Ahh. It’s finally here and I couldn’t be happier. Summer. A time for warm weather, short shorts, cold drinks, crystal clear pools, shady umbrellas, bottles upon bottles of sunblock and laughter.
Growing up I always liked the hazy, lazy days of summer, but mostly just for the much needed break from classwork. I did, however, enjoy laying out on my parents deck and listening to the radio on my battery operated boom box as I soaked up the sun, my pale body drenched in tanning lotion and my hair full of Sun-in. I tried so hard to be sun-kissed from head to toe, but I really only ended up with burnt, painful skin and orange hair. It was dreadful, but for some reason I did it year after year.
My mom would lay out there with me, smoking her cigarettes or painting her nails and just being so beautifully bronze. She was effortlessly gorgeous in those days, with long dark hair, a thin, curvy waist and her black two-piece bathing suit. I wanted to be just like her.
The deck would be so hot that if you stepped on it with a bare foot your skin would get scorched, so we always wore flip-flops. The only time we would go barefoot was on our way from our fold-out tanning chair to the pool and each time we’d do a dance, only letting our toes briefly touch the fiery wood. My mom would watch my sister and I as we swam around in the pool, goofing off. She would laugh at our lame head stand attempts and games of Marco-Polo, only jumping in, herself, occasionally to cool off. She spent most of the day slathering on fresh coats of tanning lotion and relaxing as she glistened in the sun.
I can still smell her Hawaiian Tropic SPF 5 if I close my eyes.
Today, though, summers are so different for me. Now they are days at the wading pool with big beach hats and SPF 50. They are days meant for water balloon fights and finding a shady spot to cool off with Roxy. They are cool nights on the back deck with a glass of wine as we watch the fireflies blink on and off in the back yard. They are full of love, much like before, but somehow it means more to me today. Somehow these summer days make me reflect on everything I have, who I have become, as a woman, and how happy I have become in life.
So much has changed since the days on my parents deck, but one thing is definitely still certain:
Summer is awesome.