Of all my childhood summers the one that might stand out the most clearly is the summer of kick-the-can. One evening my dad taught a bunch of hoodlum neighborhood kids and his own sheltered daughters how to play the 1950's classic, and for the next few weeks it was all we could think about. The games started first thing in the morning, and I remember being resentful of being forced to eat dinner while the rest of the bunch played on without us just beyond our dining room windows. It didn't matter that the kids we were playing with weren't our best of friends. As I recall it was mostly boys, the same boys who always got in trouble on the bus. When we were running and hiding, yelling and chasing, our differences melted away. Sometimes I'll see one of those guys from a distance, and I remember that summer we were almost, sort of friends.
I wonder what memories will stand out in my own children's minds, the things that stick, things that will stay with them for twenty years and beyond. Afternoons spent at the water park on Tuesday when town residents get in free after four. Evenings spent swinging with friends. Late night Minecraft marathons in a basement full of kids spending the night. Again.
Neighbors come and go. An old friend stops by with her children for a visit before heading down to the beach. We order pizza too many nights. My house just won't get clean. Someone drops off a dozen steamed crabs. We eat far too much ice cream. My kids are tan and bug bitten and in need of a good, long bath.