It has been too long since I've written. I'd get a good idea and then go off to the pool with the kids and promptly forget about it. Summer is the season that I enjoy my kids most. I'm not busy trying to get them certain places at certain times and I'm completely in charge of our schedule, which I love. They have time to be more helpful around the house (which is good since they have more time to make messes) and we get to play together. I love swimming with them and watching them play at the park and reading together and going on adventures together. I like being able to say yes more often because it is okay to stay up a bit later when we can sleep in the next day and no summer is complete without at least one ice-cream-for-lunch day. I love watching fireworks with them and going to the beach together and doing things that help me feel happy and have fun too. I feel more relaxed and generally like a better mom during the summer.
As a kid I spent my summers riding my bike, taking road trips across the country, going to the beach and hoping my friend down the street would invite me to come swimming in her pool. As a teenager I was going to Girls Camp and participating in the Hill Cumorah Pageant and traveling to see extended family. As a young adult I visited with my older sisters, went to amusement parks and went out with friends I hadn't seen in a long time. The summer after my freshman year at college I went out to eat ice cream with a different friend three times in one day, although once it was custard and once it was frozen yogurt and so only one time was it actually ice cream. It was a good day.
As a missionary my summer was pretty much the same as the winter except instead of bundling up in boots and heavy coats we were sweating so much we'd take a quick shower at lunch time to cool off. Although people were more willing to talk to us on the street which was nice and that is when I met Marina, with whom I had the most amazing experience of my mission. Once I got home and got married, the reality of not having the summer off was a tough lesson to learn. I didn't like having to work inside on beautiful days and to ask permission to travel on vacation. So I was grateful when my husband finished school and we moved to California where I worked freelance and could spend a day sitting by the pool reading Harry Potter 6 from beginning to end if I wanted to do so, which I did.
It was that summer that I got really sick because of some fertility treatments I was doing and had to be hospitalized for two days, only to miscarry a month later and have a D and C procedure. I remember going to see John Williams conduct an orchestra playing all of his movie themes at the Hollywood Bowl the following night and feeling very grateful that I had something so fun to distract me from the emptiness I felt. Then it was the very next summer I gave birth to a baby girl, the fulfillment of much prayer and effort and hope and love.
Now summer is when my kids are all home and we can play together as a family. It is a strengthening time for us all to be together so much and create special memories, like my son learning to surf while we were in Florida and my daughter saying that me driving down an unpaved road is "the wildest ride in the willlllderrrneeees" and watching fireworks at baseball games and sitting in front of the Washington Monument playing games on July 4th and learning to dive in the pool and watching our little tomato plants grow and eating juicy watermelon and just being together, relaxed and enjoying so much of the goodness and beauty and fun this world has to offer. Maybe it is because I was born in the summer but while I am grateful for all the seasons and their goodness, nothing compares to a sun-filled, sand-filled, water-fun, family-fun, good-eatin', summer kind of day. Happy Summer!