Childhood Summers

For some reason, I’ve spent a lot of time this summer thinking of other summers I’ve spent here on the North Shore. Perhaps I’ve been nostalgic because it’s my first full summer here in years, or perhaps it’s because I’m reliving my childhood summers in Oyster Bay now that I’m a mom. Or it’s because so many things here remind me of my childhood–the scent of the rain on the driveway, the hydrangeas in the backyard, the way the wooden front door feels in the heat. I’m not sure.

I was so lucky to spend many summers in Oyster Bay with my cousins. We spent the summer days sailing, learning to play tennis, and swimming. On the weekends, we’d also often go out on the water, and almost every morning my cousin Chessy and I would walk down their road to the beach. One summer, we won a red rubber raft, and we’d carry that down to the beach with us. We’d spend some time jumping off the raft into the water, and eventually we would lie back and look up at the sun and the bright blue sky. I remember in the mornings walking down to the beach and looking at this crumbling wall that ran along the end of someone’s property. It seemed so magical at the time, especially when we made it early enough to see the morning glories in bloom.

It’s amazing to me now to think how much freedom we were given to just be ourselves. It is astonishing, now, in the face of so many parents being convicted of “abandoning” their children when they just let them walk across the street to a park by themselves. I felt grown-up and independent being allowed to walk down the block with my cousin to go swimming. We were lucky to have the space to grow up and become our own people.

We were lucky. I hope that my son will be allowed the same freedoms to grow that I had. Those summers were so special and magical–they helped shape me to the person I am today. I am so grateful for them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *