Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summertime Summertime...

I love Country Time Lemonade Commercials. The wooden sign, the sun ripened, just-picked-fresh lemons, and the kid in denim overalls pedaling through the summer wheat fields on his red bike with his black dog running alongside.

While old geezers sit laughing on the wrap-around wooden porch sporting suspenders, hats and old-timey glasses, a vibrant grandma in a dress and bunned up hair welcomes our rider back with a tall, cold glass of lemonade. They share an affectionate hug and big smiles while he slurps around the big ice cubes.

And then they tell you that there are only so many days left of summer. How you better slow down and enjoy it. It makes me crave summer. And a leisurely bike ride through wheat fields with a dog.

Something struck me as odd though recently, and I've only just put my finger on it: that is not my summer at all! Summer, with an 8,4 and 1 year old involves a cacophony of crying - A LOT of crying! I started keeping track and realized that it's like the white noise of my summer,
"He hit me..." "She's in my room!" "S/he took my toy/changed the channel/*insert tattling*!"
and it always starts with the siren wail, "Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaam!" There isn't a moments peace. And as for laughing, well, it's only because they caught me, threw me in a straight jacket and a padded room!

Clinging to my idyllic commercial summer, I try to send the kids out for some happy summer memories riding through the asphalt, concrete and dirt. They go out, but then come right back in. Not only can't you go on a bike ride anymore without a helmet - but the nearest wheat field and red bicycle are miles away. And they're hot! And there's bugs.

"Why aren't you outside playing?" The answers are pretty pat.

Well, So and so is at their gramma's (probably with a red bike and wheat field!), and so and so has soccer, and the last-kid play-date option has gone on vacation. There's nothing to dooooOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo. Mom, can I watch Phineas and Ferb, or Dexter's Laboratory?"

"NO! Cartoons are NOT summer! Summer is overalls and outside! Go! Swing! Play! Ride!"

Then comes the knock at the door from an angry man in a mini-van, "Your kids are throwing rocks (crab apples if you look closely) at my car! You need to keep better track of your kids!"


I didn't have time to greet them at the door with the tall glasses of lemonade and hugs because the regular household routine is punctuated with more changes of clothes and swimwear, otter pops dripping through the beige carpet, and mysterious messes that "I don't know" keeps making.

That's not to say that I'm not rushing to the door. Apparently ding-dong-ditching is big here. But we're on a hill, and the computer sits in the bay window right next to the door. Even though the kids have learned to pull up their t-shirt up around their nose as a disguise -I can still see them approaching AND running away when I'm on the computer.

I can tell it's those kids from two houses up & I don't bother to open the door to give them the satisfaction. I'm like an old geezer, and am just waiting to hear that my house has been deemed "haunted" or that some "old witch" lives here as I'm tempted to holler out at them, "You darn blasted kids stay outta my yard!"
Summer feels like it is dragging on FOREVER. When is this OVER!

I feel like Ralphie Parker who discovers the truth about his Annie decoder pen,
"It's a crummy commercial?! Son of a b*****!"

And I too leave the world a sadder, yet wiser mom. Crummy commercial...


Your Momma (who else?) said...

is it bad that i can totally hear (in my head) you saying all those things?

Reggs said...

I love the new look of your blog! And this post made me laugh out loud.
It does make me sad that we got to grow up with such freedom, and yet our children have to be restricted. Growing up, my summers were definetly overalls and riding bikes through the fields. (but i had to get my own damn lemonade, dammit!)
Nowadays, you can't let the kids loose without worrying about pedophiles, strangers, kidnappers, swine flu, used needles, drug dealers, pit bulls on the loose, etc.
Very sad indeed. Maybe its time for me to move back to Iowa and buy a nice house with a great big field in the back?