Children always have time for watermelon, pictured here, as cousins and sisters enjoy their delicious summer treat in 1958.
This summer I am going to celebrate life with family picnics and eat lots of watermelon. I’m going to clean an old mayonnaise jar, pound some nail holes in its cover and catch fireflies. I am going to watch those flies, make a wish and then I am going to set them free.
I am going to watch turtles cross the road, and I am going to stop and pick up worms. When I see a garter snake I will run screaming, with arms flailing. I guess I will wait an hour after every picnic lunch before I go swimming. And when I swim, I promise I won’t go any deeper than my belly button.
I am going to lie in the grass and look at the clouds. I will soon see all kinds of shapes in those fluffy, white cotton balls. I will see animals and flowers in the sky. I will see smiling faces. I will swing high on the old swing by the barn and make up silly games with my cousin. I will most likely “skin my knee” while riding my brother’s old red bicycle on the county-line.
I will listen to the wind as it wisps through the fields and be just as excited as my dad when the corn is “knee-high on the Fourth of July.” I will patiently wait as we get ready to “go to the lake” for the Independence Day holiday. The best part will be swimming and pretending I am a submarine and standing on my hands and opening my eyes under water and learning how to dive.
The campfire I sit at will provide the setting for ghost stories and singing songs. I will eat more roasted marshmallows than I should. And, I am going to lick my fingers.
I will climb trees and start digging in the dirt until I reach China, so I can meet those starving children my dad always talks about at the supper table. I will run through the sprinkler and float in the water on an old inner tube. I will build one more raft, and my friend and I will sink it as we try to go across the slough. I will find new creeks to explore and pretend I am Laura Ingalls Wilder. I am going to play hide-and-seek with my friends and play croquet and catch “fly” balls. I hope I don’t always have to be in the “outfield” where the balls get lost in the tall grass.
Dad will teach me how to throw horseshoes better, and I will run faster around the house so I can beat my sister back to the front porch. I will drink water out of the garden hose because it always tastes better than water out of the kitchen faucet.
I will play on the teeter-totter with my sister and make up games of what will happen if we accidently touch the ground. When mom comes home from grocery shopping at Nelson’s Store we will giggle as we each quickly devour our own half of a cherry “pops-pickle” (popsicle).
I will jump when I hear a “sonic boom.” I will always stop everything and look up when I hear an airplane. I will dream of what it could possibly feel like, riding in an airplane. When I look at the stars and the moon I will wonder if I could ever get lost in space. I will sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
I will go to family reunions where old people talk about things that happened a hundred years ago. I will wonder what life could possibly be like in 2113, a hundred years from where I am now.
And in 2013, today, I will cherish those times, from a hundred years ago, when I was a child. Today, I remind myself to enjoy each day through the eyes of a child. I will eat watermelon and wait an hour before I go swimming. When it rains I will be thankful. When the sun shines I will be thankful. Yes, I will be thankful for every single summer day, through the eyes of a child.