Saturday, May 5, 2012

Waiting for summer

A few things have changed since I moved to Texas a decade and a half ago.  The most obvious (besides my accent) are of course the husband and kids.  However, those are what I consider life changes.  If they didn't happen in Texas, they probably would have happened somewhere (although my husband may disagree).

One of the major changes in my life has simply to do with geography.

I hate summer.

No longer do I look forward to that three months of bliss,  No responsibilities. Sleeping in late.  Staying up later. Spending every day in the pool (since that requires a swim suit).

This is not a major revelation, but Texas is hot.

Really hot.

It is also humid. And hot.

This makes summer a miserable time of mapping out locations with AC that also allow kids to run off some energy.

But last week (as it was already 90 degrees), I watched my children squeal in delight as they ran through the sprinkler. Joy written on their little faces smeared with with water, grass, and a touch of mud.

As I sat in the shade with a cool beverage, I asked myself, when did running through the sprinkler stop being fun?  I guessed it was sometime around the same time as being tickled goes from delightful to horrid.

So with that in mind, here is a list of childhood joys that I am going to try this summer in hopes they bring back a small fraction of joy I see in my kids.

- Swing as high as I can and jumping from the highest point.

- Spin until I can't walk straight.

- Play in a fountain fully dressed in the middle of the day.

- Ride the grocery cart through the parking lot to the car.

- Start a game of tag with complete strangers.

- Be amazed by the moon. Every time I see it.

- Look at the pets in the petstore and squeal in delight every time a puppy puts his paw on the glass. (Disclaimer: I realize many people are against pet stores, and this is in no way an endorsement. But I can't take the kids to the shelter to look at puppies because we would come home with one every time. Besides, the shelter isn't in the mall.)

- Do a cannonball in the swimming pool and be proud instead of horrified at the size of the splash I make.

- Chase the ice cream truck through the neighborhood and taking five full minutes to decide which treat I want.

- Play in any body if water, no matter how small or large, including lakes, rivers, streams, mud puddles, bath tubs, and of course, sprinklers.

- Fish.

- Roll down a giant grassy hill.

- Enjoy doing the wave at a major league baseball game. In fact, I might even start it. (I realize this may be more controversial than the pet store. Don't care.)

- See as many fireworks shows as possible. Love all of them.

- Dance whenever I hear live music, including in the street, in a restaurant, at the mall, and in church.

- Eat popcorn at the movies without one thought to how many calories are in the "butter" or how long it has been sitting in the machine.

- Buy quarter toys.

- Make wishes on stars, eyelashes, coins thrown in fountains, and lawn gnomes. The last category is new, but I can't imagine why a lawn gnome wouldn't grant a wish.

- Make a sandcastle.

- Sing really loudly whether I know the words or not. Okay, so I already do this, but now I'm going to do it proudly and more often.

- Eat an ice cream cone outside without caring if it is dripping down my arm.

- Turn off the televison, phone, and computer and play tickle monster with my kids every single time they ask.

- Ask my friends to come over more often.

- Have a happy meal and make up a game using the toy and the box.

Your turn. What childhood joys do you miss most?

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