By Maggie Bartlett
The other night, I noticed how filthy my feet were from a day “working” in the yard (i.e. putzing around attempting to pot some plants), so I quickly washed them before bed. It was like pressing the rewind button to my childhood. I recalled sticking my feet in the tub in our childhood home, the swamp cooler blasting and crickets chanting outside. I felt nostalgic. For summer days of swim team and tennis practice, flashlight tag and cookouts—days of easy living.
Do you remember washing your feet before bed? Mom and Dad used to have us clean our feet after a long day of running through the neighborhood chasing the next adventure. Having us wash our feet was likely Mom’s way of saying I still care about your hygiene but not enough to try to wrangle three children into the bathtub at 8:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. It was also about clean sheets, which is a highly underrated pleasure in life. She helped us scrubbed our feet down and dry them off as we sleepily wrapped up the bedtime routine.
Even when my freckled body was crusty with dry sweat, slipping freshly washed feet under crisp, cold sheets was the perfect nightcap after a day of escapades.
Summer as a kid was the best. No school! Playing with friends all day, late nights watching movies and no real responsibilities. Are you kidding me? That’s not just a kid’s dream, it’s everyone’s dream. When summer rolls in, I’m itching for days at the pool and nights camping in the backyard. But then I wake up and it’s Monday, and joke's on me because I’m not 12 anymore and someone has to go to the grocery store so we can stop having “breakfast for dinner.”
This summer, I’m bringing the playfulness back. Because we don’t just believe in a powerful and mighty God, he’s also a mischievous and lighthearted God too. We can draw near to him in prayer and mourning and in laughter and silliness.
The seasons are a clever gift from Him because He knows we need newness and hope in spring, adventure and folly in summer, beauty and rest in fall and quiet and stillness in winter.
I’m thankful for the gift of summer excitement, especially as the craze of life continues to rise.
Let’s have fun this summer. We can still do our chores and pay our bills and show up to life like a real adult is supposed to, but we can also play. With friends, with kids, with spouses. Say yes! Yes to homegrown tomatoes for dinner and peach cobblers for breakfast, slip-n-slides in the front yard and chalk in the driveway and, sure why not, yes to the ice cream truck too (mostly because who knew those things still existed?). When the day’s so hot I feel like someone actually put me in the oven, I’m going to channel my inner child and run through the sprinklers to cool off. Hope you can make time to do something silly, too.
She works at a marketing agency and loves to write, climb mountains and travel in her free time.