Today’s Summer Solstice marks the advent of my favorite season, and I greedily bask in the extra hours of daylight offered by Mother Nature this time of year. I assure you it’s not just my sixteen year stint as a teacher, with glorious plans for three months off, that makes me love this time of year. It’s a complex plethora of sun-glassed, Coppertone scented, watermelon stained, wet-bathing suited, grill smoked, play-till-you’re- exhausted reasons that summer is my favorite season.
In childhood longer summer days meant:
- Bare feet or sandals: As soon as winter withdrew its hideous head, I would begin my long stretch of annoying my mother for the supreme privilege of releasing my confined piggies from their prison of Stride Rites. Nothing, and I really truly mean nothing felt better than that first moment of cool grass tickling my winter worn feet.
- Babysitter torture: My brother and I are both blessed with ADHD, which makes us energetic, intelligent, creative, and slightly noisy. We were your typical babysitter’s nightmare. However, after going through quite a few summer sitters, my working mom, finally hired Cindy. She taught us every card game known to man and seemed to find us equally entertaining.
- Best friends: Summer was the time of weekend sleepovers, day trips to museums, zoos, and other attractions. Most often, my brother and I were allow to bring a friend or two.
- Swimming: I spent hours upon hours in the deep end, until the purple dusk enveloped me and mosquitos swarmed.
When my children were young the longer days were:
- Sleeping in until at least 8 am: No 5:45 am alarm, No little girls fighting to sleep a little longer. No force hair brushings or messy ponytails. No “take one more bite of oatmeal.” Just sweet, sweet, wonderful uninterrupted morning slumber.
- Daily visits to the park: With no yard at our apartment complex part of our summer day routine was the park. Friends to play with; monkey bars to climb; swings inviting us to reach the treetops; other moms to chat with; these were all found within the wrought iron gates of our tree-lined park.
- Crafting: Money was tight, but we were creative. Fabric paint and buttons made old t-shirts new fashion statements. Everything from embroidery, to painting, to making bouncy rubber band balls filled rainy summer afternoons, or days too hot for little girls.
- Reading: My fondest memories are those of two freshly washed, sleepy faces beside of mine as we read together Heidi, Pippi Longstocking, Harry Potter, Mrs. Pigglewiggle and so many more beloved stories. There was no set bedtime, but by sunset, I always carried two sleepy, worn-out girls to their own beds.
Now, longer summer days:
- Never seem long enough: Perhaps I over plan, but I seem to be happily busy with something from dawn to dusk. I always settle into my bed at night wishing for a few more hours to enjoy the glory of being awake and alive.
- Are filled with extra love: From the morning snuggles to the goodbye kiss from my husband, to the time spent with my daughters, and friends. I feel so completely encapsulated in the good people around me that it’s hard not to be joyful.
- Still mean crafting: I always seem to find something new to get into; needle felting, painting, jewelry making, glass cutting and resin projects fill my time. Today I plan to cut some glass rings (from bottles) for my window hanging projects.
- Healthy living and more exercise: From fresh summer fruit and vegetables , to long swims and walks. My summer days keep me healthy and active.
- Mean more fun, happiness, and splendor: Because I’m pretty sure that’s what summer was designed for! 🙂
Does my love of summer days make me dread the inevitable setting sun? Nope, who could ever be disappointed in this:
What’s your favorite season? What’s your favorite summer activity?