Summers of Love…
Moms and dads out there are in complete and utter panic. Literally faced with mere days, many are scrambling to find a summer program, distant relative, adoption agency or in some cases- a stranger with candy to offload their kids on for the next 3 months. This phenomenon happens annually so you would think by now most parents would have a system already in place, complete with contingency plans and alternatives. But no. Year after year, ill-prepared mother/fathers scramble the internet, want ads, Craigslist and Auto Trader magazines looking for SOMETHING… ANYTHING to do to occupy their wayward kids.
Makes me wonder what ever happened to the summers of old. There was once a time when summer basically meant you took your ass outside and stayed there until it was time to go to bed. Your body, still accustomed to waking up early for school, would be up promptly at 7 am. You’d saunter down to the kitchen for a bowl of your favorite cereal and head out the door where you’d inevitably run into a sleepy-eyed friend. Both still in pajamas, but you didnt care. By some miracle, as lunch time rolled around you were fully dressed and so high on adrenaline you couldn’t even go inside to eat. And like clockwork, as the street lights began to flicker you’d return, dusty, disheveled and worn out back to your home, your room, your bed where you’d sleep until it was time to do it all again.
I don’t even have any recollection of meals during the summer! Our diets consisted of cereal, Now & Laters, Lemonheads and Cherry Chans, Chico Sticks, Fanta sodas and if you were lucky enough- watermelon. Everything was eaten while you were in a full sprint and screaming at the top of your lungs. No intelligible words were ever uttered between children. We spoke an inate language that could only be called Summer. New friends were made in an instant and spawned day-long relationships that were often forgotten as quickly as they began. You’d meet children in the midst of a game of hide-and-go-seek that would run behind a tree and never be heard from again. But no one cared. It was summer. And maybe that mystery kid who was so adept at hiding is still there in some magic behind-the-tree realm that exists in a perpetual summer.
In fact the only care was the inevitable tongue-lashing you’d get for leaving the door open and letting all the air-conditioning out! Depending on the amount of times you were chastised for wasting such a precious commodity could result in the most heinous of punishments imaginable during the summer. You know the one… where you had to STAY IN THE HOUSE while you watched all of your friends run around aimlessly, screaming, eating candy and at times, vanishing behind trees and other large objects.
Parents, I say don’t panic this summer. You can save hundreds of dollars by simply opening the door. Sure, you’ll lose some air conditioning, but your children will gain a whole new appreciation for well… just being a kid!
(Dedicated to summer, childhood and all that good shit…)