Looking back on my life summer has had so many different meanings in my life.
When I was a child: I remember summer being a time of freedom. Staying up late, playing outside, waiting for the ice cream truck. It meant bike riding, swimming and making up games with friends. It meant getting up early and staying out until the street lights came on. We went to soccer camp, community boating, and participated in other camps.
When I was a teenager: summer meant being able to work more to make more money. It meant going to the beach and movies with friends.
Summer means a break from reality.
When I was single and a teacher: summer was a time to take courses. It was a time to pick up summer school if I wanted or do nothing at all. It was a time to change gears and then prepare for my next batch of kindergartners.
When I first became a mother: summer meant less time outside and more time to be creative. Summer with little ones in Florida means cooling off in the baby pool with a Popsicle. As the boys grew it meant swimming lessons, playing sports and keeping busy.
When I became a mother to school age children: summer meant keeping busy, finding camps for the kids and fitting in the fun. Summer is a time to watch movies during the day just because. Summer means $1 movies, trips to the library, and baking together.
Now that I am a mother of school age children and a teacher again: summer is bittersweet. It reminds me of my days as a stay-at-home mom. I am able to be with the boys all day... which is a challenge some days. We try to do a lot together during the summer. But summers also means the boys come with me to set up my classroom.
It means thinking about getting them ready for school and myself as well. I have said this year I will not go into work until August. So we go to the $1 movie, go to the library, to to Walt Disney World, make puzzles, watch movies, play outside, play in the pool and just hang out. There are more laughs and more frustrations, but I love my summers with my boys.
So what does summer mean to me? It means I get to be with my boys, to reconnect and just be.