Tuesday, June 9, 2015

If Summer days could last forever...

Summer is fast approaching us. Summer, as a child, was my favorite time of year, because it's the only time you'll get off for three months of having no duties whatsoever. It's the most carefree time of your life. If only at that age we didn't take it for granted and could put into full perspective just how important those three quick months are.

Wonderful times during Summer always make me think of swimming for hours on end in our in-ground Doughboy pool, the smell of fresh paint in our hall ways after my mom would use Glidden Antique White to paint over areas that needed it, the smell of clorox and soap when my mom would mop the kitchen floor clean, the husking of farm fresh corn from our local farm stands, having endless sleepovers, making up skits, playing school, making forts to sleep in over night, having sock wars, singing oldies songs in the car into the wee hours of the night, making houses out of card board boxes, playing barbies all day and afternoon and even into the night, playing ball outside and flying kites in the front yard, dancing around the house for no reason, playing video games against my brother and kicking his butt, watching the Summer Olympics, eating ice cream and watching fire works on the 4th of July.

Yes, Summer is like the time of your life when your a kid. When I was younger, we generally had full traditional school schedules where we still started school in early September instead of the mid-August schedule that most schools follow now. Because of this, Labor Day was usually our last hurrah for any kind of last minute fun. When I was 6 in 1988, our parents planned a trip to Disneyland. It was my first time and I was super excited. My Dad had gone to Disneyland as a child, too, and had fond memories of it.

My mom had ordered a special Minnie Mouse jacket and I couldn't wait to wear it to Disneyland. When we got to Disneyland, I remember some specific details - watching the Electric parade, climbing up the Smith Family Robinson Tree House (now it's Tarzan's Tree House), riding in the Mad Tea Party Tea Cups, hopping aboard the Monorail, riding the Matterhorn ride 5-6 times at night with my mom and brother, going on the Dumbo ride with my mom, and I even remember going on Space Mountain and watching Captain EO (I remember it was so full that we had to stand towards the back to watch it and we couldn't get the full effect of it). The big and new ride at the time was Star Tours. I remember waiting for what seemed like an eternity to go on that ride. But, I loved it.

I was a precocious child. I saw a lot of detail in things that many children my age may have overlooked. I'd remember years later the sign of the "French Market" in Orleans Square always fascinated me. I'd remember distinctly the smell of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and most of all, I was very fascinated with the dancing ghosts in the dining room on "Haunted Mansion." These memories, and many more, left lots of indelible impressions in my mind.

And so, with returning home from Disneyland, came the inevitable reality that school was about to start. I'd always feel a bit down about school starting. I knew once my mom starting taking me to Target to purchase school supplies and a new pencil box to hold my supplies in, look for a new backpack and start ordering uniforms for us (we went to a private school), that Summer was coming to a close. Nevertheless, once the school year would start, I'd find myself back with my old friends - with some new ones coming on board, and realizing a few not returning. Our teacher would walk in, and now the fresh smell of newly sharpened pencils would fill the air. Yes, Summer was officially over.

But, year after year, I'd reflect back on one great Summer after another. Each one of them presented new and exciting fun times. I am very thankful and lucky to have had wonderful Summers that felt like they could last forever, and sometimes when I think back on them, they really have stood the test of time, and in essence, do live on forever in my mind.