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Living A Throwback Summer

It was summer in the 1990s. I was a young child. The weather was hot by May, school came to an end in June, and the parish carnival signified the commencement of summer. Those were some of the most memorable times of my life!

We woke up by 8am and couldn't wait to get outside; we didn't play on an iPad or ask for an iPhone to keep us entertained. We ate whatever my mom offered for breakfast and ate it quickly so we could start our day as quickly as possible; there was no telling our mom, "I don't like that- I want something else". Umbro shorts are what I dressed myself in almost everyday.

My brother was 3 years older than me and my sister was 3 years younger. We were all in different "stages" of childhood...interested in different things. But we still all played outside together in some fashion- especially my brother and I as we got older. Kicking a soccer ball around on the side yard, playing basketball in the driveway or running up and down a grassy, muddy, $5 slip-n-slide for hours were a few things my brother and I did ALL DAY LONG. We occupied ourselves and we had a great time doing it! My mom didn't have to occupy us for hours on end. We didn't expect her to. We never asked her to. She would fill up a plastic pool in the backyard and my sister and I would swim for hours while she got work done.

Riding bikes up and down the street, "popping wheelies" and making homemade "bike ramps" were daily activities for us. We would wait {barely} until a decent hour to knock on our neighbors' door for them to come outside to play each morning. All the neighborhood kids, ranging in ages, played

t o g e t h e r. Sometimes we argued, sometimes there were tears. Rarely did our parents get involved. We figured out solutions ourselves or with the help of our siblings as mediators (haha).

Catching salamanders in the creek and playing home run derby were two of my favorite things to do as a child. Our neighborhood baseball games sprawled across 3 neighbors' properties and there were no "Keep Off" signs adorning their yards. We ate popsicles on our neighbors steps, played in the street, and used common sense. Our neighbors cared about each other and we all looked out for one another. We grew up with the same neighbors our whole childhood; they attended every family party we had and the adults all worked together to put on a block party every July!

The ice cream man loved us. He came almost everyday and hearing his truck tune was a familiar sound. We would race inside and grab our money that we hid from our we earned ourselves having lemonade stands on the corners and selling our hand-drawn pictures to our elderly neighbors for a dime.

After dinner, we would grab a glass jar or an old take-out container and run around catching fireflies until our mom called us inside for a bath and bed.

We looked forward to one week in particular every summer- the week we went to the shore with some of our cousins! We all rented 1 big house and all of us would vacation together, with our aunts, uncles and grandparents. We would spend long days on the beach, and entertain ourselves by playing board games at night. We went to the boardwalk and rides ONE we made that night count! What great memories we all have.

Why has so much changed in 20 years?

Why do us parents feel so pressured to have our children involved in every single activity known to man during the summer? Why are we putting the strain on ourselves to entertain our children 24/7? What is wrong with teaching our children to entertain themselves, use their imaginations and let them do things for they learn!

My husband and I are determined to give our girls a summer like it's 1994. We want them to enjoy summer in the simplest form.

Our older two girls are 4 and 3; of course they are still young and can't just go off roaming the neighborhood all day. But the older two wake up by 6am and immediately ask, "What are we doing today?" I list an activity and then they say , "then what?" I often ask myself, "Did you make them this way?"

I am determined to have them learn to occupy themselves and "figure it out" on their own.

They should enjoy the little things summer is all about!

In my opinion, Summer should be about having NO plan. Doing fun things on a whim. Making up silly games that they will teach their own children one day. Going to the park, saturating the driveway with chalk drawings, covering the tree branches with bottles worth of bubbles and chasing down the ice cream man for a sugary Spider Man popsicle.

Going to the beach for a week with their cousins, aunts and uncles will be a memory they hold onto into their adulthood. We started the tradition when I was pregnant with Brynley - Tom and I look forward to it each year, ourselves!

Sports in our backyard, muddy slip n' slides, adventures outside, lemonade stands, catching fireflies, ice cream. Summer 2017.


I don't want my girls to grow up faster than they already are. I want them to truly experience summer like every kid should. Simple, self-taught fun.

I want our girls to experience summer like it's the 90s.


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