With summer quickly approaching, I figured it was time for a little throwback. During our childhood, we couldn't wait for the words "last day of school" which would lead us into the long three months of summer break. We would spend our days basking in the sun and just having fun with our friends without a worry in sight. Summer was always my favorite time of the year -- not only because my birthday happens to fall in the heart of summer, but also because it was a time when everyone just seemed happier and more carefree. I could probably name an endless amount of summer memories that I have, but here are just a few that have really stuck with me through the years.
1. The sound of the ice cream truck.
Every child could hear this truck from miles away. We would all run into our rooms and pull out the few coins we had out of our piggy banks and get our favorite frozen treat. If you happened to miss the truck, you knew that summer day had just turned into the worst day ever and you would have to wait a whole 24 hours until you could try again.
2. Melted popsicles and ice cream.
Along with the enjoyment of ice cream, comes the melted mess. Sure a popsicle sounds like the perfect thing for a hot and humid 90 degree day, until you step outside it then becomes a moisturizer for your hand. We have all had those sticky red hands from our melted popsicles, where Mom would be scolding us for making such a mess and for not eating it fast enough.
3. Baseball games.
Baseball games are one of the very definitions of summer. We all had the parent that sign us up to play little league even though we didn't want to be standing out on a dirt field in the 80 degree sun. Or maybe you were fortunate enough and got to bake in the sun while sitting on the bleachers, cheering on your friends and siblings. Either way, baseball games were one of the many enjoyments of summer, since who doesn't love sitting bleacher side with a soda and hot dog.
4. Getting that tomato red sunburn.
No matter how many times mom told us to put on that SPF 50, we would say, "It's not that sunny" or "But, Mom, I don't ever burn." A few hours later, we would then come back for lunch and be glowing like fire. We would get the, I told you so look, from Mom and then a speech on how important it is to protect your skin from the sun's rays. It's not till now that I truly am grateful for the sunscreen fights my mom and I would have.
5. Poolside fun (for those without the enjoyment of beaches).
Summer equals poolside days. Enough said.
6. Summer foods.
You knew every night when it wasn't rainy was going to be a cookout. Hamburgers, hot dogs, brauts, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, and watermelon always made the perfect meal and you couldn't ever seem to get tired of it. I mean you have to enjoy the food while it is fresh and in season since we all know the December blues when you just want a slice of ripe, juicy watermelon.
As a child, I loved nothing more than when the 4th of July would come around and the whole town would come together and watch fireworks at a local college stadium. It would then return to having a few neighbors that would put on a light show of their own, just for our entertainment. I loved seeing the night sky light up in the blues and reds of the American spirit and for once, it would feel like the peace on Earth was possible since everyone coming to celebrate the one thing that we are all truly thankful for.
Sometimes, looking back on our childhood may make us feel old and miss the good times, while others it makes us smile and realize just how well we had it. For those of you who are reading this and still have some years of your youth left, enjoy it. Once you graduate high school and make it to college, summers just aren't the same. Cherish this time you have of no worries and the free-ness to create as many memories as possible because trust me, one day you will enjoy looking back at them.