We are more than halfway through the summer, as defined by the public school calendar here in Nashville. And I'm starting to feel the pressure.
What pressure? Why, the pressure to Do All The Important Summer Things.
Think back to the summers of your own childhood. Okay, think back to the summers like those of my childhood. Catching lightning bugs in the yard after the sun went down. Eating drippy popsicles on the back deck. Spending long mornings at the pool while the sun blazed overhead. Trips to the amusement park where you squelched around in wet shoes from the water rides. The slip'n'slide in your best friend's yard.
You know. All the poetic nostalgic stuff. The stuff that often sounds better in print here, on my blog, that maybe it actually was at the time. (Although, honestly, I think I enjoyed all those things an awful lot when I was actually doing them, too. I have never not enjoyed popsicles or lightning bugs.)
So now I'm a parent. Summer only lasts about nine weeks now, due to the schools' insane August 1 start date. That gives me a finite amount of time to make sure that my boys experience the optimum amount of Fun Summer Childhood Stuff that will make them reminisce dreamily when they're thirty-cough-something one day.
So let me run down the list...
- Berry picking: check. Thank goodness we did that one early. We've been meaning to go back, but a combination of crazy weather and crazy work demands means that we haven't done it yet.
- Lazy days at the pool: check. Sort of. William's been getting individual swim coaching instruction at our neighborhood pool, which means we've spent a lot of time at the pool. Not exactly lazy hours on a chaise lounge, though.
- Trip to the zoo: check. That's an easy one. I'm sure we'll fit in at least one more, too.
- Trips to the parks: check. We've hit greenways and playgrounds.
- Trips to the ice cream shop: check. Does frozen yogurt count? Another easy one to do again soon.
- Making homemade something or other: Hmmm. We have not yet made homemade popsicles or anything else summery yet this year. Must get on that.
- Trip to the beach: it's coming. Let's all pray for good weather.
- Fireworks viewing: no check. It rained cats and dogs here on the Fourth. We heard some fireworks set off by our intrepid neighbors who braved the drizzle, but we mostly just watched the televised version from the comfort of our family room sofa.
- Trip to the farmer's market: still need to do this. I'm jonesing for some heirloom tomatoes, and the boys would eat their weight in watermelon if I let them.
- Catching lightning bugs: sadly, no. By the time it's dark around here, Andrew really really really needs to be in bed. William and I have enjoyed watching them flash around the neighborhood, though. But we've never done the mason jar-with-holes-in-the-lid thing.
- Attending a live music show outside, check. Hooray for Cheekwood and its Thursday night Family Night. We've packed a picnic and eaten it on the lawn of Cheekwood twice already this summer. Easy and fun.
Hey, I haven't done too badly. Okay, pressure's off. Now I just need to not add anything else to my list, and I'll be in good shape. Of course, in about another three weeks, I'll be panicking over school supply lists and back-to-school clothes. But perhaps I can enjoy this satisfaction for a little while first.