Our old friend summer had returned. Oh, how we missed you; the smell of sunblock before going out into the sun and then the smell of aloe as I put my kids to bed because we didn't use enough, wet bathing suits hanging up in the bathroom and wet towels that smell of chlorine being thrown into the dryer, kids asking, "Mom, do you know where my goggles are?" and the answer being, "Yes," even though it's been 8 months since the last time they used them, the sound of the diving board snapping back after a kid jumps into the water, the whistle of the lifeguard as an eager kids runs to meet up with a friend, and then there is the moving of my chair as I try to stay in the shade as the sun slowly crept under the umbrella with the passage of time.
Remember our summer bucket list? We have already made a dent into it.
Our Summer Bucket List
B- beach, boogie board, block party, Basketball Hall of Fame, bike rides, boat rides, Big Time Rush Concert
C- catch fireflies, climb trees, catch butterflies, catch turtles, collect seashells, corn on the cob, Charleston
D- drive around the country
E- enjoy life
F- Fenway Park, fireworks, fish
G- golf, get along with one another, get a horse
H- have fun, hike, sit in the hammock, honeysuckles, Hyman's Restaurant
I- ice cream
J- Jeff Hawes Basketball Camp, Jeep rides, Jim's beach
L- lemonade sale, lobster
M- Montauk, mini-golf, mussels, manhunt, make new friends, Marianne & Charlie's boat
N- Niagara Falls, New York
O- Orioles Game
P- popsicles, Poconos, picnics, project life
Q- Meet the Queen of England
R- read, Rascal Flatt's concert
S- swim, sing a happy song, scrapbook, star gaze, summer olympics, Smoky Mountains
T- Toronto, tubing in the Shenandoah
U- Uncle Brian's
V- Visit Aunt Jackie and Uncle Mark
W- watermelon, waves, walk on the beach at night and listen to the waves
X- extreme laziness
Y- Yankee Game
Our neighborhood fireworks for Memorial Day Weekend.
On our way to Shannon's soccer tournament in the Jeep.
Molly entertaining herself and trying to keep cool on a very hot day.
Swimming in the pool after the game.
Our neighborhood block party ended suddenly when a storm moved in very quickly. I took these pictures with my phone. There wasn't even enough time to grab my good camera.
Corn on the cob made it to the dinner table Monday night and Molly loved that there was one kernel that was yellow on her white corn.
Monday night we ate out on the deck again, it was a beautiful night, and we started asking each other questions about ourselves.
Molly: What year did I break my arm?
Chris: What was my first paying job?
Ryan: What is my favorite dad story from when he was a kid?
Shannon: What is my Thursday schedule?
Me: When did I graduate from high school?
Timmy: What were my two favorite books when I was little?
I said, "Harold and the Purple Crayon" and then Chris said, "The Story of Ping." We were both right! Then Ryan joined in and said, "Do you remember the book with all of the animals and it had..." Then Molly said that her favorite was Baby Duck and then we all started talking about all the picture books from when they were little. We remembered laying in bed or on the floor in their rooms reading to them. Do you remember mom? Do you remember the book?!?!? "YES," I remember! And I was so glad that they did too.
After dinner, the kids went down into the basement to the family book shelf, the book shelf that is filled with books that they have outgrown but have not forgotten and searched for those favorite books from when they were little. That night, I laid in Molly's bed and read to her Baby Duck, a book that we haven't read together in years. Then I moved into the boys' room and laid on Ryan's bed and we read Tops and Bottoms. Ryan just loves how clever the hare is in the story. And then finally I moved over to Timmy's bed. Ryan jumped out of his bed and announces "Snuggle Time" with a huge smile on his face. He tells me and Timmy to move over and make room, and without hesitation, Timmy makes room for his little brother. The three of us squeeze into Timmy's bed. We don't have quite as much room as we used to have but there I was reading Harold and the Purple Crayon and The Story of Ping to my 12 and 10 year old boys. For just a moment, I was transported back in time to when they were little. They sat and they listened when Harold drew the apple tree. They sat and they listened as Harold drew the frightening dragon that even frightened Harold. They sat and they listened as Harold drew the top of the mountain. But then we came to some little pencil marks on the page. Timmy said that he thinks he was trying to draw the other side of the mountain because as Harold "looked down over the other side he slipped- And there wasn't any other side of the mountain." Timmy sat and looked and remembered and there was a smile on his face.
Then we opened up The Story of Ping. This was one of my books from when I was a kid. My mom had signed me up for a book club and a new book would arrive in the mail every month. Timmy sat quietly as I read the familiar story of the Chinese duck on the Yangtze River. Timmy loves ducks. When he was little he had a duckie. Just this past Mother's Day each of the kids gave me a charm for my bracelet and Timmy's was a duck.
After reading, Timmy and I look at his two favorite books from when he was little and we notice the copyright dates. Harold and the Purple Crayon was written in 1955 and The Story of Ping was 1933. It amazes me that Timmy favorite books are not about SpongeBob or Star Wars or some other TV or movie character that they happen to turn into a book, but books that children were reading over 50 years ago, books that have stood the test of time. These are two very different books. Harold has an unbelievable imagination. If you can think it up you can create it...if you have a purple crayon. For Ping, he learns the lesson that he shouldn't wander too far from his family or he will be left behind. Ping almost ends up someone's duck dinner with a side of rice if it wasn't for the kind act of a boy. A book about imagination and a book with a lesson, these are the books of my children's childhood and that is just fine by me.
An after note:
Ryan came home yesterday from school so excited about a book he got from the used books sale. "Mom, look at the book I got! I got it for Timmy! I think he's going to love it!"
All the Harold books in one treasury! Timmy was reading it this morning while eating his breakfast. You're never too old for good kidlit!