April 19, 2012

my summer of '69

I was driving a very familiar route this morning, windows down, music loud enough for me but not too loud for Scarlett. The weather was just perfect. The kids are out of school this week, April vacation. I pulled down a street to find children happily playing in their front yard. A little girl, skinny with youth, bouncing a basketball in her driveway. Her brother playfully falling down in the grass. I started to think back to when April vacation meant something to me. To when summer vacation meant the world to me.

Has it really been over twenty-five years since I was one of those children?? 

I was suddenly flooded by wonderful memories. Memories of my brother, who is three years older than I am, riding bikes with me for hours on end. Pretending to be "Cops and Robbers." Playing with our matchbox cars on the front steps to our home. Going through our big, red barrel of sports equipment everyday that it didn't rain and switching from soccer to baseball, basketball, football and tennis. Memories of my best friend Kim, who lived right across the street, playing Chinese Jump Rope. Hopscotch. Making "meals" out of orange berries in my plastic dishes that spent their downtime in my mother's old Fry-Daddy box. Sitting our favorite dolls in their highchairs and playing hairdresser, making some serious mistakes with our scissors. Perfecting our cartwheels, round-offs and back-handsprings. Not without injury. And requesting a bewildering amount of sleepovers.

We woke early. Everyday. We couldn't wait to get outside. Once we were out we never wanted to go back in again. There were endless games to play.

The song "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams came on while I was daydreaming on this morning's car ride. And while I wasn't even an idea in my mother's mind back in 1969 I couldn't help relating to this song. After all, the height of its popularity was back in the very amazing, carefree times I was reminiscing of...

"Oh when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah, I'd always want to be there
Those were the best days of my life"

While I don't whole-heartedly believe that those were the best days of my LIFE I do believe that those were golden times. We had not a care in the world. We were young and filled with hope and excitability. We had a long road ahead of us and knew nothing of what it would entail. We didn't worry. Our days were endless and time was on our side. Youth is marvelous. If only we could understand that while we have the privilege of living those tender years...

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