Friday, June 3, 2011

Summertime, and the Living is Easy

When I was younger, my grandparents lived on a farm in Oklahoma. I would usually spend a week there in the summer playing dominoes, reading one Hardy Boy book per day, working in the fields, climbing into my tree house, fishing, shooting shotguns at pie plates, antagonizing my brother, sniffing the fading scent of perfume my mom had left on her pillow the one night they stayed before driving away and leaving us behind, eating potato soup my grandmother made especially for me, burning the trash, hauling other trash to the dump, swinging on the front porch, riding bikes, playing with the dogs, eating fresh watermelon, helping my grandfather create jewelry from gemstones and sterling silver, tending gardens, learning the constellations my grandfather pointed out in the night sky, watching for scorpions hidden in the orange shag carpet, playing tetherball, and falling asleep soundly each night when my head hit the pillow.

Here it is, summertime again, so many years removed from those summers at the grandparents' house. Those memories are forever etched in my mind, formative experiences that created the "me" I am today. Now my children are the ages I was when I had those summers. What will they remember from summers spent with me?

Not all my memories are good. I recall feeling frustrated at my grandmother's apparent favoritism for my brother. I felt lonely sometimes, and I missed my mom. I got hurt now and then because farm life was a bit rougher than the city life I was used to living. I got sick once after eating far too many "not quite ripe" peaches from the orchard out back. I saw snakes and had much closer encounters with them than desired. I had the worst biking accident of my life that resulted in what seemed at the time like half my chin being torn from my face.

I guess I'm just reflecting on summer memories and what might go into the memories I am living out right now with my kids. I want to have a fun summer with them without feeling like every moment must be scheduled. It sure wasn't when I was a kid. Sometimes life just happens and it's beautiful. I want to find a balance between planning zoo trips and just finding ourselves on the back patio eating watermelon and having an impromptu seed spitting contest.


Rachel said...

It's so great to have those "summer" memories. I would not be okay with the scorpions, though!

Lindsay said...

Becky, I totally agree. Summer is supposed to be as carefree as possible. The most precious memories are always the ones spent together, and it doesn't matter what it is you are doing as long as it is together.