I love summer time. I am a summer baby and wait with bated breath for summer to come. Now that it’s here, I feel like I have blossomed. I feel like and really think I am the best version of myself during the summer months. I am grateful that at the beginning of this summer season, I have close to four weeks off. Yes. Four weeks, give or take. It’s a blessing and a curse. I can already tell I am not going to be a happy camper when I have to go back to work after sleeping in almost every day, but I refuse to live in that mindset. Live in the now right? This break also made me nostalgic about how my summers have changed throughout my life. As we age, summer takes on many different meanings and I thought it would be fun to reminisce. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

Adolescents

Hanging with the kids in the neighborhood and making new friends

If you had the luxury of living in a neighborhood with a lot of kids your age, this was the time you ran wild within your neighborhood until the lights came on. This was not my life, but I know many people who lived this reality. Making friends with family members that come to visit enlarges your friend group. Who doesn’t need more people for a major game of kick ball?

Seeing family

I spent many a summer day at my grandparents’ house during the summer (free child care anyone?). I was guaranteed to see not only my grandparents, but numerous cousins and aunts and uncles as well. Summer time is when family reunions take place. Summer is for family.

Family trips

It wasn’t until I was 14 that my mom was able to take me on a family trip (single mommy struggles). We went to Jamaica and it was amazing. I just remember it being lush and green and people who were clearly not my age trying to holler at me…but I digress. It was a beautiful place and I will always remember that experience. If your family took regular trips, I am sure they are some of the best memories you have. It may also be the reason you were able to chew gum in class if your ears still haven’t popped.

Summer camps and day camps

This was my life as a child. I went to a one week sleep away camp and the amount of stars I saw in the sky will FOREVER be engrained in my mind. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. I wish I could go back to summer camp. I really don’t know I didn’t become a professional camp counselor. Day camps were the best. I made great friends, did arts and crafts daily, played in the pool twice a day, and got hella chocolate. Life was grand.

Imagination!

A box into a fortress. A tree into a rocket ship. Blanket fort. The door to Narnia. If you could imagine it, it could be real. I was always daydreaming about building a fort out of scrap wood lying around the backyard, or taking it up into my grandparent’s tree. I wanted a treehouse so badly. I still do. One day.

Goodbye to bedtimes (kinda)

I mean, going to bed at 9:30 was big to me. And don’t let me stay up until 10pm. I thought I was really doing something. Funny how this still applies, but now it’s just because adulting has worn me out. Sad. Just sad.

Sleepovers

You loved them, your parents dreaded them. More kids to be responsible for and entertain was not what your parents had in mind for their Thursday night. But they were great. Playing all day, sharing secrets, giggling in the dark when you should be asleep. They were great time.

 

Teenage years

Hanging with friends outside the house

I was a mall rat during these years. It was honestly my first touch of freedom (I have an overprotective mother…yes, still have).  It was fun to hang out outside the house and walk the city with my friends.  I really felt like I was doing something with my little life.

Summer romances

That boy who works at the shoe store. That girl who was in your home room class now smiles at you at the park. Young, impressionable love. Holding hands while your friends act like this is the biggest thing since sliced bread. They may have only lasted weeks, but it felt like everything. And you’ll always remember that girl from camp the summer of 1998.

Summer jobs

That first check spent on shoes, food, or maybe you saved it for new clothes for school. Either way, being able to finally earn your own money was a big deal.

Summer school

You were getting ahead or catching up. It may have only been a half day, but we were still in school and it sucked. Every time I took a class, I vowed to be a better student during the next school year. Summer time is not made for school, I don’t care what anyone says.

20’s and 30’s

Work

Yeah, it’s clear blue skies and 82 degrees on Wednesday. Go back to that fax machine.  I was never in a rush to grow up, I still am not. But for those of you who couldn’t wait to be “grown”, this is your punishment. You’re grown now and have to work during the summer, and during the holidays. Good luck getting that vacation request approved.

One week vacations

Speaking of vacations, you used to get months off automatically. Now you hope you can swing one week off for some much needed rest and relaxation. I truly believe this process should work backwards. We go to school the majority of the years when we’re children, with breaks of course. But as we age, we get more and more time off. I think we better utilize it as adults anyway. Just a suggestion.

3 day work weekends

Memorial Day. 4th of July. Labor Day. You best believe people are leaving ON TIME Thursday. Vacation brain started Monday and won’t really be functional until Wednesday of the following week. These are the small sparks of joy once your move into adulthood. Built in 3 day weekends if your industry allows.

Day parties, basically Sunday Fundays

Sunday becomes everyone’s favorite day all of a sudden. Any other time, Friday reigns supreme, but come summer time, Friday becomes 3rd in rank. Sundays are made for brunching, day parties, day drinking, and sadly the Smonday mode. What is Smonday? The feeling you get when you realize at some point during all your fun on Sunday that tomorrow is Monday.

Festivals and social events (during the week)

Everyone wants to go on tour during this time or have an event during the week. Don’t they know we work every dang day? Doesn’t matter. It can be truly hard to have a practice a functional work life balance during the summer. All the live music midweek concerts, art shows, foodie events can make you hit the snooze a few times the next morning.

Longing for the days of the pasts

It’s hard being an adult during the summer. At least for me. All I want to do is go back to laying on my grandparent’s floor playing with biscuit dough watching I Love Lucy episodes and Elvis movies. I realize it’s now up to me to create the summer I desire and that’s going to take a lot of work…and A LOT of PTO.

 

What are some of your favorite summer memories through the years? What do you wish you could still do as an adult each summer that you miss? Sound off in the comments below.

 

xoxo, Panda