I sometimes feel bad that my kids don't get the full "summer vacation" experience that I remember. We had to wake them up early 3 days a week to take them to their babysitter so I could work, and it seems most of the other days we were tightly planned and we were constantly on the go. We really didn't have a lot of slow-moving summertime days. It's that slowness that I remember when I think back on my summers. Summer is synonymous with slow, isn't it?
To indulge my happy childhood summer memories - here are things I remember from my summers:
Shoes were not an option. I had feet that could walk across coals by the end of the summer.
My sisters and I would spend all day outside developing and acting out intricate storylines for tales spanning Alice In Wonderland-like fantasy to dramatic plots involving escapes from orphanages and mobster-like gangs chasing us through our neighborhood adventures. The empty lot across the street was an entire country with jungles and deserts and caves and we were its reigning royalty.
Hand-cranked ice cream. I remember our whole extended family getting together and my grandfather orchestrating which cousin cranked next. It was a pain in the ass, but by the end, that sweet peppermint ice cream was the most heavenly thing I'd ever had. I loved the way there'd be a hint of the rocksalt taste that would inevitably find its way into the ice cream.
Throughout the summer, I remember our Colorado vacations, trips to the beach, camping trips, trips to the zoo and to parks, but I seem to remember that most of our days were of that slow, unplanned variety.
This weekend, we finally seem to be having some of that good summer slowness and unplanned days, and it's been great.
The kids spent all day Friday (ALL.DAY.) cozied up in the massive fuzzy pillows they made with their babysitter earlier this summer, and their feet propped up on the arms of the couch either watching TV or reading. (Kudos to me for letting them be that lazy!!! After all, that's the point, isn't it?) That evening was spent in the driveway of dear neighbor M sitting around their firepit after indulging in chicken wings and beverages of choice. Saturday was defined by slow evolution. E had a Girl Scout camp clean-up at the camp down the road from us, along with sweet neighbor-girl "Treehugger." I was driving them home, and they convinced me to let it evolve into a trip to the swimming pool, afterwhich evolved into a trip to Wendy's for frosties and chicken, afterwhich evolved into lounging on the playroom together playing with toys, afterwhich evolved into a sleepover.
Aside - I find it so interesting to watch E these days. She is equally happy hanging out with 13 year old neighbor girl listening to music and talking about boys, and hanging out with 7 year old Treehugger, playing with Littlest Petshop toys and living in a world of Let's Pretend. What a great place to be!This afternoon, we're having a family from down the road over for s.l.o.w.l.y smoked ribs (yum) and peach cobbler. This is a family I've been wanting to get to know better for a while, and funnily enough Linda (the mom) and I simultaneously told each other we'd like to get our families together sometime soon. We have absolutely no plans for Monday (Labor Day) at this point. I'll let the day tell me what it should be.
School starts Tuesday, and we'll be back in our fall routine. I'm looking forward to it - I've written before about how much I love the start of autumn. But for now, it's summertime and we're going to take it out with one big slow hurrah.