Arica likes to tease me about my use of the word awesome. It's not so much the word but the vigor with which I espouse it. It's not awesome, but AWE-some! No matter how it sounds summertime truly is AWE-some!
When I was a kid I lived for the summer. Every day of school was just one more obstacle standing in my way. The countdown started on the first day of class. I always dreamed of the day that final bell would ring, and we could all dance out the doors singing "School's out for summer!" Of course as a child I didn't know any Alice Cooper songs, but I was probably singing something.
In the Summer I spent a lot of my time at the country club pool and playing baseball. Of course you couldn't do both in the same day. Swimming was not allowed on game days. It might tire you out, and everyone knows that baseball games are more important than practicing your cannonballs.
Once I finished school summer lost some of its pizazz. I still like the lake, and the warm weather, but I have to work every day. I think we should adopt the August is vacation for everyone plan like several European countries. I can tell you from personal experience that it is futile to try to get any work done during August in Italy.
This summer should be different for our family. It is our first time enjoying summer with a child. Just this week Braden took his first trip to the pool. We don't have a pool unless you count that blue plastic thing the dogs wallow in to escape the summer heat. None of our relatives have a pool either, but we are resourceful. We know someone with a pool, and who is going to tell this guy he can't swim in their pool.
Braden loved the pool. At first he sat on the steps in the water. He splashed the water repeatedly with his hands. When he got some water on his face he gasped and and made a hilarious grimace. It didn't stop him though. Without even waiting for Mom to wipe him off he started splashing again.
Then he transferred to the inflatable crab. It's a floaty he can sit in with his legs in the water. There is a tray in front that fills with water so he can splash. Of course there is also the ever important canopy to protect the little man from the evil sun. Truthfully the sun had no chance. Between the canopy, his big green hat, and the SPF 75 sunblock he stayed nice and white.
Summertime at our house also means going to the lake. Arica and I love to take my little fishing boat out on the weekends. We anchor on some island all alone. Actually we aren't all alone because our wild dogs are running everywhere. This is their favorite pastime as well. Otter fetches sticks until he nearly drowns. Abbey sits in the water but prefers not to swim. Arica and I enjoy a little relaxation, swimming, and usually a picnic lunch.
We aren't comfortable bringing Braden to the lake in my tiny boat. Maybe sometime this summer we will get together with friends and take him out on a party barge. Either way he has a long future of lake visits ahead of him. Living in a town with a lake makes the whole experience more relaxing. You don't have to hurry. You don't have to go on the busiest days. You don't have to find a hotel. All you do is have fun.
This is what I want to teach Braden. I want to teach him how to live a life of summertime fun. I never pictured myself as a local in a tourist town. Now that this is a reality I feel the need to pass on the lifestyle to my son. I have the Jimmy Buffet CD in the stereo. I have my assorted flip flops lined up for action. The swimming trunks and various shades of khaki shorts are washed and ready. All we need now is the care free attitude.
Braden, It's time to enjoy the summer, and you can bring your green hat.