When I was a kid, summer meant THREE WHOLE MONTHS OFF.
Summer meant swimming for hours and collecting June bugs on the side of the pool. Summer meant rocking on wood seats and unwrapping the 31 Flavors Ice Cream wrapper before the waffle cone was soggy from mint chip drips. Summer meant parents who taught summer school and cinnamon sugar toast for lunch and baking cookies every.single.day. Summer meant making my little brother watch Days of our Lives with me and my best friend, Kathy. Summer meant sunburned cheeks and showering off the perfume of chlorine smells and coconut tanning lotion just before dinner so that over grilled burgers and watermelon triangles, the back of the chair collected wet hair puddles.
Summer meant being a kid. Sleeping in. Playing hard. Late sunsets and even later bedtimes.
Summer embodied relaxation and sleepovers, warm watercolored skies, and coming inside once the street lights came on.
This is our last summer before the boys are both in ALL.DAY.SCHOOL (cue sadhappy tears) And suddenly I’m met with questions about if my kids are doing sports camps, and what will I do with them, and for a crazy moment I’m near panic because I will be staring at them ALL.DAY.LONG. and what on earth will we do?
And then, it comes. The calm.
The we’re-going-to-slow-down-and-enjoy-summer-every.single.day calm.
The I’m-not-going-to-stress, I’m-going-to-soak calm.
Soak up swimming for hours and collecting June bugs on the side of the pool. Soak up the four of us walking to Yogurtland – Bruiser leading the way- and Ty flexing his palm at every car that approaches. Soak up being a mom that works part-time and on those days, knowing our boys are making childhood memories with their Mimi.
Soak up staying in our bathing suits and having water balloon fights and driving to their school to play basketball on an empty court.
Soak up the simple joys of enjoying grilled burgers and sloshing tummies from too many watermelon triangles.
Heck, today the boys and I jumped on the trampoline and were so fully in the moment I didn’t have time to stress about all the activities I could have them involved in because we were having so much fun being us.
There’s something about Summer. She carries a secret key that unlocks childhood memories and offers them to us as parents. And we offer them to our kids. Sweet and simple and soak-worthy.
I’m soaking up no agenda, no time frame we have to be at, no school bell, no homework.
And when they look back at summer, I hope our boys remember it was them we soaked up more than anything else.