Some of my favorite memories growing up in small town, south-central PA were of summer vacations. Mom and Dad both worked back then and because we lived out in the country, the summers were laid back and as a young kid I would have told you that they were BORING! These days with all the running around that we do, there are times when I long for boring summer days to unwind both my body and my mind.
I remember the hot mornings when my sister and I would wake up, pack some drinks and hop on our bikes for a long ride before the summer heat would dictate that we slowed things down and stayed inside. We'd come home, sweaty and tired and plop ourselves on the floor in front of the box fan in a desperate attempt to cool down.
We spent a lot of time at our cousin's on their circus trampoline. We'd spray it and ourselves down with the water hose, terrorizing Pinky the dog as we'd bounce like maniacs above his head. We'd ride our bikes during the day when Aunt Janet and Uncle Ron were at work and then do crazy things like have food fights, attempt to survive Aunt Janet's flaming hot, spicy BBQ pork chops, go for walks and catch the neighbors doing questionable acts up on their second floor, tour the Gettysburg battlefield and climb all over Devil's Den in the evenings or on Aunt Janet's days off.
On the quiet times when we were back at home we had to find ways to entertain ourselves. Rain storms always provided the perfect excuse for cooling off and playing in puddles. Riding bikes, playing wiffle ball and hide and go seek until dark with the neighbor kids are memories that I look back on fondly.
I want my kids to be able to create memories like these that they can in turn share with their own kids later in life. I wish that I could go back in time to really appreciate these things as they should have been back then. But I'll settle for seeing the joy and happiness in my kids' faces as they splash in the puddles after a summer rain.