Lately I've been recalling certain childhood memories of what it was like growing up during the summer. When I was a kid, summertime was such a BIG deal because it meant two months off from Catholic school; no homework; and not seeing a nun with a ruler in her hand, waiting to crack us over the knuckles if our #2 pencils were not sharpened properly. It was a time of enormous fun and liberté. Yes, I did have chores to do around the house to help out, however, I didn't mind them because I would have even shoveled gravel on the side of a turnpike than go to school.
I cherish my childhood because my parents always made sure we had a great time during our summer break and any holiday. My parents were like kids themselves, enjoying their second childhood through the eyes of their children. I feel blessed to have had the parents I did.
So, today I would like to share five summertime memories that remain near and dear to my heart.
Coppertone Suntan Lotion
The smell of Coppertone Suntan Lotion gives me an immediate summertime flashback. Even to this very day, whenever I get a whiff of it, I am transported to my childhood when my family would go to Wildwood Crest on the Jersey shore and spend a week basking in the sunshine at the hotel pool or on the beach. But even more so, (shhhh...and don't tell anyone this) I always had a secret fantasy of being Annette Funicello in this Coppertone ad, while four tanned lifeguards carried me around the beach on a surfboard in the movie, "How To Stuff A Wild Bikini."
I can still remember how excited I got when my mother and I would make homemade popsicles using Kool-Aid powders. I could hardly wait until the popsicles became frozen so that I could take one outside and eat it on a hot summer day. And I loved how my tongue and lips would turn bright red, orange and blue from the food coloring in the powders.
Cracking Open A Fire Hydrant
Growing up in a city we didn't have kiddie pools in our backyards because there were no backyards, just an alleyway between row homes. So every once in awhile the fire department would come into our neighborhood and open the fire hydrants so that we could run through the water and cool off. Fun! Fun! Fun! And man, was that water ever COLD and refreshing.
I was always fascinated with lightning bugs because they made summer nights so magical! My friends and I would capture them in our hands and place them inside a glass jar and watch them blink. Also, (and I know this sounds terribly cruel) but we would sometimes pull the little lights off their butts and place them on our fingers and wear them as glow rings. Oh come on, how many of you did the same thing? Admit it.
Sleeping Outside In A Tent
After my family moved to the burbs, my parents would let me and my neighborhood friends sleep outside in a homemade tent in the backyard during the summer. And how adventurous that was because it made us feel like real frontiersmen camping in the wilderness, just like Daniel Boone. We would eat potato chips, beer pretzels, popcorn, and drink Coca Cola's. We also had a couple of flashlights so that we could make shadow puppets on the tent walls. However, being the child I was with an overly-active imagination, I never stayed out all night because I thought that I would either be eaten alive by snakes, bears or coyotes, or be killed in my sleep by an axe murderer who happened to be roaming around my neighborhood in the middle of the night.
Yes, I was a VERY DRAMATIC child.
Yes, I was a VERY DRAMATIC child.
Have a super summertime weekend everyone!