Summertime is here again…

Good morning everyone! Wow, what a day. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, and the birds are chirping. At least they are where I live. Good ‘ol Arkansas. With weather like this, it makes me think about the upcoming summer months and how much fun it used to be for us when we were kids. And being a writer, one good thought leads to another and another and another and so on…

As my brain drifted from one thing to another, it occurred to me that as summer is approaching, it is time to get our children going on some favorite activities. No, not what most kids nowadays consider fun–sleeping in, playing video games, staying indoors watching movies, streaming music, and surfing the web. I’m talking about REAL summer fun.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here, let me remind you.

CATCHING FIREFLIES:

firefly

CAMPING IN THE BACKYARD:

backyard camping

PLAYING IN THE CREEK:

children-playing-in-creek

ROASTING MARSHMELLOWS:

roastingMarshmallows-01

STAR GAZING:

star_gazing_by_krossfire

PICKING BERRIES:

berries

MAKING HOMEMADE ICE CREAM:

2512-Kids_Making_Ice_Cream

SWIMMING WITH YOUR FRIENDS:

kids-swimming-lake-_pd_

BIKE RIDING:

tweens-riding-bikes

BLOWING BUBBLES:

kids-blowing-bubbles

FISHING:

all rights JIM GALLOP

PICKING WILDFLOWERS:

picking flowers

HAVING A  PICNIC:

picnic

RUNNING THROUGH THE SPRINKLER:

Kids in the Sprinklers

These are the type of summer activities I was talking about. Simple, fun, and everlasting. So this summer, put the tablet, phone, pager, laptop away and take a few moments to relive the real meaning of summer. Drag your family along with you. They may grumble a bit but in the end, they will thank you. Enjoy!!

I Wasn’t Ready For This…

Hi everybody. Well, today is a big day. It’s my little girl’s birthday. I guess she’s not little anymore though because today at 2:09 p.m., she will turn 13. Even as I type this, I want to cry. Don’t get me wrong. I am so happy that she’s grown into a beautiful young lady. I know how lucky I am that she is healthy because there are so many others that aren’t. And even more that don’t make it to see their teenage years. So I am very grateful. And proud. 

I am so proud of her. She has been through a lot. The divorce of her father and myself, my remarriage, gaining a step father and step sister, switching schools, and coping with dyslexia. But through it all, she has been trying to be strong and move forward. And it has not been easy. But she’s keeping her head held high. 

I worked a lot when she was a baby and as a toddler and even though I was home every night, I feel like I missed out on so many things. Things and times that I can’t get back. But on the other hand, I was there for several wonderful moments that I will carry with me forever. 

Like when I came home from work and she would run to me and give me the biggest hug that her little arms could make. Or when she would wait all day to watch her favorite movie at the time, Peter Pan (the 2003 film), until I came in the door and we watched it at least 3 times a day for like 3 months straight.  And of course, there was story time, hearing her first word, bath time, watching her learn to walk, and teaching her to ride a bike. 

There were a lot of great times and even better memories. But even so, I am not ready for this. I am not ready for her to be, dare I say it, a *gulp* teenager…

She rolls her eyes and simply groans, “Mom…..” every time I get emotional about her continual advance in age. But I can’t help it. She’s my little girl. My first born. My monkey. And I can’t help but get teary eyed every time I think about how much she’s grown, every time I look at her baby pictures, or watch the hours and hours of videos that I have taken of her over the years. 

Maybe I’m just being crazy or silly but I’m sure I’m not the only parent to feel this way right? I’m not the only parent that wonders how in the world their baby got to be in their teens almost over night. How did my little girl go from this  

    
    
 
  to this so fast?  

   
I don’t know how it happened and I am so NOT ready for this but no matter what or how old she gets, she will always be my little girl. Happy birthday. I love you Hailey Grace.