Friday, May 11, 2012

A mama's summer daydreams

I had a pretty idyllic childhood, growing up in Minnesota.
And as summer approaches, I keep thinking and dreaming of all the things I want my boys to do throughout their summer times.
I want them to fish on quiet, lonely lakes with their grandpa and play t-ball and soccer with their brother.
I want them to run through the sprinklers in their underwear and get sticky from homemade Popsicles.
To get as brown as little Indians, and spend every day in a lake or pool, the ocean when possible.
I want them to go shirtless.
To play in gutter water.
To catch frogs in dark window wells and muddy ponds.
Float homemade boats down streams.
Bike by themselves to buy slushies and snow cones.

To catch candy on the sidelines of parades and eat corndogs at the fourth of July carnival.
I want them to go to family barbecues and picnics, and oh! The road trips!
Listening to books on tape and eating pretzels, driving to visit cousins in California and Minnesota.
Visiting grandparents in Virginia and Arizona. And all the time they're there, just soaking up more sun and getting blonder by the minute.

 Those things are important to me.

Making s'mores.
Patiently turning that first marshmallow until its a perfect, blistering golden brown. Then sticking every consequent marshmallow straight into the fire, because you can't wait another 15 minutes to cook it slowly.
You'll take it, black and chalky on the outside, sticky and hot in the middle. Until you believe that you prefer your marshmallows that way.

 So the boys are only 14 months old.
It's too early for naps on the floating dock and learning to bait your own fishing hook.
Not quite time for tree forts or sleeping on the trampoline, catching fireflies and smearing your body with their sticky, glowing juice.

But it's not too early to be barefoot.
To eat bowls of fresh picked strawberries, and drink homemade lemonade by the gallon.
Road trip to California? Check.
Interest bordering on obsession with bugs and worms? Check.
Morning time walks, before breakfast, with pjs still on? Check.

 Swamping the canoe in the middle of the lake, and pushing it home underwater?
 We'll wait until next year, I guess.
 But it's coming.
And I can feel it. I'm excited for it.

Today is my mom's birthday.  She and my dad gave me exactly that kind of childhood.
One with happy parents who loved me and each other.
Who gardened in our yard, and made fresh salsa and jam from what they grew.
Who taught me the proper way to dive off the dock, and that anything (anything) off the grill is delicious.
I was, and am, happy.

And I want my boys to be, too.
I want to be a mom like you, Mom.
I love you.
Happy birthday.

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Lana said...

Very nice post. Lauren and I were talking the other day about how much your writing has improved -not that it was ever bad, but just that it has gotten REALLY good lately. I think you should write another book, a kids book about summer in minnesota. With the characters younger than your last one. :)

Unknown said...

I love this. And I love that you described most everything in MY childhood too. Minnesota misses you, Becky! And there is no doubt in my mind that you are and will always be an amazing mother.

Happy birthday to your mom!!

Unknown said...

I love this. And I love that you described most everything in MY childhood too. Minnesota misses you, Becky! And there is no doubt in my mind that you are and will always be an amazing mother.

Happy birthday to your mom!!

Emily said...

I grew up in Minnesota, too. Now, being in California, I sometimes mourn the fact that C won't get to experience summers like I did (at least for a couple years). I also yearn for quiet lakes, campfires, the way the heat lingers even when the sun goes down, and sometimes even the humidity. I'm guessing, with the lists you are making, your boys will have no problem finding fun things to do in the summer :-)

Polly said...

Very sweet Beckster, I glad you are so happy with your childhood memories. I feel the same way about mine. Everyone should be so lucky. Love you

Anonymous said...

I'm really happy I stumbled across your blog! Because I have a 9 month old little girl and I want her to do the things I did growing up (much like the things you mentioned) but for some reason it makes me nervous when I think about catching frogs, making mud pies, etc....believe it or not, your post helped relax me a bit! ha. This mama needs to chill out! Oh and happy birthday!

Elizabeth said...

I'm so ridiculously emotional right now that this made me cry. I love Minnesota so much and the lakes and docks. I'm thankful my kids are getting to experience this now.
But I think that got me the most was the 4th of July Parades. Those were when we came here and saw you guys and grandpa rod and grandma/grandpa. I remember so many times at the Annandale parade with grandpa and all of us. Then going to the carnival afterwards and wrapping up the night by the lake watching fireworks.
I hope that someday soon we can all take our kids to the parade together and chow down on pronto pups and remember how when when we were little our dads did this with us! I think its cool that they are still close even though they are separated by so many miles!
Happy Birthday to your Mom! She's a pretty awesome Aunty!