summer days

Author: angiem, 07 14th, 2011

When I was a young child, the summer days stretched endlessly from dawn to dusk. Mornings were always my favorite time: the bright sunshine, the cool air, the quiet. I would fluff up my pillows and open my book. In our overcrowded and busy family house, the best time to read was when everyone else was asleep and no artificial light was needed.

Breakfast was usually a hurried affair of cold cereal and toast, as the day awaited and we all couldn’t wait to get going. The playground awaited. Visits to family friends awaited. Lakes awaited and picnics awaited and barbecues awaited and laughter and fun awaited. There was always something going on. And when there wasn’t, lazy days of reading and sunbathing in the backyard awaited.

No matter how censured I felt as a child and young adult, both by my parents and the church community, my parents did their best to create for us a childhood and youth filled with happy memories and free of financial worry. We weren’t rich. Far from it. My dad worked hard, often three jobs at a time, so that my mom could stay home and take care of us. And it wasn’t easy. I knew it then, and I know it now; being a parent myself, I find myself pulled in all directions. Work. Family. Books. Guilt I’m not at work enough. Guilt I’m not with my family enough. Guilt I’m spending money on books I don’t have time to read. Always on the phone… Or checking my messages… Or sending texts to my employees, reminding them what to do. The list goes on.

Excuses. All of them. I’m sure that on my death bed, the only thing I’ll regret are the days and times I’ve spent away from my kids. These summer days my goal is to be with them as often and as much as I can, and to provide them with a legacy of golden memories. What about for you? What are your goals?

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19 Responses to “summer days”

  1. pamela Says:

    I have to admit that today my goal is to limit any outdoor time as much as I can. 100 degrees and high, high humidity does not suit me at all. Nor Edward!

    As for the guilt that you speak of. I rather think it’s universal. Sigh.

  2. sharon -My French Country Home Says:

    Oh boy Angie !! GUILT - you could write a year of posts on that one couldn’t you?! I’m convinced that feeling guilty is a more feminine hang up than masculine.
    I like your childhood summer day description and the fleeting reference to feeling censured - really?
    Wishing you a happy summer weekend
    Sharon

  3. Mary Moon Says:

    I don’t think I “do” goals. I just try to get through with as much grace as possible.

  4. Ava Says:

    From all I hear you’ve had a golden childhood and I know you’ll be providing the same to your kids.

    My goal is to read more. I love reading but never find the time.

  5. Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita Says:

    Well, those childhood summers sound pretty good! As for goals, I decided about 6 years ago that while I would make a lot less money doing so, I would drastically cut my summer work hours to the bare minimum and spend that time with the kids. These years go so very fast, don’t they? And I didn’t want to miss them…

  6. deb Says:

    Sometimes I think we know deep down what we are called to do at any given time , you know. Right now, as much as I may think otherwise, my family is priority. It’s not something I could have predicted, given their ages, and how things were going, but sometimes dynamics change, and it is what it is.
    We can never get back the moments that make up the day.
    I wish all wonderful and glorious things to you always.

  7. Susan Tiner Says:

    I tend to drop everything to spend every possible moment with my busy grown children, but they are so busy the moments are infrequent and fleeting, so I applaud your efforts to spend as much time with your little ones as you can, while they’re still with you.

    It’s not fair that women have to grapple with so much guilt balancing work and family during the child-raising years — I struggled too during those years and will never know if I made the right tradeoffs, though they seem perfectly fine and happy.

    xoxo

  8. Mwa (Lost in Translation) Says:

    Pretty much that.

  9. Lori Says:

    Such a beautiful description of lazy reading mornings, Angie. I remember those times too well. I used to spend my summers in my grandparents’ village and my days were filled with reading. I packed the thickest books for my summer vacation. The luxury of reading thick books!

  10. Julie Says:

    Hi Angie

    I love the way you brings us into your memories.. I can always imagine being right there in your descriptive narrative..

    I also remember childhood as long long summer days of playing outdoors and days that never ended… We weren’t really a go places do things sort of family.. but we kids always found ways to occupy our time, climbing trees, skateboarding..park across the street.. games made from invention rather than electronics… [quite a few mishaps too with broken bones and split skulls as we thought we were invincible]

    I’m always feeling guilty also.. No kids.. which may be good as then I would feel guilty about them I’m sure…

    Hope you have a wonderful summer with your kids so they too can remember those never ending days and happy family gatherings..

    ciao xxx Julie

  11. Elizabeth Says:

    This is such a good and quiet reminder to pull away from distraction and push toward engagement with those around me –

  12. Susan Deborah Says:

    These days not many realise the pleasure that lies in being idle and enjoying each moment. Everyone is rushing somewhere. Thinking of that I wonder if I should have been born some thirty years ago than my birth year.

    And as for excuses, we all make it all the time. Quite human, so don’t you worry :)

    My goals: Well, I wonder if I have any at the moment. I guess everything eventually happens at some time.

    Joy and love,
    Susan

  13. laura Says:

    That last, such a good point. Our summer seems to be racing by. These lazy days of no pressures, no schedule–I hope they give my boys a foundation for attending to sabbath. It gives such a strong center to know it’s ok to just BE. I love picturing you fluffing the pillow or curling under a tree in the back yard with a good book, Angie. That was me too. Enjoy these summer days, sweet friend.

  14. Vicki Archer Says:

    Your thoughts are so akin to mine Angie…in a perfect world it is family first and that’s my goal too….family and then the rest…or at the very least an equitable balance between family, work and play…Great post….xv

  15. Christie Says:

    What a fabulous post! There is always something magical about summer, it always brings back youthful memories. This summer I am doing the same, trying to create wonderful memories, spending time with my family.

    xoxo

  16. Ange Says:

    Ahh - I’m sure my messmonsters have those same memories that you and I both share of those long summer days. Just watching them carousing in the garden singing at the top of their lungs is joy enough. I am priveleged to be able to observe their play‚Ķ. While they still want to hang around home. Much love

  17. Holly L Says:

    Angie- Whenever you address a subject is is always so poignant. The guilt is always there for me - have I done enough for my kids, my family, and also myself. When I discuss my childhood with my mom, I have memories like yo do and my mom always tells it was not always as “perfect” as I remember and I am doing OK…and a breathe a little easier.

  18. rick Says:

    that was a lovely trip angie, thanks.
    my goal is just to not waste one single day and to share life and love as much as i can
    rick

  19. Jeanne @ Collage of Life Says:

    A mother’s love knows no bounds….enjoy always moment always. I love your stories…they bring back great memories for me..

    Best wishes for a lovely weekend Angie..

    Jeanne xxx

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