This summer Mini Whipped is three and is fully engaged in summer fun at its best: running through sprinklers, visits to the play ground and cold sweet treats.
The ceiling fan whirring overhead, I saw slight goose bumps appear on her little arms and legs as she pulled up her blanket, inhaled heavily and sunk into a deep, nap time sleep. I can still feel that exhaustion from a day of swimming and water play in the warm sun. I remember how satisfying the near naked naps were after cooling down in the pool on a hot summer day.
I’ve been overcome with acute nostalgia as I witness Mini Whipped’s gleeful engagement in summer activities. From every pore, I ache to return to the days of carefree fun. My memories of long, summer days are so palpable, it is hard to believe they happened decades ago.
We spent hours each day in the pool, only surfacing for forced sun block reapplication and occasional nourishment. Eventually, our bodies would become exhausted and chilled. We pulled ourselves out to the cement rim that surrounded the pool, which was hot from the sun. Stretched out along the thin, rough surface, we allowed our bodies to absorb the heat. Properly warmed and slightly rested, we rolled like sea lions back into the water for the next round of fun.
When we finally tired of the pool, we would cross the yard to the trampoline where we backflipped until the horizon line blurred and jumped to reach the ripe mulberries from the tree above. We ran through sprinklers, walked unsupervised around the neighborhood and ran when we heard the music of the ice cream man.
Sound like a privileged life?
It was a fortunate childhood and a time before mortgages, broken refrigerators and burst pipes. Days were long and each summer seemed like forever. Multi-tasking wasn’t necessary and schedules were not calculated to the minute. Watching Mini Whipped, I yearn to go back and I believe that perhaps ignorance is bliss.
A few weeks ago, I decided that my disengaged longing wasn’t doing any good. Instead, I vowed to live in the current moment with my daughter and work hard to let go of adult stresses, if even for small moments. The plan was to get close enough to her contagious, carefree summer delight to catch it and then let it consume me entirely.
Though I still find myself weighted with daily stresses and daydreaming of the past now and then, I am starting to find some moments of success. Last weekend, we sat on the sidewalk together and used our chalk to create a Sweet’s Shop for passersby filled with layered cakes and multi-scoop ice cream creations. A few days later, I stopped cleaning the house and called a family smoothie break in the back yard. Together we talked, cooled down and sipped. I let go. I lived in the moment. I accepted the unstoppable, linear passage of time and gave thanks for all I had AND for all I have.
3 cups frozen berries (or any frozen fruit)
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 cups milk
1-2 Tablespoons honey (optional)
Pour all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Drink through a straw on a hot, summer day.