Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer 1997

As I was reading a post by Kelle Hampton tonight, I started thinking about what summers were like when I was younger. They definitely weren't much like they are for the kids I babysit now. I wish I had a scanner so I could scan in some pictures to go along with the stories I'm about to tell - I'll try to draw a picture for you. 


In the summer of 1997, I was about to go head off to Kindergarten. I remember because we got new concrete put on our driveway & my brother & I took sticks and wrote the year and our names. It was a pretty big deal at the time.

Having a babysitter stay with my brother & I at our house during the summer was something that was really important to my mom. She wanted us to be able to sleep as late as we wanted & to play with our own toys & friends. I'm really thankful for that time now.

I'd wake up in my cotton Care Bear night gown & the babysitter would usually already be there while my parents were gone to work. The babysitter would make me a waffle with peanut butter & I'd sit on the front porch and eat it while I watched the neighbor kids run around the cul-de-sac. It couldn't have been past 9 a.m. then - I'd hate to have to be up that early if I didn't have to be, now.

I vividly remember one of our neighbors telling me I was too old to be playing outside in my nightgown so I guess I did that until I was pretty old. Not surprising. I'd do it now if I could. Dumb lady, she was probably just jealous of how cute I looked.

When I was in kindergarten, my brother lived with his mom in Tennessee during the school year & was with us in the summers so I was crazy obsessed with him. It didn't matter if he was inside watching Rescue Rangers or outside taking a hammer to the tree (yeah, he did that) I wanted to be with him. Luckily, he thought it was pretty cool so I don't remember it bothering him much. 

Sometimes we'd take trips to the library or the pool, but mostly we just hung out at home. We'd run in & out of our neighbor's houses, have lemonade stands that only a few people bought from, we built forts in the house & ate picnic lunches in the front yard. Everything was so exciting then. 

One of my babysitters thought it would be pretty funny to have me yell obscenities at the neighbor kids & I remember thinking it was absolutely hilarious she thought I was so funny; I didn't know what I was saying. That night at the dinner table, Kyle was whining about something & I said, "Kyle, why don't you just stop bitching about everything!" That's when that babysitter got fired. Whoops. 

So maybe everything wasn't perfect back then. Some babysitters got fired, I was always stubbing my barefoot toes & Kyle got in trouble on a pretty consistent basis for locking the sitters out of the house or trying to watch South Park. But I miss those days. I miss riding my bike a block away and thinking I had definitely found a secret spot no one else knew about. I miss the reading programs at the library and how exciting it was to get the water bottle that had a screw on bottom so I could carry juice & Lucky Charms on my bike. To my secret spot. 

When I have kids, I'm going to encourage them to play outside. I'm going to be ecstatic if they ever want to have a lemonade stand & I'll suggest it if they don't. I'll teach them to build forts and pretend they're in a whole different world because that's what I did & what I wouldn't give to be back to those days. I'll live vicariously, I don't care.

What summer do you remember the best? What were your best memories? I'd love to know! 


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