It is September 1st, which usually for me always marks the unofficial start to fall. September – December is by far my favorite time of the year, and going way back to when I was in school, I generally loved the whole “going back to school” routine. (I mean, of course I was always sad summer was ending, but I have extremely fond memories of the whole back-to-school shopping/ getting organized/ new backpacks thing. There was something just so satisfying to me about getting my notebooks lined up, checking out my new textbooks, a blank assignment notebook waiting to be used….)
I’ve been thinking a little bit about how the boys will look back on this summer, as a whole, someday. Sometimes it’s hard to realize in the moment that one day, this will all be a memory.
I am fascinated by the concept of memories- which items our brains choose to file away, and which moments are seemingly lost forever? I have extremely distinct memories from VERY random times as young as preschool and probably even before that. (For example, I have a specific memory of playing on a wooden rocking boat in the playroom of my 3K preschool in a church basement. I couldn’t tell you what my teacher looked like if you paid me, but I remember that little wooden boat, and that I was a witch for the Halloween party.)
But then there are other times- probably the majority of times- that I have absolutely no recollection of. NO idea what I did for my 15th birthday. Can’t remember how old I was when I played in my first piano competition. Very few memories of my brief stint on the swim team in elementary school (except I remember getting disqualified on the breaststroke in a meet. Maybe my only meet, too- but I don’t remember! I do remember I did NOT have the “team suit”, if there was one. But in general I remember so little else about the rest of it all.)
Thinking back to childhood summers, I do have many memories. Summers were GREAT for me. My mom was a teacher, so she never had to work in the summer. We did tons of fun stuff, and I have wonderful memories of those special times.
It’s always funny to me though which things stick out in my mind. There are certain times that I hear a lawnmower at dusk and I have this weird flashback to being in my old house, in the summer, with my window open and my Dad cutting the grass outside. Or I hear certain birds chirping and I suddenly feel like I’m on our old screen porch having a bowl of cereal in the morning. Or I smell sawdust somewhere and I instantly think of a late summer night and my Dad out in the garage sawing wood for some project he was working on, maybe a Brewers game on his little garage radio.
It’s these little memories that are embedded in my brain forever. It’s so interesting! It makes me wonder what random memories from our current life the boys will look back on.
I think my favorite summer- one that really stands out to me- was when I was about 12. I had a regular babysitting job on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9-12, and on Mondays and Wednesdays I “volunteered” at a little local pet shop from 9-12, cleaning cages and feeding the animals (pretty sure this wouldn’t be allowed today, but it was awesome back then! I LOVED it). I think I really loved most the “routine” of it all. I had a purpose. Everyday I got up and got ready and hopped on my bike and off I went. I think it made me feel grown up. I still had plenty of free time with my friends later, but I just always remember how great that summer felt.
So, I’ve been wondering how the boys would classify this summer. Obviously, they won’t forget COVID. But what else will they think of? I hope they remember our Upper Michigan trip and of course, our Florida trip. I think they’ll remember the days they spent at their Grandma and Grandpa’s house in June. Lots of family time. Probably though what they might MOST remember are the things I don’t even know about. The silly games they played with our neighbor girl before she moved. Stuff happening in their Minecraft and Fortnite games that I definitely don’t understand. Maybe this will just be the summer that “they hung out at home a lot more and mom yelled at them all the time to pick their stuff up”. I don’t know! It’s interesting to think about though.
Whew, sorry- lots of text today! I’m sitting at Asher’s 6 am swim practice, in my van. He had a couple extra ones this week (outside- and it’s only 50 degrees this morning!).
Real quick, I’ll throw in my Travel Tuesday pick. It’s a place I learned of recently called Candlewood Cabins and would love to go! They are located in Richland Center, WI, only a little over an hour from my house, too! They have these amazing, remote cabins out in the country/ woods that look just beautiful- my favorite is the Glass Cabin. Unfortunately, it seems these book up literally YEARS in advance. I sort of fantasize about just renting it all by myself and spending a weekend holed up with a book, some tea or hot chocolate and the fire. 🙂 In fact, given the state of the world, I would sort of just like to move to one and hide away from the real world indefinitely!
(photos from their website. See more here and check out pics of all the different cabins: https://www.candlewoodcabins.com/)
I am grateful for this beautiful view of the sky this morning, as we turned into the pool’s parking lot.
2 thoughts on “The summer of __________”
Those cabins look beautiful! That is totally my kind of getaway – and going alone with some books sounds dreamy! It is interesting what we remember from our childhoods and what we don't. A lot of my memories from childhood are ones from the family lake cabin that was on my dad's side of the family. I had a cousin who was 11 months younger than me and we were the best of friends so had a blast hanging out at the lake. In general, though, my memories from childhood summers are of being BORED. We lived in a very rural area and didn't have much in terms of activities. And I was the 4th child of 5 so my parents were busy with my older siblings baseball leagues and such. I was always so happy to go back to school in August because I didn't see many people in the summer. But my parents both worked and my older siblings usually watched us, except for the summer we had a babysitter when my little sister was born. It was a happy, safe time but not exactly 'fun'?
I also wonder how memories work sometimes. I have random thoughts of past about people things that I did. I think they are all in our brain, we just pick them on when our present is somehow linked to those moments, than then we remember. this is our first summer without traveling and I'm sure it will be memorable for the girls and myself, probably framed as memorable lockdown fun! 🙂