I’m in my home state right now treating my kids to summertime Texas style and treating myself to a flood of childhood memories.
I loved every minute of being a kid. Whether I was going to six flags or playing with a cardboard box—everything I did was “the most fun EVER!” I remember laughing — a lot— and apparently my laugh wasn’t adult-friendly. Once when a grown-up in the grocery store admonished me for laughing so loudly, my Mom comforted me by saying that some adults don’t remember what it was like to be a kid. I vowed right then and there that I would never forget. I’m glad I haven’t because my childhood memories are some of my best memories—especially the summer memories!
The other day, I visited my Grandmother in the retirement center she recently moved into. She still puts lavender hand soap at the bathroom sink. The scent of it brought me back to her beach house in Galveston. I was eating a popsicle and fishing off her pier while my Grandfather was frying shrimp for our dinner inside. I can almost taste the shrimp right now, and the peppermint ice cream he used a knife to serve after dinner.
Sights, sounds and scents can summon a memory, but psychologists tell us it’s strong emotions that cause us to store it away in the first place. Most of my summer memories were cemented by strong feelings of love—my mother slathered it on me along with the Noxzema she spread across my sunburned skin, she packed it away in the sandwiches she sent with me to camp and displayed it in the pictures she took of our many adventures. Some of my memories were secured by feelings of pure joy and excitiment—laughing with new friends at summer camp, roasting S’mores over a bonfire and seeing my first falling star tumble away from its tribe of others. A few of my recollections even come from fear—the terrifying yet thrilling free fall of the Texas Cyclone rollercoaster and the fear of riding my first horse coupled with the thrill of sitting a top the grey Appaloosa as she galloped across my uncle’s ranch.
I feel lucky that I had such a fun childhood, and even more so because I have so many memories to enjoy! Try out the tips below to set up your yogi with enough summer memories to last a lifetime:
Start a tradition: Try ending every summer break with a family tradition. You could roast marshmallows over a fire pit or stargazing on a blanket in your backyard while listening to everyone’s top 10 favorite summer events.
Write ‘em down: Start a summer journal. Print out pics of trips or events from the summer and have your yogi write captions below each one. Or, rather than photos, you could have your yogi illustrate all of her summer activities. Do a few pages each year and you’ll have a treasure your yogi will want to thumb through each year, and for years to come.
Stray from the familiar: Breaking away from the ordinary can make something novel or give it a thrill. Spread a picnic blanket on the living room floor and order take out for dinner, dance in a summer rain shower, or eat popsicles in the bathtub.
Whatever you do, remember to have fun and keep the feelings of love strong in the summer and all year round!