“When you were tiny I used to fill this sink and set you on the edge. You’d paddle your little feet and splash. I did it with all of you.” This is what I told Sierra, our youngest granddaughter last week as we rinsed her juice glass in the kitchen sink. She grinned. Kids and water. Such a simple combination, but one that never fails to delight. Look at the picture.
Yeah, that’s her, four now and charging through the sprinkler her dad set up. She and her sister and a couple of neighbor kids decided it would be the perfect thing to do right after school on a hot, almost summer, day.
You know what? It could have been me and my brothers and sisters. Kids and sprinklers are a classic summer combo. And before there were sprinklers it was probably buckets filled from the pump in the side yard and before that a dip in the creek.
Which brings to my mind all of the simple things that we love about summer. Like cartwheels on the lawn (or through the sprinkler at Grandma’s like Anna here).
How about that quintessential American business model - the lemonade stand? For me it was Kool Aid because it was only five cents for the package of powder. We had to work at selling the stuff at ten cents a glass and that was after the hard labor of convincing Mom to part with a cup of sugar and some ice. We made almost no money but forged many a sticky memory. What fun!
A day at the beach with sand in your swimsuit and tuna sandwiches eaten under the blazing sun. A trip to the ice cream stand for soft serve. A neighborhood baseball game before it was all so organized. Your face in front of the table fan when it was too hot to breathe and a Popsicle waiting if you cleaned up your room. Strawberry picking with the promise of glistening jars of jam to line the pantry shelves. And corn on the cob dripping with butter come August.
Watching my grandchildren giggle and scream through the sprinkler brings all these simple summer pleasures to mind. Some things never change and it’s nice to look at those things once in a while. It helps push the real, more awful, world away for a bit and keep things in perspective.
What is it about summer that delights you?