It’s the last day of school for our 1st and 3rd grade daughters. I remember how great this day was when I was a kid. It was like the day that made the rest of the year worth it. Sure, we had to listen to our teachers, but not as much. And they finally let their hair down. Except Mr. Stinson, who had no hair. And who I’m sure is way dead by now. 

Anyway, I just returned from the third grade ceremony at school. Because it’s Montessori school, the grades overlap from first to third. And so for the last three years our daughter’s had the same teachers. There were tears at the ceremony, but I wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to, but couldn’t bring myself into that emotion – trying to remember what it was like, the unknown white space of the next phase. 

Instead, I thought about summer. I thought about being away from our land-locked home to be near the ocean for a spell. And then I thought of the ocean, or rather the Gulf – and I wondered why the media insists on calling the Gulf the ocean. Then I thought of the birds coated in the thick, brown syrup and how that one image of the bird suffocating in that shit made my heart sink – its one little eye showing while the muck dripped from its bill. Inside its eye I felt it ask why. And I thought of Dawn and how early on I thought a fun print ad would be for them to show a bottle of Dawn rising up from the ocean. Er, the Gulf. “Dawn to the rescue” it would imply. It’s not as clever now as it was then. 

Then I clapped because the ceremony was over. Here comes summer.


Jim Mitchem is a father, husband, writer and entrepreneur. You can find him on Twitter @smashadv.

Back There.
Figuring out why I'm here

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.