Summer List 2012

Last year, I wrote about my habit, started in Chicago, of making a list of must-dos for summer as a way of celebrating the season. As tomorrow marks the official beginning of summer and the summer solstice, I’m busy finalizing the Summer of 2012 list. There are the staples, of course, like pitchers of pink lemonade, falling asleep on the hammock, and staying up halfway through the night reading an engaging book. As I was pondering what to add to my list for this summer, however, I asked the small people to develop their own lists of summer must-dos, hoping to generate some new ideas for myself as well as to broaden the tradition to include my children more.

Naturally, their lists vary considerably from mine.

My daughter’s list includes seeing princesses (I didn’t dare ask for details and thus encourage a certain level of expectation with this one.), riding a tricycle (Phase of the week: She wants to be age three again.), buying lots of jewelry and toys and going on the Peter Pan ride at Disney World. Hello Claire’s Boutique.

My younger son’s list wins the award for the widest range of ideas, including some things that just won’t be feasible at this juncture, like traveling to Africa or China and buying a baseball field, and some things that will be, like staying up all night one night and eating ice cream for breakfast one morning.

In fact, he and his brother have already accomplished the stay-up-all-night goal, after two failed attempts where both fell asleep before midnight. On the third attempt, deciding a game plan was in order, they took a nap in the early evening and stocked themselves with movies, games, books and chocolate (strictly for caffeine purposes). The mission was almost aborted at 1:30 a.m., due to a dispute over the order of activities, but somehow they resolved it and ended up staying awake until well after dawn. They then spent the rest of the day alternating between napping, intentionally or otherwise, and walking around the house looking like death warmed over.

Baby-girl wanted to be part of the action but crashed early on, so LCB carried her to the couch near the boys, so she could say she was part of it in a not-so-much kind of way.

My oldest son’s list involves buying more video games (He’s always surprising us, that one. Except not.), not becoming an idiot (his exact words), going back to the old house for a week, and reading Narnia (We’re on #6.).

So, without further ado, my personal additions and/or adjustments to my list from last year are as follows:

1. Go for a drive at dusk. Open all the windows of my vehicle, secure LCB as designated driver, and lean my head just slightly out the window, allowing the wind to hit my face and whip my hair into a fine frenzy behind me. I love doing this. Note: If you try this one, I recommend keeping your mouth shut for the duration, unless you are the roach-eater LCB knows who clearly would think nothing of ingesting mosquitoes, flies and the like.

2. Replace last summer’s homemade juice popsicles with homemade Kool-Aid popsicles this summer, as per the small people’s recommendation. They figure, why even salvage a small measure of salubriousness if you don’t need to?

3. Stay outside until past dark on the summer solstice. Whether you just sit quietly or whether you are out walking, swimming, playing sports or whatever, watch the light fade from the sky and listen for the sounds of all the things that come alive at night. If we can, we’re going to try to make a fire and roast marshmallows for s’mores tomorrow night. I promise, no creepy stories this time. Okay, I don’t promise, but I’m not anticipating any.

4. Just once, on a really warm day, stand outside in the rain. I actually mentioned this to the small people last week one evening as it began raining, and all three stood outside until a bolt of lightning in the distance brought them running back inside again. Next time, I’m in.

5. Drink a smoothie in a fancy-smancy glass. LCB is a smoothie-making machine this time of year, constantly throwing whatever fruit we have at the moment in a blender and handing me an icy glass of the end result, thus reminding me of the well-earned CB part of his name (cabana boy). I’m going to spice it up a bit this summer by putting the smoothies in margarita glasses or wine glasses, and I might even get myself some little paper umbrellas. Anyone know where to buy them?

6. Take a giant tube out into the Atlantic and float, uninterrupted, all day long. Okay, the uninterrupted part will likely be more like a shortish hour or minute. But one can always hope.

Here’s my favorite part. What about you? What are your summer rituals, habits, and practices that mark the arrival of summer for you?

6 Comment

  1. Eli in MN says: Reply

    Love your summer ideas, especially riding in the car with your head out the window. Last year I took a vacation day on the summer solstice and set my alarm for the exact time of sunrise and stayed up (and active, no tv!!) until the exact time of sunset. It was my ‘live life to the fullest’ day, and it was a blast. Didn’t get to do nearly all of the things I had planned but still felt good about it. So here is a little bit of perspective for you, I have two teen-aged daughters at home (13 1/2 and 15) and most of my summer wish list ends up being solo because, you know, they don’t really want to spend their summer vacation with me. So while a day floating alone in the ocean seems like heaven, beware that you will have it soon enough without really wanting it. Such a hard line to draw between needing your own time and missing any of the precious time with your little ones. It would be so much easier if there was a specific date that they decided friends were better than parents. Darn their individuality!

    1. Your points are extremely well-taken. I’m already lamenting the fact that so much has changed in the last five years going from 3 kids all preschool-aged or younger to now all of them school-aged. I still can’t get over the fact that all three have whole worlds without me now.

      I also love the idea of setting your alarm to mark the day and doing it sans TV and other distractions. I think I might try that one for next year. Thanks for the suggestion. Happy summer solstice!

  2. Ellie says: Reply

    I love that bit about the boys “all-nighter”. My kids have attempted something similar but never made it through until dawn. They did have that eerie vampire/zombie look all next day though! ;D

    1. That’s funny. I wonder if it’s a universal kid thing, to want to stay up all night. Of course, little do they know, once they reach adulthood, their goal will reverse itself and be to go to bed early one night. 🙂

  3. You should be able to get the paper umbrellas at any Party store.

    As for lists, The Cub is going to Camp NanaPa for a week on Monday. I will work on my list for the rest of the summer then. But my goal is to get over to Longwood Gardens and play with my camera while he is away. I just can’t see him enjoying standing there while I take 20 photos of the same flower.

    Happy Summer.

    1. I’ve heard Longwood Gardens is beautiful! Have fun taking pictures. Thanks for the tip on paper umbrellas! I also hope The Cub has fun next week, and his parents too. 😉

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