Daycare in the summer. This is something that I appreciate as a parent. It is also something that I would have hated as a kid. If there is one thing that I will forever be grateful for is that fact that Moms still stayed home in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Although with the crazy high taxes and 20% interest on mortgages, I’m not sure how my folks swung it. Thank Christ for Reagan I guess. Anyway, I can’t imagine a summer where I had to actually go somewhere. Because, you can call it whatever you want, but daycare sounds a helluva lot like going to school in the summer. And that’s like telling me the closing scene in Purple Rain when Prince sings “I Would Die 4 You” isn’t awesome. Like trying to convince me DC Cab wasn’t Mr. T’s greatest acting performance of all time. Like telling me Higgins wasn’t really Robin Masters. I mean, I’m just not buying it.
Summer is a great time to be a kid and I kinda miss it. And I don’t want the girls to miss it. I want them to have the same goofy smile I get on my face when I think of those sweet summer days when the only thing you really had to worry about was not missing the Good Humor man when he drove down your street.
Plus Bailey was asking me the other day if I stayed home all day in the summer instead of going to daycare. The answer of course is that, yeah, I got to stay home because my Mom stayed home with my sisters and I. But all our friends’ Moms stayed home. It was like our Saturday morning cartoon microculture was extended to all day, every day, for three months. Oh and listen, if the girls would let me get away with it I’d have a running loop of Schoolhouse Rock, Scooby and the Superfriends on every Saturday morning now. And I’m 42. Of course I kinda do that now away with the NFL Network and the Military Channel.
So, again, I miss being a kid in the summer. Also at Christmas I guess. And on days when I have to deal with bullsh…I mean whining at work. And when I look at what college is going to cost for three kids. And sometimes when I watch Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark…
I mean right at the beginning you have my birthday which serves as the pregame tailgate to summer but with presents and cake. Then there’s the last day of school which is the official kickoff to summer vacation. Then, if you were me, you had swimming lessons, basketball camp and the building of scale models of most the Pacific Fleet in World War II. Although, I was never a big fan of swimming lessons. They were usually in the morning and I mean how often do you actually do the butterfly? Its like the one-hit wonder of swim strokes. It’s Eddy Grant’s Electric Avenue in the summer of ’83! Woo! Other one-hit wonders from the summer of ’83: Frank Stallone’s Far From Over, Puttin’ on the Ritz by Taco and Ewok Celebration from the…um…the Ewoks I guess.
Ever notice how there are a few songs that just absolutely point to summer? You want to go back to the summer of ’83? Tough to beat Electric Avenue. Summer of ’82? Tainted Love! Summer of ’81? Point Blank’s Nicole. Summer of ’80? You May be Right and Its Still Rock and Roll to Me from Billy Joel.
I was pointing this out to Riley Monday night on our way home from her summer dance classes that this incessantly catchy bubble gum song from One Direction You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful will be the song that brings back the summer of ’12 for her. Of course the whole concept of nostalgia and bringing something back isn’t apparent to you if you’re 12. You have a small frame of reference. Kinda like all the first time voters who bought what the president was selling back in ’08.
You know what really brings summer back? I mean besides sparklers, the smell of Off! and the sound of a big ol’ moth hitting the bug zapper? Afros and baseball caps. You know it! Garry Maddox flying around 2nd, losing his helmet thereby setting free the awesomeness of the 70’s ‘fro and then taking a head-first slide into 3rd. Oh, and the Cubs light blue pinstriped uni’s. I love light blue. Just got myself a vintage Oilers t-shirt too. Sweet.
Anyway, summer is for a lot of things. One of them is listening to cool songs from your formative years. Another is doing stupid crap in your formative years. Fortunately, these guys were able to do both.