Many people believe that summer starts with a day on the calendar, hot sultry afternoons, and changing your wardrobe from black to white. I, for one, always need to be reminded that the calendar has turned. My sense of time has struggled to attach itself to a series of numbers and, while I get the whole clock thing from day to day, calendars seem to exist on a project to project basis, instead of year round like normal people. You'd think then that weather would be a good clue, but where we live strange weather can happen at any given moment, like snow in July or a heat wave in April, so that's no good. I have yet to change my wardrobe and acknowledge fashion in any sense of the word, so I have never really understood the whole white and black thing, or obeyed it, wearing whatever pants look comfortable and are relatively clean.
So I have developed another way to tell that the seasons have changed...the passage of children.
I think most parents and children know this: summer really begins when the last shoe has returned from school, when the first morning has arrived that you don't have to struggle to get everyone's lunch into their backpack, when your children beg to wear their pyjamas all day. That's summer.
I can remember how summer seemed to stretch into eternity. In a good way. My neighbourhood friends, my brother and I would play on our porch, make forts in the escarpment, and eat snacks at a different house every day. There was nothing like playing all day, living as far out of the adult world as possible...it was restful, relaxing and a great break from school. Quite frankly, I miss it, and I sometimes wonder if that is not the true experience we try to recreate on our vacations.
I hope to be able to find a way for my children to have that experience, but as most people know it's hard these days. We live in a time when children are hyper-supervised and highly programmed, set on various tracks for success in the hope that they will be the next world wonder...it is difficult to even find people to play with and there is always pressure to live up to the standard...and, I'm afraid of bears.
So lots of excuses, but I hope that starting today, as the last shoe has returned from school, we will be able to carve out a fun, relaxing summer. And I truly hope it will be fun and relaxing for me as well!
So it begins. Wish me luck, and happy first day of summer to you all!