As a parent, you learn to read the signs. For instance, a cough during the winter means an upcoming sick day. Children making lists and being on their best behavior heralds the Christmas season. And in the past week, all signs in our lives point to only one thing:
If you feel as though you’re in the dark, I’m here to Shepard you through as I give to you:
Top Ten Signs (to a Parent) that it’s Summer
10. Water Bottles Seem to be Multiplying – between camp, summer sports and the heat itself, these containers pop up everywhere. New ones appear in cabinets, backpacks and on the floor of your car. We started with three last Thursday and now we have 27. It’s amazing.
9. Lemonade Stands – all hail sticky fingers! While I haven’t seen one in my neighborhood yet, we made sure to hit Jack & Eric’s Pirate Lemonade Stand at the Cal Ripken Tournament on Saturday. Which leads me to my next sign…
8. Summer Baseball – for my family, the end of school means a Summer-long Baseball Family Reunion. The (often smelly) maroon uniforms, the crack of the bats and traveling to ballparks all over the state herald the new season. I love it all.
7. Clothes dryer on Overload – Between wet bathing suits and towels, our LG Dryer pulls double duty as every night it’s loaded up. NStar LOVES the Shummys between June and August. Ka-ching!
6. Popsicles – our freezer is bursting with them. Fla-vor-Ice sticks (which I detest), Popsicle Brand treats, frozen yogurt bars … they are a staple of our summertime diet.
5. The weekly Goggle Hunt – I’ve addressed this before, but nothing screams summer like the hysterical and panicked “WHERE ARE MY GOGGLES?” question. At least once a week (per child), we drop everything to find said goggles before camp, pool party or trip to the beach. I never hear this during the spring.
4. Manhunt – if you see a kid tearing through your yard then you know there’s a neighborhood Manhunt game going on. We played it as a kid (although we called it “Capture”) but the premise is simple: two teams of kids trying to find each other and the boundaries are that of the whole ‘hood. Can only be played in the warm weather and it’s better in the dark. Hence, the perfect summertime game.
3. Sand in the car – whether it’s the beautiful white powder from the beach or the dirty, gritty stuff that pours out of your toddler’s shoes (a party favor from the daycare playground), there’s no use vacuuming out your ride until September. Just stay in the front seat and try not to think about what’s piling up behind you.
2. Dirty feet – one of my crazy quirks is that I can’t go to bed if my feet are dirty (I’ve been like this since I was a kid) and when I became a parent I realized that am just as whackadoo if my kids try to do it too. Therefore I am constantly putting the kids’ feet under the tub spout and washing before bedtime. Don’t judge. I’m not proud.
AND THE NUMBER 1 SIGN (TO A PARENT) THAT IT’S SUMMER…
1. Tired kids who sleep – I thank camp, sports, neighborhood friends and Mother Nature herself for making sure that while the kids live each summer day to the very fullest, when the sun finally sets they are ready to crash. After all, there’s another day full of sunlight, swimming and smiles ahead of them. It’s a beautiful thing.