School’s out; watch out for kids

2011-06-08T00:06:00Z School’s out; watch out for kidsIndependent Record Helena Independent Record
June 08, 2011 12:06 am  • 

It’s a day we all remember deeply anticipating, its arrival often marked with shouts of joy, the sweet release of a long-term task completed, excitement for the future and a twinge of remorse for bygone days that won’t be relived again.

As anyone with kids — or for that matter, most anyone with Facebook friends who are teachers — knows, the last day of school is upon us. For thousands of youngsters across Helena, the blessed day arrives either Wednesday or Thursday. For three months, our area’s youngsters will be saying so long to book-laden backpacks and hours of homework; and hello to afternoons at the pool (if it ever stops raining), long weekends at the lake (ditto), staying up and sleeping in, memorable if occasionally interminable family vacations, Brewers games, Blizzards at the DQ and all the other rites of summer that are as much a part of growing up here as the nine months a year spent in the classroom.

For better and worse, the day also stands out as a permanent marker of time, as parents know their kids have grown another year older and another year closer to independence. It can be bittersweet, with the pride in our offsprings’ accomplishment mixed with the knowledge that they’ll never be this age again.

Which brings us to summertime, and the need for awareness that there are more kids around our streets and sidewalks, on foot and on two wheels, that we all need to be aware of.

For example, in many parts of our country, the curbside lemonade stand is an anachronism. In Helena, though, it sometimes seems to be a rite of passage. While we delight in seeing young entrepreneurs set up on sidewalks around town selling Kool-Aid and cookies, their presence is also a reminder that summer means more kids at play in more neighborhoods — during sweaty, sultry afternoons, but also well into the gloaming of 9 p.m. and beyond. After all, there’s no school to get up for, and it’s tough to go to sleep early when it’s light out ’til nearly 10 p.m.

Kids will be out and about on our city’s streets and sidewalks throughout the day for the next three months — heading to and from summer camps and other programs; meeting friends in one of our dozens of parks; taking a first cautious ride without training wheels; and heading to one place or another for an afternoon of play.

So as we’re reveling in the completion of another school year, we need to be aware of the extra traffic throughout Helena. Watch for kids crossing streets, give youngsters on bikes a wide berth, and generally take it a little slower and easier. We all want everyone to be here with us to celebrate this day a year from now.

Copyright 2016 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. dolphind3
    Report Abuse
    dolphind3 - June 09, 2011 9:25 am
    They do that purple but we are talking about kids here so they forget, we as adults should not and always be alert
  2. Purple
    Report Abuse
    Purple - June 09, 2011 7:53 am
    All good advise about motorists needing to be more alert, however, where the admonition to parents to teach their kids to not play in the street, don't run out into the street without looking, riding their bikes as far to the right as safely as possible, etc?

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters. If you receive an error after submitting a comment, please contact us.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps:

    1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

    2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

    3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

    4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

    5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at editor@helenair.com. This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

    6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

    7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

    8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

    9. Don't write a novel. If your comment is longer than the article you're commenting on, you might want to cut it down a bit. Lengthy comments will likely be removed.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick