Late mornings. Late evenings. Several books. Possibly too many cartoons on small devices with Cheerios. Morning bickering, and me pushing them outside to get dirty with pajamas on. Early cuddling, once again, me pushing them outside to get dirty right before bath. There’s not much to do either. Well, except hours long swimming, matted hair, fries with 80s tunes on rotation.
For days on end, we did the same things, as if the clock spoke differently. And it did not. We did the same thing, almost expecting not to see the same people, and yet, we did. Still, it was the magnetic and idyllic small town summer.
I didn’t think of this of course. Not until I posted many photographs of our summer days so far as a post, and later as an instagram post. A reader commented something in that vein. And so, for the last week since we’ve been in the city again, I’ve been referencing the joy of our small town summer. And how life with less expectations (and less people) can provide so much. Of course, it isn’t in any way more magical than a NYC summer. Which, to be honest, we often treat as a small town summer, with our city pool days, and park evenings with wine and pizza. It is just different. To be able to not only provide something different, but experience it as well, has been by far one of my biggest joys this season. And I hope, a collective cherished memory.
When I look at this photograph of the kids by the pool, I keep thinking of the film-like photos of Stella Blackmon in her hometown of Missouri. We’ve collaborated in the past, and I’ve always been a big fan of the way she so easily captures small town simplicity, complexity and joy.
Public School begins later this year, and I am surprisingly excited for the extra weeks like the ones we just experienced. As worries of the pandemic and children resurface, I am finding that the gift of what can be promised right in this moment is our saving grace. I don’t yearn for a getaway with the kids by any means. The want and need is fulfilled in these quarters and with what we have. Which is to say, a lot!
How was/is childhood summers for you?