I remember being off from school during the summer as kid. Whenever I think about it, my mind wanders off to a different place. Summer was always a fun time. The worst part was when it ended and school started over again in the fall.
I remember running barefoot on the rocks (it didn’t hurt the way it does now), my scraped up knees and our scary, but fun clown sprinkler in the backyard. Everyone was tan and covered in mosquito bites except for me; I was covered in freckles (mosquitoes never liked me). Pretty much every breakfast we sat on the porch and had milk and strawberries from the garden. For some reason I remember the strawberries tasting much sweeter than they taste to me now; maybe Swedish strawberries are sweeter.
My mom always came up with fun summer games for us to be busy with. My dad would barbeque every evening with a beer in hand. The sun never went down long enough for me to get too scared during camp nights.
We spent many days in my cousins pool, learning how to swim, jump and dive. We wore those old school floats that looked like scuba diving gear. My brother stayed in so long that we used to call him dolphin. And when the summer rain started falling we went out in the yard in our bathing suits to catch raindrops in our mouths.
My neighbor friend and me would hang a string between our bedroom windows with a basket attached to it. We used it to send each other “highly secret” information; too secret for our younger siblings to see. Together we also made perfume out of water and mashed up flowers that I wasn’t supposed to pick, and sometimes even some real perfume from our moms stash (another thing I wasn’t supposed to do). It was also really fun to watch dandelions stems curl up after we made strings out of them and put them in water.
My siblings and I collected all sorts of things too. We filled buckets to the top with snails, put nail polish on their shells to mark them and made them race each other towards lettuce leafs. One time we put them in my parents’ bed while they were still asleep, I won’t mention how upset they got.
We would go sailing for weeks at a time; stopping at “our” traditional stops in the Swedish archipelago. I felt so grown up when I was able to help my dad navigate. I even got to steer once in a while. My siblings and I used to explore the islands, We would jump off the boat,it always took me the longest to jump into that cold dark ocean, and we played taxi with our little jolly. Something always went wrong during our sailing trips, but that just made them that more special.
I have nothing but fun things to remember from this time; the list goes on and on. Now having children of my own I have to wonder how my parents did it, how did they create this feeling I get when I think about it? My fear is that I’m not going to be able to fill their summers with as much joy as they did. My oldest is 4 and she might be able to keep memories from now on (I have a few memories from that age), and I want nothing more than for them to have the same feeling of summer and memories like I have.
It’s starts today. My preschooler is off for the summer and she’ll be spending everyday with my twin toddlers and me. I will do my best to make this a summer of sprinklers, strawberries, pool splashing and trips to the lake (since there is no archipelago here). I will make sure my preschooler gets to have a lot of silly time with friends, exploring and brewing.
I’m ready for scraped up knees and bare feet… and hopefully, so much more.
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