When I was a kid, I loved summer. No school, no schedule, no worries. I would sleep late, stay up late, ride my bike everywhere, eat popsicles on the front lawn, and go swimming at the neighborhood pool.
Do kids still do that today? Do they still ride their bikes everywhere? I lived in a small town—Flushing, Michigan. Even at the age of 8, my friends and I could ride our bikes to Main Street and go into A&W and get a root beer float. We would ride around all day, stopping home for Kool-Aid or to retrieve something we’d forgotten (Star Wars action figures, water guns, or pom poms—all the necessities). We didn’t have cell phones. We hadn’t even heard of cell phones. My mom didn’t know where we were, and I don’t think she worried.
Maybe it’s just because I lived in a small town. In Houston, I don’t see kids going anywhere without parents. I do take my little one to the YMCA, but there are lots of parents there—sometimes more parents than kids. It’s pretty hot, so maybe that’s why kids don’t ride their bikes. And they all have cell phones.
I used to teach the book Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury to sophomores. It was one of their summer reading books. Or sometimes we would read it at the end of the year, as summer was approaching. For me, that book is the quintessential in summer nostalgia. If you’ve read it, you know just what I mean. If not, give it a try. It’s a collection of short stories with interwoven characters. The protagonist is a young boy enjoying all the things I loved about summer when I was a kid.
So what do you love about summer? What are you nostalgic for?