Little Boys of Summer
The summer all over the country has been hot and here in Western North Carolina, one of the hottest on record. Maybe we have all heard the phrase "the boys of summer" sometimes in reference to baseball players but this article isn't about those highly paid athletes who provide a full summer of sports entertainment for millions of fans. It is not about the grandeur of home runs, stolen bases or the perfect game pitched which many fans might have witnessed this week. This is about the antics and fun of my grandsons over this summer. Two little boys whose imagination and energy only wains when the lights are dimmed in their bedroom allowing the Sandman to sprinkle star dust into eyes that are sometimes still wide open and inquisitive bright minds still at full throttle.
My grandsons have spent much of their summer with us. Both are high energy boys and finding things for them to do hasn't been hard. We live in a rural area, so plenty of opportunities for recreation are available even in our own back yard.We have a sand pile left over from the building of a retaining wall last fall and the boys have had a lot of fun playing in the sand with their Tonka trucks. Major construction with lots of digging has been almost a daily routine. Puddles from storms has only added to the fun and of course severe mud measles requiring lots of soap and water!
To add to the back yard fun, my grandson built a small ramp. The ramp isn't so high to cause safety concerns but high enough for him to get the thrill he enjoys making small jumps on his bicycle. The Tonka trucks and Gravedigger allow for their own Monster Jam events. They like for me to be their personal broadcaster and give the color as they do figure eights, spin donuts and burnouts with all the fanfare of a real monster jam.
Thursday morning is our library day with story hour. At least two special programs were held this summer and both of my grandsons participated in the summer reading program and successfully completed the requirements receiving their own books that do not have to be returned.
This week our grandsons wanted to have a play date with two other boys who attend the Thursday morning story hour. We decided to go to our church fellowship hall which is near a small stream. Plenty of room for bike riding, a nice grassy park with picnic tables, and some swings and playground equipment. I set up pylons and set the rules for riding. They had to stay within the boundaries of the pylons. They had a blast riding their bikes.
I kept a watchful eye as they rode and with the orange pylons in view, those traveling on the road could easily see ther was activity in the area and most slowed their vehicles as they passed, many smiling and waving at the boys as they rode their bikes.
A neighborhood dog came by for a visit. I think he was just going to the river for a cool drink and he may have been as surprised to see boys as the boys were to see him. Whatever the case, boys and dogs just seem to bond so quickly and it wasn't long before he was being cuddled by them getting his belly rubbed. The dog seemed to take pleasure in licking the boys faces reciprocating their kindness and affection.
The afternoon passed only too quickly and it was time for me to cut a watermelon I had stashed in the fellowship hall refrigerator some two hours previous. It was not a disappointment and the cold melon sure tasted good. The boys tired of riding bikes by now elected to play on the swings and teeter totters and roll in the grass. With the afternoon spent, it was time to load the bikes and say goodbye to our friends who were already looking forward to the next time we can meet at the creek for more fun.
The little boys of summer sure have made some memories, hopefully good ones they will cherish and look back in years to come. For us grandparents, these times are precious and help to keep us young at heart. We may remember or reflect on our own special times when we were boys the boys or girls of summer. Damming up the creek with rocks to make a swimming hole and swinging on a rope dropping into the cold mountain water or riding an old beat up bicycle through the woods. Finding a yellow jacket nest or a hornets nest to fight (we lost those battles many times getting stung) or simply lying under a good shade tree after eating a big dinner napping until we had to return to the fields to hoe corn, pick beans, or set cabbage plants. It's good to have the memories and being a little boy of summer a blessing reserved for the young.