When I think really hard, I can remember the magic of summer. The feeling of grass between my toes, the warm sun on my face, and the pure joy of having an endless lazy summer day stretched out in front of me. With growing responsibilities and the monotony of work life, summer lost its spark for me for a while. Luckily it wasn’t gone forever.
We have created this image of a magical summer as one that involves an expensive vacation or unlimited leave from our jobs. But we are missing it. It is in the squeals of delight while trying to catch fireflies as dusk settles in. It is in the belly laughs that begin after finally catching a runaway bubble. The smile when the cold water from a sprinkler splashes unexpectantly. It is seeing the wonder and awe in a simple sparkler. Admiring the beauty of a butterfly. Running as hard as you can, making your lungs burn and your muscles ache.
One of my favorite summer memories from childhood was camping out in our backyard which we did every year. It wasn’t glamourous or costly and I know for a fact that my parents despised sleeping on the ground. We would make a fire and sleep in a tent only to wake up sweaty and exhausted from lack of sleep. Yet, I looked forward to it every year. I remember making forts in the woods with my siblings and working on said forts every day for hours. I recall running and sliding on the slip and slide, hoping I wouldn’t end up with brush burn. None of these things are what social media would consider magical…but it was!
As we age and we no longer have endless summer days we forget to appreciate the simple things that once brought us joy. Instead we tend to start to look at the negative things, it is too humid, it is hot, there are too many bugs. The never ending to do lists continue. The pressures of daily life press on. This idea that magical moments have to be perfect moments remains. Summer starts to drift away, blending in with the rest of the year.
We only have 18 summers with our kids at home. So, put down the to do list, the distractions, and your reservations. Forget the idea that it has to be glamourous or expensive to be unforgettable. Get dirty, walk outside in your bare feet, laugh until your belly hurts. Find the magic of summer.