Hot child in the city
Hot child in the city
Runnin' wild and lookin' pretty
Hot child in the city.....Nick Gilder
We just kicked off the summer with what has become our family's ritual, ending boys baseball season and going to our weekend place in Connecticut. This is the weekend where we usually first foray to the beach and the Saturday that the Chorus of Westerly holds their annual music in the park performance. We went before we had the boys and have been taking the boys as soon as they were born. After all it is a free event, walking distance to our loft and in open air, at worst we thought we would have to leave early should our child(ren) not enjoy it or become disruptive. I love the idea of a full fledged orchestra playing in open air. Every year they also do a portion of the program with different music, opera arias, musicals, and this year swing (fantastic set and wow what a great singer they had up there). We put our blanket down, along with the other few thousand people (yes you read that right) in the morning to ensure a spot, then come back at night usually with a nice dinner (like the others). We have missed it due to a break up in our relationship, yes before we were married, or rain but at any time that we have attended our children seem to enjoy it as much as we do. They often find someone around their age to share a comic book, or device with and absorb the music. The highlight is the end with the 1812 Overture, or the Bad News Bears song as my husband calls it, and a live cannon and fireworks. This year my youngest nicely slept through that commotion but told me in the morning it was the best show ever!!!!
This ritual is a part of summer that I just really look forward to. I am a child of summer, I love the beach and the heat (ok the humidity sucks) and the long days. I like not bracing myself to leave the house to a frigid breeze and running around on weekends with my hair looking like it does no where else, the curls kind of wild due to the salt air, ok did I mention I do not like the humidity that takes this look sometimes to hair that is something like a cloud around my head? I think fondly back on summers spent on city streets, walking aimlessly to see boys I or my friends liked playing handball, playing in the street until the streetlights went on and then the chorus in a variety of languages, growing in Astoria this is kind of like what the UN sessions without the headphones must sound like, saying "Come on 5 more minutes, I am right here you can see me" and the mad dashes up and downstairs to get money for the Mr Softee truck. If you ever want to see Pavolv's experiment in action play that music to a bunch of city kids and watch them do it even if no truck is in sight.
I remember the vacations and the beach trips with my parents, none of it planned to the nth degree like my kids and their peers but oh so fun. My playdates were me going outside and finding someone to play with. It is a different world and my kids and their friends have a great time at these over priced places, tennis, swimming, basketball - oh yeah no sympathy here but they lack the spontaneity and resourcefulness that we kids growing up in a crime-ridden, busy city had and boy did we love the way we grew up. I remember the movies that I saw in summers Grease (at least 15 times sometimes multiple times in one day - Ahh Danny Zucko if you only knew what I wanted was a hicky from Knicky), Jaws, host of scary movies, teen love movies, Purple Rain (at least 10 times and yes I would still like to meet the man) and the music that we carried with us in boom boxes on stations that no longer exist in the format of my youth WNEW with rock, WDRE with new wave, PLJ with rock - they had some great djs and the music...well you know my life is so moved, soundtracked and touched by music.
I also remember my one camp adventure - because I saw Little Darlings and in my head I was going to be Tatum or Kristi and yes I was making out with Matt Dillon so I - I was going to be that camp counselor. However, not so much is best way to put it. The bunks were nasty and the bugs were nastier. There was a lecherous old man, husband and co-owner, that we all dodged (luckily he was slow) as he offered us a lap to sit on. I have been told that I do not like sleep away camp because I am not Jewish (not a racist statement as I am told this by my friends who happen to be Jewish and loved sleep away camp) and yes pretty much none of the families (for the most part Catholic or Orthodox) sent us to sleep away camp - they took us to Europe to countries of origin or travelling, so maybe this is right. I actually have found out that the Jewish sleep away camps tradition started for inner city New York Jewish kids whose parents sent them to the Catskills as the public pools often did not admit them. The camp had a lot of spoiled little girls (and lots of adorable ones too), bugs the size of bats and bats well the size of Dracula in the making. The food was mediocre at best. There was the annoying bugle wake up call every morning and showers that required me to plan Mission Impossible style so that no kids would follow and flip flops (eww at the thought).
I can laugh now and smile because the only Matt Dillon I came close to was the cook's son with his wonderful smile and his ability to help me laugh when I wanted to go home, who took me to a bar to cut a rug (when he first proposed this I was not sure why putting down carpeting was considered a date in Massachusetts but he was cute and so I agreed only to find out that it meant dancing LOL) and taught me to walk away from the stupidity of racism rather than get us killed for my ideals, so maybe he was more than Matt could have been. My friend who had convinced me that this was going to be a fun thing to do left me about 2 weeks into it - yup to go to Italy with her parents. I love her dearly and we have laughed over this but at the time I was just lonely and sad that it was not even close to Little Darlings - closer to Friday the 13th minus the homicidal maniac. I know now I am not a mountain, grass, lake person and that experience may have sealed that for me. It is not an experience I regret but one that I treasure for what I learned about myself.
So as summer starts and new good memories get formed..like my multi week birthday celebration which I refuse to give up...I look back and think oh yeah baby ...summer summer summertime....
Summer, summer, summertime
Time to sit back and unwind ...............Fresh Prince