Let’s indulge, this summer, sweet friends.
Time has slowed down.
Life’s pace has given us a genuine chance to remember.
Remember what life was like before the world convinced us it’s always better to be on-the-go.
Don’t hold back. They need to know.
Rewind that clock.
And, let’s teach our children the art of those Sandlot-style 80s and 90s summers.
Lost, but not forgotten.
Captain Crunch with chocolate milk for breakfast.
Barefoot in the backyard.
Wireless. With an entirely new meaning.
Emptying the laundry basket. For this afternoon’s water balloon surprise.
Nacho Cheese DORITOS in your left hand.
Coca-Cola straight from the bottle in the right.
With a side of Fruit Stripe gum.
Let them try it all.
Walk them over to that field of grass and encourage them to lay down.
Help them name those clouds above. Close your eyes and let theirs become yours.
Grab the dandelion, and blow away.
You are the parent now. You own that lawn.
Pick the purple clovers and make yourself a crown.
Show them the art of patience. Until they learn to tie their own stem knots.
They’re hungry again?
Serve it to them, friends.
Bologna and processed cheese, with a childhood mixture of Miracle Whip and mustard.
They don’t know what duck lips are?
Pop that can of Pringles and help them earn that badge of honor.
They need a break from the great outdoors?
No worries. Your friends, Lisa Frank and NKOTB, are waiting.
Introduce them. All of them. They must know.
Give them a little time to become acquainted before you jump on the nearest couch, and scream, “You’re in the hot lava!!”
Make sure you have your Polaroid ready to capture the looks on their faces.
Or the next look . . . when you tell them they can’t edit this photo.
As you are rewinding time, tell them you have a way to ensure they will never have to worry about their futures again.
Fortune-teller time. Paper folded just so.
Husband. Bam. Hometown. Bam. Car. House. Job. Pets. Kids. 15 kids?
Tell them you will make sure to keep this someplace special, so they never forget.
Remind them of a time before neighborhood pools were a thing.
Drag the sprinkler out of the garden and into the yard for a refreshing break.
Take them for a drive. An endless one. Windows down. Nowhere to go.
Go find that empty baseball diamond. The ones that used to fill with neighborhood friends 30 years ago. Let them run the bases. Face to the fresh sunshine.
Pull out the rollerskates. (Or order new ones). Grab the sidewalk chalk. The bubbles. The bicycles. Fun Dip and crazy straws with a side of Fanta. Help them experience it all.
But, make sure to have a little fun of your own. As you keep them clueless.
All while you slip away to your hiding spot and drag out the laundry basket.
The one overflowing with those secret water balloons. All ready for a sneak-attack.
Two-at-a-time. You deserve it. Gentle enough, but still letting them know who’s boss.
Lose yourself in the squeals and giggles, leading back to your own sweet childhood summertimes.
Embrace all a true water fight has to offer. Maybe even pull out the good-old hose for a final cool-down.
And as the sun is getting ready to wave goodbye, serve them a dinner they will never forget.
And orange pop.
With a side of bonfire s’mores.
Winding down with those leftover sparklers from last year’s Fourth of July.
Because if you don’t end this day by teaching them how to write their names in the air with fire, you will feel like a failure.
Give them a day.
That one day this summer.
Twenty-four hours when “I”-anything loses its flair.
When the slowing down of time allows for a treasure box of memories.
Fill it to the brim. Slip ‘N Slide, Push Pops, and all.
A day they are sure to remember. A day they will never forget.