Walking past the rooms of sleeping kids about 2:30 this morning made me feel reminiscent of my childhood summers. As a kid I got to spend most of my summers away from home, either visiting my maternal grandparents or paternal grandmother in the Wichita, Kansas area or visiting my family in Omaha, Nebraska. I have always been nostalgic but it was not until adulthood that I realize how memorable those summers were to me. At the risk of sounding too syrup-y sweet I am going to give y'all my top five memorable summer "feelings/memories." What were some of your favorite childhood memories from the summertime? Feel free to comment and share with everyone!
Number One: Looking back, sleeping on the floor was an adventure and not painful like it would be for me in my late 30's. I don't remember waking up with cricks in my neck or pains in my side! Sleeping on the floor generally meant two things, at least in my life...a) YOU had company visiting your house which was super exciting (and usually meant you were getting chocolate ice cream for desert at our house...a special treat!!!) or b) You were SOMEONE ELSE'S company, which was even more exciting. My six year old, Big Red, is sleeping on the floor while my 12 year old nephew visits and he has declared it to be an adventure. Every night is "camping out!"
Number Two: Helping out by doing chores at someone else's house was never "oppressive" like it seemed to be at home. The drudgery of doing chores was never as glamourous to me at home as it was doing the same chores (if not even more!) at my grandparents' homes. I also did chores while visiting other places but there was something special about mowing for my Grandma and Grandpa Carter or vacuuming for my Grandma Donna. I loved every minute of it and I think those were some moments that helped instill a good work ethic in me that I hope my husband and I can continue to cultivate in our passel of ginger kids!!
Number Three: The time I got to spend with my cousins in the summer, both near and far, were priceless. As adults some of us have drifted farther apart than others, but those summer memories were the best! Playing B-I-N-G-O with Craig, Kevin, and Grandma Donna...getting sunburned beyond belief at Barnacle Bill's FantaSea with all of my cousins in Wichita...watching The Best of Gilda Radner 700 times with Kelly and Kim...swimming near a water moccasin at Pomona Lake with a bunch of my Bryan Cousins...even nearly getting thrown out of my cousin Karen's old classic Ford Bronco at the Pawnee and Broadway Wal-Mart back in the day. Those were the best times!! There were so many others too numerous to mention and most of them bring a smile to my face just thinking about them!
Number Four: Popsicles and Fudgesicles were NEVER as mess as they seem to be with my kids today, right?!! Okay, so there was a valid reason we had to enjoy them on the porch and not in the house!! My three year old daughter, Little Red, gets more on her face and entire body for that matter. Maybe I have blocked out my own messiness for a reason, right Mom and Dad?!
And last but not least...Number Five: Looking back at how many times I rode in the back of pickup trucks...threw myself off of bikes wearing no helmet...skinned up my knees from rollerskating on the sidewalk (four wheels...not that new fangled inline skating stuff, LOL!)...and drinking from a garden hose. My sister and I grew up in a small town and did not even come in to the house most nights until the utility light came on out back. I wouldn't have changed a thing or done anything different. Of course, it's against the law to ride in the back of pickup trucks now and I probably should have worn protective gear while biking and roller skating (and for those who know me well...probably the rest of the time too...I was klutzy!). I had many guardian angels and the Good Lord looking out for me. Those were the best times ever and I would not trade those sweet summers of my childhood for anything!