Monday, July 11, 2011

Little Simple Summer Things

I've been beating myself up lately. Kicking myself in the stomach. Worrying that I haven't been able to give you kids a "summer to remember". I feel like I'm always trying to beat your clock. I constantly want to shove it all in; everything I think you need to experience as a kid. I want you to feel it, taste it, smell it - remember it. Remember us.

So on the days when I'm not working, I try to plan fun things. I dream up excursions. Things I think you would want to do. Things that I think you will remember and tell your kids about. It's important to me. It burns in me.

But yesterday, when Lil' and I went on a quick bike trip up to the Lil' Cricket to get a Push-Up, I started remembering my summers:

A pool so soaked in the smell of gardenias it almost made you choke.
Running through sheets on the clothesline.
A hot wooden dock under my feet.
The burn from a ski rope.
Ice Cream truck jingles.
Sippin' honeysuckles.
Diesel fuel and brim.
Jumping in waves.
Bicycle grease on my legs.

Class in session - here's the lesson: I remember that we took vacations and I know they were fun and it was so great that my Dad was with us and wasn't working. I remember that my Mom was happy and relaxed. But what stands out for me the most from my summers as a kid were the little things that we did everyday. The things that were easy and the things that I expected every summer. The little simple summer things.


  1. You are so right. I love you for seeing things always a little bit different (and most times, better) than the rest of us.

  2. I didn't go on vacations with my family when I was growing up, but I also didn't miss out on wonderful memories of long, hot summer days. Mine include the smells of tobacco barns curing, cool riverbanks that smelled like wet cypress and field peas cooking on the stove. It was a dip in the swimming hole after picking butterbeans, a trip to the tobacco market with my daddy or sitting on the porch with Sister, listening to the whipporwhills at night. I never went anywhere...but then again, I never had to. Your children love you and they will remember how much they loved you when you were together, doing whatever. It's the love that makes the memory sweet...