Wednesday, May 20, 2015

a letter to summer 2015

Hello Summer 2015,

This letter isn't meant to manipulate you or anything, but you need to know: We are counting on you.

As children, summer stretched out over us like striped awnings over a turquoise pool. It held us like a hammock strung under palm trees. Summer, for us, was playing tag with friends until streetlights came on. It was long road trips to see canyons and valleys that God's own hand carved. Summer meant fireflies in jars, tadpoles in paper cups, and frogs under bushes. It was lazy mornings watching cartoons in pajamas and late nights reading one last chapter with flashlights under the covers.

In many ways, the summers of the past made us who we are today. I'm not going to lie, Summer 2015, you have a lot to live up to around here.

Kids today, they need you to woo them into the glorious freedom of days without end sprawling out over the coming weeks. In case you didn't know, some of these kids have a hard time at school- there are bullies and tests and homework and so. much. sitting. 

Teach them to run and skip and climb, dear Summer.

Unleash the joy of reading adventure stories for pure bliss.

Give them the happy accomplishments that only you can give: learning to effortlessly dive into the pool, perfecting cartwheels down grassy hills, and how to sing and chew gum and ride a bike all at the same time.

Summer, these kids need you to be so amazing that they can't imagine why anyone would want to spend every moment of the next three months in front of televisions or playing on devices. Because somehow, we are all learning that when we can't put down our phones or turn off the TV, life is something that happens to us. But when we open our front door and step out unplugged, we make a life for ourselves.

These kids of ours need to learn to make a life out of their moments, and that is your purpose here, Summer.

I thank you in advance for this gift. And I promise to be in this with you. I will push them out the door, drive them to the pool, and hoist them up into trees. I will take them to the library and teach them how to find the books they want to read. I will play with them at the lake and paint with them at the kitchen table.

I will be your comrade in arms, sweet Summer.

And when school days beckon, I will be sad to say goodbye. But I will also be grateful, and ready to see how these children of freedom can learn the lessons they need in school days of structure and responsibility. Because that is part of making a meaningful life, too.

Somehow, the shadows of my children will grow longer and longer until they grow all the way out of this house and into the wide world. And then, Summer, you will have new lessons for me as I fill my days with new adventures (By the way, I am asking in advance for island beaches, the perfect gold sneakers, and lots of grandbabies in my pool).

But for now it's you, me, Mr. Fantastic, and these kids, making the best memories we can make.

And, as my kids would say, it's going to be epic.


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