When I was a kid summer meant working on the farm and chores but also bike riding, roller skating, playing in the creek or the pond, and catching fireflies at night. My siblings and friends played hide and seek in the dark and tag in our yard. We swung on the tire tied to the branches of the maple tree and played fetch with the dog.
My daughter’s summer experience is different from mine as we live in a subdivision with few kids her own age and she is an only child. Still, we splash in our community pool, enjoy fireworks at the park, and occasionally ambush my husband with squirt guns or water balloons when he pulls into the driveway after work. When she was younger we spent a lot of time on playgrounds and in sandboxes. Since my daughter is a mosquito magnet she doesn’t spend as much time outside as I did but that never stops us from having a great summer.
This past week we’ve been house sitting for our neighbor which is easy. We pick up the mail and leave a key out for the cleaning service. We get the awesome perk of using their swimming pool while they are away. Willow and I have taken full advantage of this treat and have gone swimming almost every day.
There is a small frog living in the pool this summer. We’ve named him Thomas. Willow catches him at the beginning of each pool session, gently cupping the frog in her hands. We chat with him a bit before letting him go in the cool grass. Until this week, she had never caught a frog before, something I did on summer days on our farm. The frog delights her and I’ve enjoyed watching Willow’s excitement every time she brings Thomas to me so we can admire him.
We also have a new responsibility while watching the neighbor’s house. A tiny wren built a nest in a cloth grocery bag they keep on a shelf in the garage. Each night after dark we close the garage door and open it early the next morning so the momma bird can take care of her babies. Willow had never seen newly hatched birds before and has enjoyed checking their progress each day. Their eyes aren’t open yet and they sit up with open mouths each time they hear us come near. She is charmed by their behavior and small, down-covered bodies. We are careful not to interfere with the momma bird and the babies are growing bigger each day.
While the circumstances are different from my childhood experiences, I’ve enjoyed watching my daughter discover the simple joys of catching a frog and watching fluffy baby birds with beaks opened wide. Summer memories come in all shapes and sizes and I’m thrilled she’s added these to hers.
What are your favorite childhood memories of summer?
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