Learning to Love Summer Again

By Sister Jeanne Cmolik

The weeds are out of control in the garden. The lawn needs mowing again! The birdbath is always empty and the nozzle on the hose is broken. The air conditioner in the kitchen is working way too hard to cool the first floor; why didn’t we get whole house air conditioning when we talked about it in the spring?


Wait! Sit down in a lawn chair with a glass of lemonade for a few minutes and consider this: summer is passing you by, and you’re being crabby about a time you just LOVED when you were a kid. Think about what you loved and re-claim it again. If you feel foolish about doing this as an adult, find a child to take with you! If you don’t have one of suitable age, grab a grandchild or a niece—or grandniece–or a neighbor’s child and have her take you back to the joys of summer, and maybe you can even introduce her to a joy she doesn’t know. Parents and grandparents know that being with children makes it perfectly respectable to act like one (to keep them company, of course).


Let’s get started. Go to a park with swings and a wading pool. When your (borrowed) child is on a swing, stand behind him and push him hard until he is yelping with delight. Then, because you are tired, sit on a swing yourself and show the child how you pump with your legs until you, too, are high in the sky. It’s an important lesson to teach him, isn’t it—and you’re having fun!


Don’t stay on the swings too long. Go to the wading pool and watch your child splash around with the other kids. When she splashes YOU, complain a little and splash her back. Doesn’t that feel wonderful? And it’s quite acceptable to continue the splashing game because she started it!


Sit on the porch in the evening and catch fireflies in a jar. Remember to show your child how to poke holes in the lid so the fireflies will live. Sit quietly in the darkness and admire their beauty. (It’s all coming back to you, isn’t it?)


Be sure to have money in your pocket because when you hear the music from the ice cream truck on your street, you may not have time to get your wallet. Of course, you must accompany your child to the truck for safety’s sake, and when the driver asks if you would like something and you start to decline, your child cries out “Go on—get some ice cream!” What can you do but go along with it? You want to be a good sport.


Do you live near a river or a lake or maybe even the ocean? Plan a trip there soon. Take bathing suits and pails and shovels and a picnic lunch and make a day of it. Show your child how to skip stones across the water. Soak in the sun, cool off in the water, and enjoy picnic food that always tastes better than lunch usually does. If you can, plan a special dessert like big chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes with lots of icing.


If you are feeling brave, pitch a tent in your yard and sleep out overnight with your child. Here are some basic rules to follow for a successful campout: roast hot dogs and marshmallows, walk barefoot in the wet grass, and tell ghost stories. Oh, and don’t forget to lie on the ground and look at the stars!


About the Author

Cmolik.Jeanne.webSister Jeanne Cmolik, CSJ, has served in various leadership positions including being a member of the Congregation Leadership Team from 2007-2013. She has also ministered in elementary schools, high schools, and parishes in the Cleveland area, and worked with new members in the Congregation. She enjoys reading, travel, music and writing blog posts! Currently she offers spiritual direction and works with RCIA in a local parish.


19 thoughts on “Learning to Love Summer Again

  1. sr. betsy meagher, CSJ says:

    good memories Jeanne! Good advice too! i was able to do the beach with a 3yr. old recently and it is refreshing – even sitting in Lake MI!


  2. Mel Kupchik says:

    Great article, Sister Jeanne! I have thoroughly enjoyed doing the activities you mention with my grandchildren. Most of them are teens now, but I have such happy memories of being childlike again with them.


  3. Mary Palmer says:

    I enjoyed this blog very much. You brought so many memories back, and the description was so vivid I could see myself years ago. Thanks so much.


  4. Jackie Schmitz says:

    Love the playfulness in these suggestions. A great invitation to let the “little kid” inside out for a romp in these summer days. Thanks, Jeanne!


  5. Sandra Melanson says:

    Thanks for the good memories. Recently enjoyed a picture of a 2 year old stomping through a puddle with her boots on. Loved it.


  6. Roberta Kinney Crandall says:

    Thanks for the memories. I did all these things and more.Just recently returned from the 100th family reunion at Chautauqua Lake near Jamestown, NY. We were kids again playing Corn Hole and other games.The little ones had a wonderful time searching for coins in a pile of sawdust, etc. It would have been the 100th consecutive reunion but Covid got in the way.


  7. Jeanne, great refreshing article, as young kids we live behind a golf course and I remember the times we played kick the can late at night and roamed the golf course looking for worms to use for fishing the next day. We also caught lightening bugs, last week, I was playing with my new puppy and she was chasing the bugs… the sun’s rays are a gift.


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