Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer, Summer, Summertime

Most nights I want our evening walks to be never-ending.  Those perfect nights, when it's still and just a little cool, the skies are clear and dusk is on the horizon.  People are out grilling, you can smell pit fires, pine and cedar.  Kids are chasing each other in their swimsuits, shouting to each other.

It's those nights that make me feel so nostalgic - I can remember childhood and adolescence in a vintage, Sandlot-esque way in my mind's eye (although we never once had a block party where I lived, and there were no Fourth of July night games.)  It's not that I want to go back there.  I don't miss any of my memories in a way that I wish to relive them.  But all those smells and sounds hold my fond memories in them.

When you're a kid and living these experiences, you don't take the time to think about how you'll want the same for your kids one day.  That only comes as you get older and those memories sift and filter, gaining a poignancy triggered by the wisp of smoke from charcoal or a breeze through the pines.  The feelings are amplified, condensed - turned golden. 

You want all those same joys for your child - late night fires, softball games, camping, swimming with friends.  When you think about your kids, you think about giving them all the good snippets of your past to pave the way for theirs.

You don't think about some doctor trying to tell you what they won't be able to do - what they won't LIVE to do - surely not as a child, and most of the time not as an adult.

And then you are faced with some person in a lab coat, trying to rip those dreams and wishes from your hands.  And you think (at least I did), "Who the eff are you to tell me what my kid will do?  What her life will be?"  (Sorry, but when someone tells you things like that, you aren't usually feeling very polite.)  And you resolve to prove them wrong.

So maybe it's miracle league softball instead of tee ball.  And maybe those walks are taken in a stroller, far past the time when she should be walking.  You're putting the dirt and worms in her hand, instead of her dragging them into your house.  Kool-Aid and ice cream cones are just little tastes on the end of her tongue.  But the smells are the same.  The happiness and joy is there.  And the memories are forming.



Victoria Strong said...

Beautiful Barb. And I can't wait to see Lucy and your wonderful family doing all of these special things. And now you've made me want to BBQ ;)