Magical Lucky Seven

Roan and Javier. Dancing in the Brooklyn streets.

I vaguely remember eating giant strawberries out of our garden when I was seven. From the ground, into my mouth. No rinsing needed/wanted/suggested. I remember riding my big plastic Big Wheel up and down my street, using the hand brake to spin out. I remember running through an empty and abandoned lot playing cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, hide and seek with the neighborhood kids. I remember flocked velvet wallpaper and horribly beautiful beads separating my childhood home’s dining room from our living room.

I remember being seven years old. Summers lasted forever and the world belonged to me. Magic was a daily occurrence and lady bugs were my friends. I cannot watch closely enough as Roan lives his seven-year-old life. I think we would have been childhood friends, he and I. This is the age that most of my memories begin. How lucky am I, to be able to live it again with my son?

Welcome, Summer. We’ve got some magic to make. What do you remember about Summer from when you were seven?

9 thoughts on “Magical Lucky Seven

  1. I remember how my mom would get my bike tuned up, buy me season pass to the pool, and then basically say, “See you when school starts.” I spent my summer days as a fish, which is probably why I ran out of pigment at an early age and now am doomed to be pale as a ghost forever more. I remember being annoyed when the pool would hire new lifeguards because the ones who didn’t know you would make you swim the length of the pool before you were allowed to jump off the diving board. “Really, don’t you know me? I practically live here! Fine, whatever.” I’d reluctantly swim a lap and then look up as if too say, “See!” There was a half-hour break between the two afternoon sessions and my friend and I would buy those powdery pastel lollipops that were a different color on the top and bottom. They were a nickel, which I usually had tucked up under the edge of my suit or stuck in a secret place on my bike. We’d sit in the grass, dry off, and wait for what seemed like forever for the pool to finally open up again.

  2. I had forgotten about the beads. But now they live again. Perhaps you and your sibs can spend an evening remembering….

  3. I remember (in no specific order)
    – letting a Mr Freeze melt so you could drink the juice.
    – usually not wearing shoes
    – Sticky leather seats on an endless hot summer ride to the cottage.
    – The smell of pine forest as you got out of that ’72 Olds 442.
    – hide n’ go seek in the woods until well past dark.
    – Spiderman comics that you read in wonder, didn’t think of putting in plastic and were “Still only 35c!!”

  4. Ps both worked so
    1. “the grid”. 5 kids, 5 days of the week, chores for each of us that rotated by day (make lunch Monday, do dinner dishes Thur, weed garden on Friday).
    2. checking out books by the armful from the library each week- meeting the “book read quota” in the first week of summer vacation
    3. swimming in the pond and jumping off the hand made swing.
    4. lightening bugs!!!!

  5. -Climbing trees
    -sitting and reading in the mimosa tree while the ants climbed over me
    -making “rooms” in the sand under the muscadine vine at grandmother’s house in Pine Apple,Alabama
    -playing battle with all the left over cards that belonged to the 8 or so of us. when someone ran out,we all gave them 10 cards and kept playing.

  6. Decorating my bike with crepe paper for the 4th of July parade in my neighborhood. Dressing up in old army uniforms and playing a game that was a mix of hide and seek and tag, which involved prisoners and play guns (including squirt guns,) the boundries were several blocks wide.
    We had a never very successful garden, which I remember more for the chores, and not the produce. I remember how much bigger dogs seemed then, and playing endlessly in our sandbox with Tonka Trucks and hotwheels. (And I remember much later when I realized how icky the sand box actually is…)

  7. The summer I was seven (the year I turned 8) WAS in fact, one of the best summers of my young life. To an extent, I still judge every summer by that summer – my mother, younger brother and I went and spent it with my Grandmother and all my cousins (the cousins I loved and adored more than any other people in the whole world.). We toured historic Boston and swam in the murky New Hampshire lakes for hours. There were two family reunions that summer and birthday parties and BBQs – I loved every moment of it. The only summer to “beat it” was last summer when I got married (Disney World!). But I still look at that seven year old summer as pretty much the most fun a kid could have had. Thanks for reminding me!

  8. The summer I was 7 we had a two baby moose we were raising in Haines, AK. THe West Tours bus would stop by our house (we had a little 14 acre farm) and when the bus loads of tourist got off my dad and I would feed the baby moose with oversized baby bottles. I had a pet squirrel too who had been raised in the house and after feeding the moose I’d yell for my squirrel (his name was Peanuts) and he’d come running for some loves. THe tourists all plied me with candy and other treats from their purses! It was great fun.

  9. My seventh year brings back the smell of the dried brittle coating of chlorine on my skin after an entire day spent at the Stanford pool, wobbly legs and and an appetite like a lumber jack from eight straight hours of swimming and diving and glorious laughter with my best friends outside as we danced on the front lawn and watched the sunset at 8 p.m. And finally, washing my hair with Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoo right before my heavy head hit my JC Penny, hollofill pillow that wreaked of rest. My childhood, especially my summers, were the most magical memories and year seven is when it all really began. Thanks for the walking me down that great lane!

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