OH! Some small part of me always wishes I were still a child at this time of year. The end of school was a huge release from responsibilities (as enormous as they could be for a small child… Ha!). The vast expanse of unplanned summer days stretched out before me… there just isn’t anything like that.
I wonder about summers for kids these days; are there kids who still have wonderful lazy long summer days like we enjoyed? Mom would say, “Be home for lunch/dinner/before dark,” and we were off all over the neighborhood, finding tadpoles in every puddle, up and down the streets on our bikes, playing neighborhood games of Wiffle ball in the streets, or hours of “tag,” “hide-n-seek” or “statue-maker.”
I know my kids didn’t have days like that as we chased after ball games for a good half of the summer with our kids as soon as they could play… Those years when we had three going in three different directions felt like complete madness!
I remember one summer when my parents promised my siblings and I Banana Splits from the local Dairy Queen® store if we would each fill a plastic pail with gravel from alongside the driveway. They did a great job giving us this duty – it wasn’t until I was much older that I understood this was just a way to find something for three wayward children to do.
I think our parents were surprised at how quickly our pails were filled. My sister and I filled ours up quickly; we knew how good those DQ® Banana Splits would be! Our brother was still so small, he couldn’t have really understood what was going on. Some small part of me still feels slightly guilty about my sister and I telling our brother to dump the pebbles from his bucket into ours. It’s only a small part of me and the guilt doesn’t last long. Because I also remember that we all three enjoyed the DQ Banana Splits in the end. I can still see us in my mind’s eye: the three of us enjoying those wonderful cool treats after long hot summer days of digging in the dirt. What a mess! Just the best treat ever.
What do you remember from summers when you were little?