By: Luscious Mother
Anna here. It’s Wednesday again, and while it may feel as though this is our one millionth Wednesday since the COVID-19 pandemic kicked us all in the crotch back in March, THIS Wednesday is a different kind of Wednesday. It’s the last Wednesday before the summer solstice!
The solstice is the Northern Hemisphere’s summer kickoff party (while the suckers down South roll into winter). This coming Saturday, June 20, at 5:43pm EDT, the Sun will reach its zenith—the peak of early dawns and late sunsets, as she cruises across the sky like the hostess of an endless beach BBQ.
Growing up, the first sweet summer solstice days were always my favorite time of year. The sun conspired with me to create magical days and moments, bathed in golden sunlight, with a level of freedom and spirit inaccessible during the school year: Zero time at a desk, no homework, flexible bedtimes, and relaxed parental guidelines. I was free and clear to let down my ponytail, throw my head back and laugh at the sky. I would fetch my freak flag out of storage and fly it high!
And there was no place better to fly my freak flag than YMCA Camp Nellie Huckins on the shores of Lake Ossipee in New Hampshire. From the age of 9 through my junior year in high school, Camp Huckins was the place where I found my truest, funniest, bravest, silliest, loudest, most confident self. It linked me forever to my Nellie girls, a posse of summer sisters making their own personal epiphanies right alongside me. I am still connected with many of them, and the bond we share from finding our best selves in a cabin built for 8 over a period of weeks is based on the shorthand of truly knowing one another’s spirits.
Spirits don’t change with time and age.
About a month ago, my son Sam’s summer camp was canceled because of COVID-19, and I felt a great sadness for him because he will be missing his wild woodsy summer exploration of himself. And I felt a great sadness for myself that was really like… I think it was something like… “Oh my effing god he’s going to be here all summer and what the hell are we going to do with him?” (Yeah, that was it.) For the first time in Sam’s almost 13 years I am working a full time job, from home (obvi), and I don’t have the same amount of time with him. I’ve become the “have you” lady:
“Have you walked the dog?”
“Have you eaten lunch?”
“Have you set a timer on your screen time?”
I’ve gone from fun mom to controlling upper management. This is not cool. This is not who I am. This is not how I set the stage for one of his dwindling number of adolescent, formative Summers of Sam.
What would my summer self say? She would probably slip her hand in mine and whisper a silly joke in my ear. She would tell me to take off my shoes and put my feet in the sand on the beach, in the grass in our yard. She would tell us to draw silly pictures on the sidewalks with chalk and get in a canoe and paddle across the bay. She would urge us to have a fire pit with s’mores and watch outdoor movies. She would challenge us to some kind of strange race involving eggs and spoons. She would invent her own version of the Olympics–the Olympics of the bizarre and hilarious. We would play these games and eat Doritos out of the bag and stare at the sky where the sun was so high and warm, and we would laugh ourselves stupid and then she’d say, “tomorrow let’s do it all again.”
After thinking about this version of myself, who is clearly still very much alive and opinionated, I realized that I haven’t introduced this girl to my son. It occurred to me that I could set them up on a play date. I could take Anna Banana and Sam the Man off paddling together or hook them up with them with a craft project–beading or macrame? Who knows?
All things are possible in the summertime. Even during pandemics.
How is your shimmering summer self this week? How is that spirited joyous little girl that lives inside of you? If you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Check out the opportunity below to join us for Camp Can-a-Mama-Get-a-Minute, our virtual summer camp for moms where you can find your new set of bunkmates and get back in touch with your summer self.
Sandy feet and sunshine for days. There is nothing more Luscious than a solstice well-lived. I can’t wait to see what Sam the Man and Anna Banana get up to this summer.
Get out there and get Luscious mamas,
Anna + Sarah
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