I know that memory is a funny thing. It often gently fogs over the rough corners of the past and sweetly embraces that which was good and fun and worthy of building upon.
And, this is how I remember my childhood in Denver. My brother and I would ride our bikes to the public tennis courts for group lessons led by a high schooler or maybe a college student then we would come home and change and ride our bikes to the local public pool for swimming lessons or just to swim. The days were led outside and when it got too hot we’d head to the basement.
My five children, though, have a quite different summer than I did. City services (like a rec center or tennis/basketball courts) don’t extend to our part of the city and most children seem to fill their days with camps (which add up if you are thinking of putting five kids into them) or. . .gulp. . .electronics. South Texas summers tend to be hot and muggy and no one wants to be outside past nine am.
So, I thought I would try to recreate a summer that I remember for my kids–and we are spending the entire month of July in Denver. My dream has always been to move back here and I thought that this would be a good “test” run.
And, the first day “home” seemed to go well. Denver has miles and miles of bike and running trails, acres of lush green parks with playground and climbing structures that would entice even the most electronic induced child out of nintendo world.
Our first day in Denver we hit the trails and the wonderfully creative parks (yes, as in plural!) in the Stapleton area.
The boys discovered the skater bowl and they were hooked.
While the boys “did the bowl” I continued riding new trails, listening to the birds and feeling like I was again home. There is nothing like riding a bike to give you that sensation of being a child again.
Later that evening when I suggested how wonderful it would be to live here–totally expecting them to love the idea–they said no.
They would miss their friends and their lives in Texas.
This might be my lesson of the summer. Everyone has their own childhood. . .and their own memories. I cannot give my children my experience, but I do have to honor their own.
(But, I still have 29 days to sell my version. . .)