We only have about four weeks left before school starts back, but I’m over summer already.
I always look so forward to all the Pollyanna ideas I come up with in spring for my children and me. I enjoy the thought of lemonade stands, picking fresh fruits and vegetables, going to concerts at the park, frequenting the library and spending time outside in the hammock. But when the 90 degree days actually get here, all any of us want to do is stay inside and try to stay alive.
Thinking back to my own childhood, we didn’t have central air – it was a relief to be outside in the shade. We climbed plum trees, rode bikes and roller skates all over the neighborhood and didn’t seem to notice how hot it was.
We didn’t have residential swimming pools. We were lucky if somebody’s mama agreed to load up the station wagon and drive over to the pool on Denson Avenue or perhaps Spring Villa, but this didn’t seem to happen often.
We walked to our friends’ houses in the heat of the day, got a Dixie cup of Kool-Aid and played until time to walk home. We didn’t have cell phones; we knew what time our parents got home from work. That was when we needed to be back just in time to set the table.
After dinner I was the dish washer. It was up to me when I got to go back out to play. Of course, three plates and three glasses shouldn’t have caused reason for complaining. I’m certain it didn’t stop me though. If I whined too much I got the old, “Well, tomorrow you can pick beans too!” I don’t know how I avoided having to help more in the garden. Maybe it had to do with pulling the plants out of the ground, but I can’t be sure.
I remember reading newspaper comics on the front steps of my house. That was about as much reading as I did in summer. I didn’t appreciate the incredible gift reading offered. I don’t even remember having any assigned reading or going to the library at all, although I’m sure we would have been better off if we had – at least the library had air conditioning.
I have given up on my ideas for fun.
I don’t think I’m much for entertaining my kids either. The lemonade stand will have to wait for fall, maybe. The farmer’s market downtown on Tuesdays is about all the picking we can handle. I haven’t spent one single evening listening to music in the park. I am seriously considering going ahead and indulging in school supplies.
My children like that idea. Maybe we can make shopping in Target a fun summer activity.
Angie Brown is a humorist who loves being a wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in Opelika with her husband of 31 years and four of their seven children.