Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summertime in the Rhodes' house

As I have mentioned before, I find it fascinating to look back on childhood memories and see them from a completely different perspective now that I am a mom. For so long, summer was my favorite season by far, well except for the part of winter that was taken over by Christmas and all the festivities that go with that season, but, for the most part, summer was the best. I mean, what child didn't think that? School was out, pools were open, and the icee truck was making his rounds through the neighborhood. I realize most people had an ice cream truck, but Scottsboro, in all of its originality, had an icee truck. And we went crazy over it. And I do mean crazy. As soon as we heard the jingle of the truck, my sisters and I would start to panic in fear that we would not get our money in time. We would practically tackle my mother, almost in tears, begging her to hurry. At least that is how I remember it. My sisters may not have been as panicked as me. My emotions have always been fairly strong:) Looking back now, I can only imagine how my mother felt about summer time.

I had two childhood homes. The first I lived in from birth to sixth grade. Then, the summer after sixth grade, having long ago outgrown the first home, we moved a few streets over to the house where my parents' still live. It's crazy how my life was so neatly divided between those two homes. All of my memories at the first house were very childlike. Playing with my sisters, the icee truck, riding bikes, barbies, etc. etc. Then I began Jr. High in the new home, and, well, the drama began. But that's a post for another day. Just know that when I speak of summer in the Rhodes' home, I speak of the first house.

Anyway, here I sit, 25 (almost 26), and now I am the mom, and it is summer, and I wonder what memories I will make for my own children. Now, summer to me means hot, sticky weather, and mostly being cooped up inside with Ada because the neighborhood pool has yet to open. And it no longer feels magical because it's not that different from, well, spring. And I think back to my own mother, and I wonder what those summers were like for her. Her four girls home from school, filling up the rooms in her house, and I am sure she and dad where on a budget. And I am sure they were wishing for some time away. And I am sure she wasn't that excited about the icee truck or the community pool, which was probably dirty. I only remember the water as blue and sparkling. In reality, I am sure it looked quite different. And, looking back, life didn't feel daily to me. And I didn't understand the reality of everything. And I just hope that despite the reality of life, those feelings don't trickle down to Ada's world too much. I hope she just feels all of the magical feelings of summer time. The ice cream and the bathing suits and the grilled hot dogs. And of course, catching lightning bugs at dusk. Because what defines childhood summers better than lightning bugs at dusk?

7 comments:

ann said...

Oh, I love the childhood posts. They just might be my favorite. Amen to the last paragraph. It actually encourages me because I'm sure mom did feel all those things, but it didn't stop us from being so excited about all of them. Ah....the Goosepond pool. I think I might possibly take Ellie and Luke on Sat. We'll see how sparkling blue the water is :)

ann said...

Wow! So many posts-I can't keep up. So I just read the last post. I've told you this before, but..those pre-cooked turkey sausage patties are great. Just put in the skillet for a min or two on each side. Really, no mess.

Amanda said...

We too had the panic feeling when we heard the ice cream truck. Finally my mom put dollars in a kitchen drawer so we knew to go there and not drive her crazy. I can also identify with the 2 homes growing up. We moved into the house my parents still live in when I was 14. My current dreams always feature my childhood home not my parents current home. It is strange I don't think that home has ever been in a dream.

Elizabeth said...

Laura Beth, I did like summer, as a parent. By then, I had had enough of school schedules, up in the morning, etc., pressure about bedtime. I was glad to be back at the pool - especially when ya'll were old enough to get in without me. But by the time Sarah and Kate were old enough to swim withough me, then ya'll were nearing Jr. High - and all the hormones and flirting at the pool. ugh. Okay, this is turning into a blog post. I liked summers, I was ready for fall when it came again, and I'm relieved that ya'll have good summer memories.

Melissa said...

You captured summer as a child so well in this post!!! I love how you jumped around from the world we knew it growing up, to the world our mom and dads had, and now to our world as parents! I remember honeysuckle, and building forts, and making soup out of mud in my pretend kitchen, and of course catching lightening bugs. One time my parents let me put them in a jar and use it as a 'nightlight', only they got out and we were running around my room trying to put them back in the jar. Funny how I don't remember my mom or dad being upset about it but just remember the fun of that moment! I hope to pass that along to Ella, you know? I love thinking back to the "magic" of summer as a kid...

jane said...

amen to the lightening bugs!

rhodes1 said...

I certainly remember feeling panicked over the icee truck. I also remember sitting outside and imagining we had heard it because we wanted it to come so badly.

I see you have become a big fan of the Weepies and Griffin House. Yay! Next week, if they are easy to locate, will you bring all of the cds that I made for you so that I can burn them back onto my computer?