs. VanBlaricum – Grade 3