It's that time of year once more. If you don't know what time it is, that probably means you don't know one of the high school seniors!
As April winds down and May begins, you can see the change in all the members of the graduating senior class. They start to become disoriented and unfocused. After over 12 years of listening to their teachers, doing their homework and paying attention to all the adults, they finally lose complete control and start exhibiting all the symptoms of "senioritis."
They smile at all the silliest of things. They drive around town with no real destination in mind and a complete inability to be anywhere on time. And, in response to any question about their future plans, they are certain to respond with a variation of "I'm outta here!"
The teachers and administrators will tell you that they are all too familiar with "senioritis." They know that, for the final month of school, trying to communicate with the seniors is a losing endeavor. They understand that the young men and women under their charge, no matter how wonderful they may be, become different creatures in the final month of school.
We've got our student intern, Gideon Gonzales, who is one of the most hard working, conscientious employees you could ask for. As the deadline approaches, we've watched him having to adjust his schedule, he's been gone for college visits and various competitions, and he's much more focused on next month rather than today. Admittedly, we've enjoyed watching Gideon, always a focused young man, become a bit of a scatterbrain like all of his classmates. It's reassuring to know that, as great as he is, he is not immune from the same problems and distractions that affect everyone else.
But, it's not just seniors that are affected by countdowns.
A little over a week ago, my traveling companions and I finally booked our flights to Boston. Since that time, we've been discussing itineraries once we arrive, places we want to eat, and experiences we want to have.
I've contacted Bruce and Susan to confirm the cabin in Maine, and sent them our flight times so they know when to expect us. I've spoken to Harriet down in Falmouth, gotten an update on Laura, Sara and John, and planned out cocktails at sunset on the rocks below the house. I've emailed Bob and Lin who live up in Damariscotta and share the Maine cabin with Harriet, and figured out when we can have dinner.
I've looked at attractions around New Harbor and Pemaquid, thought about a day-trip up to Camden or down to Freeport, and checked menus for the neighborhood eateries. I've discovered that there is an admission charge to the lighthouse park, even when we're on foot. I've learned that the Seagull Shop & Restaurant now allow wine or beer to be brought in during the evening meals, guaranteeing that the view will be even more spectacular.
During conversations, I find that I can't help but bring up Boston, or Newport, or Portland. During brief moments of free time, I go on Google Earth and do flyovers of the planned routes, just to see if the landscape has changed from 17 years ago.
And, I keep looking at Dozer and worrying about how angry he's going to be when I leave him for a week. I know that he and Daddy will be fine; but, I'm betting he knocks me over when I walk back through the door on that Tuesday night.
I've decided to give it a name, this vacation condition. Rather than "senioritis," I'll call it "Maineitis." And finally, once we return, I'll let it rest. Till then, expect the occasional Androscoggin or Penobscot reference, and just be kind and let it go.
It’s all just my opinion.