I’ve been thinking about my greatest summer hits. In chronological order, I think these are the best five summers of my life.
1987. I’m seventeen years old. I’m working part time selling magazine subscriptions by telephone, but my hours are 5 to 9 pm, so my days are free. My folks have a little 16 foot motorboat, and many days are spent with my dad or my whole family, puttering about on the Thames River or Lake Huron. I have a boyfriend, but he lives in Sudbury, so I’m free without feeling lonely. My mother buys a brand new blue Mustang, coincidentally on my 17th birthday, and is willing to share it with me.
1995. I’m twenty-four years old, and divorced a little less than two years. I’ve just met Beloved a few months before. With a small inheritance courtesy of my grandfather, I spend four weeks backpacking through Europe by myself. I am by equal measures terrified and amazingly proud of myself to be travelling alone. I come home knowing that Beloved is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.
1999. I’m twenty-eight years old. I have just graduated magna cum laude from university after five years of part-time study. Beloved and I get married and spend a week in Paris as our honeymoon. We move from our tiny, crowded but adorably bo-ho attic apartment to a townhouse, and the week we move in we also get Katie, the doggy love of my life.
2007. I find out I’m pregnant at the end of May, starting the summer on a high note after a long year of frustrating low notes. We go to Bar Harbor, Bayfield, and Smuggler’s Notch by the end of the summer. The boys are finally old enough that I can play with them and relate to them as real people, and we have a blast as a family all summer long.
2008. Our family is complete with the arrival of Lucas. We travel to Windsor, and plan to travel to Lake Placid with our extended family. We hope to visit northern cottage country as well. The days are long and unstructured, and it is very, very good. I’m off work but still getting paid, spending time with the four men who make me happiest. While I feared spending the whole summer with all five of us in the house together might have ended up with at least one of us dead and buried in the back yard, so far it’s been great.
(As I was writing the title to this post, it occurs to me that it’s a double entendre. I was thinking about my greatest summers thus far, but I’m also smack in the golden sunshiny summer of my life, aren’t I? Blue skies and sunny days, my friends.)
What have been the best summers of your life?