The Summertime Blues...
I vividly remember what it was like to wake up each summer morning, pretty much whenever I happened to roll out of bed. I miss that feeling.
I’d stumble into the kitchen and whip up some sort of breakfast for my brother and sister and me. Cereal wasn’t my thing, so I’d figure out a way to mix leftovers and lunchmeat and eggs into something palatable. If it didn’t turn out, the dog ate it anyways. We’d be forced to eat Golden Grahams with semi-spoiled milk. That’s probably why I didn’t care much for cereal.
After lacing up our summer shoes, my brother and I would get on the phone or get on our bikes to round up as many kids as we could for our daily adventures. Some days we’d have marathon baseball or football games or gather in the woods to play water gun war. Other days, we’d commandeer tools from my dad’s tool shed to build bike ramps, wilderness forts, or GI Joe bases. Often, the tools would not be able to find their way home and we’d take the fall. I’ve been suspicious of shovels ever since. They tend to wander.
Occasionally, my sister would have friends over and we’d spend the day plotting ways to annoy them both. We’d make our room into a haunted house or let the hamsters loose in her room or kidnap her Barbies and hold them for ransom. Anything that we could do to garner her friend’s attention, we’d do. I didn’t realize it then, but that’s what it was.
Video games arrived late in our childhood, so we were forced to use our imagination on rainy days. We’d set up green army men and have wars trying to knock them down with golf balls. We made up a baseball pickle game called HotBox where we could practice sliding across the carpet. We played football in the house, at least until someone got hurt or we broke something of mom’s. We played Legos and Transformers and Risk.
That’s what summertime was. Sweaty and messy and fun.
I must admit, I’m a bit envious when I leave for work each summer morning. As I kiss my son and daughter goodbye, I know the potential fun each day has for them. I miss the under-appreciated feeling of nothing to do and everything to do. That feeling we’d all like to have back at times.
I guess I have the summertime blues.
Squeeze every minute out of it, kids. Childhood will have passed soon enough.
Until next week, keep smiling.
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