Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer
"and when the rain beats against my windowpane, I'll think of summer days again, and think of you
"Summer's here and the time is right for dancing in the street"
Or in the yard or on the deck or anywhere because when its summer, its happy time and time to celebrate and kick back and love life.
Crystal blue skies and warmer temperatures really take me back to other times, other places, other people. As a little kid, summer meant freedom. Freedom from a schedule, from nuns, from uniforms, from homework. It meant leaving the house early enough that the grass was still wet from overnight dew and only coming home for lunch and dinner. It meant knowing that there was a Mom home in all the houses on our street because back in those days, most Mom's didnt work. It meant playing outside even after the street lights came on. I remember lying on my back looking up at huge, puffy clouds, separated by vivid blue skies and making cloud figures. And I remember picking dandelions and blowing the seeds off them. I remember cookouts with my Dad mastering his grill. I remember my Mom's potato salad and cherry pie. I remember the ice cream truck and my long hair in two pigtails hanging down my back. I remember climbing the pear tree in our back yard and playing hide and seek with my 4 cousins and the kids in the neighborhood.
There were family get togethers at Uncle Joe and Aunt Julia's house in Norwood. And it meant going to the big, annual Church festival which also meant seeing all of my Lebanese cousins and aunts and uncles.
Summer meant sunburns and mosquito bites long before we knew or worried about sunblock or West Nile disease. Summer meant drinking from the garden hose and swinging from vines across the creek. Summer meant Coney Island because King's Island didnt exist and a long day, into afternoon, swimming at Sunlite Pool.
I have such vivid memories of summer from my own childhood. But I also remember summer's when my own kids were young and all at home. I loved that first week after school let out. There was that delicious feeling of knowing that no one had to be up early and that meant the kids could stay up later and we could hang out in the living room watching movies or TV shows that we all liked. What a thing we took for granted back then...knowing that my husband and I could watch shows with our kids and not worry about what might be shown on the TV or being embarrassed by something that was just not appropriate for their ages.
I know that we are supposedly an evolved society. But I miss the innocence that once was in our country.
A couple of the houses we lived in didnt have central air conditioning so we had window units and often the one window unit in the boys upstairs bedroom simply didnt cool the entire upstairs off enough for both bedrooms. It wasnt at all unusual to wake up on a summer morning and walk into the living room and find at least 3, usually all 4, of my sound asleep kids, in sleeping bags sprawled everywhere.
I loved that scene and its one of my dearest memories of them.
Summer back then meant getting them all up, getting chores done, grabbing a quick lunch and then herding them and numerous beach bags, floaties, sunscreen etc into the car and heading to the pool. Oh how much I loved those days! We spent day after lazy day at our swim club and I could watch them swim and dive and play with their friends while I sat with mine talking about all the things Mom's talk about.
We headed home, tired, tanned but always relaxed and happy to wait for Dad to come home. Without realizing it then, I was living a part of Americana that I hope and pray hasnt gone the way of so many other things. It was a simple time, a simple thing, but now that I look back, we were making a memory to last our lifetimes.
If you're a Mom of young kids still...let them run and play outside with their friends. Let them get dirty and even muddy. Let them get sticky from ice cream and freezer pops. Let them go fishing with Dad. Go to their ball games. Take them to the pool or the lake. Make the memories of summer. It's all too fleeting..both the season and for certain, the time.
I still love summer. I always will. Its my favorite time of year.
And if I live to be 90, by all that is good and holy, I hope I can still dance in the street in the summer.