Every year I long for them.
The long, lazy days of summer.
And now they’re finally here.
A friend asked me the other day what I remember most about summertime when I was growing up. I thought about it and it wasn’t big family vacations or camp or anything “big” like that. What I remember most is doing nothing. I mainly remember playing with my cousins, the smell of freshly-cut grass, and baking in the sun with my friend Becky. We slathered down with Hawaiian Tropic and listened to Axl F on my little purple AM/FM/cassette mini boom-box while we talked about boys.
I wonder what my kids will remember and I think it might end up being something like this:
Stopping mid-pedal on a bike ride to watch a roly poly on the sidewalk or to scrutinize “a herd of ants.” Picking a buttercup to put in your hair. Making “tree-tents” and drawing with sidewalk chalk. Making daisy chains. Pulling off the road when you spot the world’s biggest dandelion. Having a popsicle (or two. Or three). Stomping in the creek. Eating dinner outside on a blanket.
Staying up late to catch lightning bugs. Squirting each other with the hose. Sweating profusely and hoping for a breeze. Looking for butterflies. Slicing up watermelon. Looking at dinosaur-shaped clouds in the sky. Retreating to the A/C and collapsing on the cool couch with a big glass of iced tea and the latest episode of Wild Kratts. Staying up after dark. Dirty feet. Swinging on swings. Climbing trees.
And what will I remember about these days with my children?
“Mom, come and play ball with me!” – Sadie, age 10
“Mom, I need a hug from you!” – Josie, age 8
“Mom, wet’s go for a bike wide!” – Jed, age 3
CRASH*BANG!!BOOM* then: “Everything’s fine, Mom! Don’t come and check on me!” – Adelaide, age 6
These little moments, these little arms around us, these tiny dirty feet running through the summer grass. These are the moments we will remember – not the big stuff.
Or maybe we’re getting it wrong – maybe it is the big stuff.
I hope your summer days are long and lazy and full of “nothing.”