Parents, Drink the Lemonade. Step into Summer

Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you’re in diapers, the next day you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house like other houses, a yard like a lot of other yards, on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years , I still look back, with wonder. —The Wonder Years

Maybe you’re reading this and your babies are in their twenties. Perhaps you clapped out your elementary school aged child yesterday or watched your middle schooler shed their 8th grade status for the freshman title. Finally, it’s possible you witnessed your high schooler move their tassel from right to left and close a chapter on their Dodger days.

I’m over here writing blinking back tears because my babies are 4 and 2.

There’s something about this summer that has me all sorts of nostalgic for my own childhood as I watch my girls navigate their own. This is the first summer where I feel our family is acutely aware of one another. While there are abundant episodes of innocence and endless silliness, there’s also the powerful realization that they’re getting bigger. I’m starting to understand that parenthood, despite its lack of sleep, multiple responsibilities, and forever plot twists, is the coolest thing I’ll ever do. It’s a thrill to watch someone discover the world.

This is our summer of togetherness. The kiddos aren’t old enough to know any different and my husband and I know better than to wish it away.

There’ll be walks down Rosedale to the pool. Thursdays will begin with a chant for a pickle on a stick at the Farmers’ Market. What’s life without mommy’s drop ins at Drip? The Dodge Field sandbox will continue to be the social scene for 3 and under. Downtown summer concerts, story times at the library, Tons of Toys visits, cupcakes from Crowleys, sweet treats from Sugar Rush, train rides to the big city, and backyard antics and adventures will become the things they recall in ten years.

I remember my most successful lemonade stand. It’s a memory so clear and present that it feels strange to think of it as more than 30 years ago.

The summer season gifts incredible chances for capturing the nectar of ages and stages in families.

Kevin Arnold knows best.

We remember our block parties, we crave our neighborhood traditions, and we adore the normalcy of it all. It’s a wonder to be here. Madison does every season right, but we come alive in the summer. Let’s drink some lemonade, step into summer, and savor the season. Here’s to Madison, childhood, parenthood, and memory making.