Yesterday we all visited a nearby lake. The boys climbed aboard an $11 inflatable crocodile and paddled out to "the ocean" to fish for sharks. They dug tunnels in the sand and built castles that "reached the sky." They ate magic fruit (watermelon) that gave them superpowers and turned their arms pink. Several nights ago, my husband set up his telescope, and we lay out at night and counted the stars, looking for planets and imagining that we were all astronauts ready to explore the universe. The children pitched their tent and pretended it was a spaceship.
Their quest for adventures excites me, and, even as I get older and my back hurts more and it's taking a little more willpower to keep my eyes open as the kids are counting those stars, I am still in love with the magic that summer can bring. I can't help but want to climb into that tent and also pretend it's a spaceship. After all, for one entire summer of my childhood, I too was planning to grow up and be an astronaut. I never realized that becoming a parent would give me access to my childhood again, the enchantment of not only inspiring a little magic in the day-to-day, but also reliving it.
My sister likes to call me on the phone (she lives quite far away now and can't play with the kids as much as she'd like). She'll say, "What are they all up to today? Did they climb any mountains or find a deserted island?" She was really keen to hear about my six-year-old's crocodile adventures. "Do you remember the summer we lived on the cloud?" she asks. "Oh, that gives me some ideas," I say.