I never really much cared for summer.
As a child, it was still light at bedtime. And too hot to fall asleep.
Both Lolopop and Lola worked full time. My days were spent watching TV and fighting with Unkinan either at your Great Grandma Crazy's house, or when we were older, at home either alone or under the lovingly lax supervision of our older sister, your Auntie Mommy.
Sure, we took the family vacation or camping trip here and there. And when I was older I looked forward to Flirting for Jesus, also known as youth group mission trips and denominational youth conferences.
But, generally speaking, I can't say I have any profoundly fond memories of childhood.
I was a baby zombie who grew up to be a mommy zombie. Without the brain-eating, of course.
I have nostalgic stories I could tell, but I've always held this desire to be somewhere else; to be a grown-up; to just get through this burning hot day to the next. Not because I hated my life. I was just determined to get through it, even as a child, racing to the finish line, waiting for my deliverance, for the day I could do the next thing, to be a grown-up or whatever my illusion of the future was.
I am (was?) a perfectionist, so nothing satisfied.
Now, I realize the inescapable trap I put myself in, fearing I'd be unhappy if I did not achieve perfection, if I failed, yet because of this never experiencing happiness, feeling it ever out of my [self-created, artificial] reach.
Wait. What does this have to do with summer?
I suppose it's all to say that this may be the very first summer I've ever truly enjoyed.
That I've ever truly experienced: feeling marine breezes cool my sun-kissed skin; watching lizards scurry while we wiggle our toes in the hot sand; stuffing our bellies with watermelon, un-bothered by the sticky-sweet juices making trails down faces and arms; splashing and spraying; scurrying and screaming as ants, flooded by our wild hose from their underground homes, climb our legs; fixing boo-boos with popsicles; the churning, whirring of homemade ice cream; the smell of sunshine in your hair, your sweaty heads snuggling closer during afternoon couch-naps; washing sand from your hair and from between your toes; outdoor dinners and after-dinner walks; family celebrations and backyard parties that make you forget the time, playing with cousins and talking story with aunties, the sun crossing the sky and setting, up past our bedtimes.
The way summer should be.
Painting (on a resusable "canvas") en plein aire and gardening.
Sunshine in her hair, backyard on her face.
Family bike ride.
Watermelon, get in my tummy!
Searching out the perfect shady playground. Yes, that's DJ climbing out of her sister's reach.
Don't let the sandman getcha, Danjo!
Love you no matter what,
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