When it comes to childhood, there’s Christmas Morning joy - which is awesome, of course - and then there’s last day of school joy - that super fantabulous stratospheric state of happiness when you know you get to just BE A KID and have tons of fun every single day for months! (Remember when it used to be 3 months? I remember wishing it was 5 months.)

iphone photo, last day of school 2013

iphone photo, last day of school 2013

As a woman who is fortunate enough to get to stay home with my kiddo, one of the greatest pleasures of my life so far has been to celebrate summer with her. It’s a golden time, short lived, just like her childhood.

Soon enough we all grow up and don’t get to have a seemingly endless break from our work to swim, sleep in, make art, watch movies, have adventures, travel, play, and eat Popsicles. This time will end for me as well; in a way, it has already ended. So you better believe I have extended myself to the max every year, giving all that I can to try to make every day awesome. Life should be a celebration, after all.

What makes a day fun has changed & evolved over the years, but one thing has remained constant for us: water. Lots of water. Specifically, the local water park (usually followed by ice cream). This is Texas, after all. It’s hot.

Summer isn’t my daughter’s favorite season, and it isn’t mine either. We both prefer fall - October, November, December - and we start getting excited about her October break from school (and our annual Halloween party) around August 2nd. During her earlier years, however, summer was when we had the most time together, so it was the most special, a sacred time that we both looked forward to from the moment the Christmas tree got put away. It’s the heat and frenetic joy of summer that makes the bedding down, cooling off, cozy time of fall stand out even more, after all.

Maybe I’ve written about this before. I did a summer project a few years ago, one of those 100 days things, that commemorated our season together and our favorite things. The mammoth output of it (a big, framed thing) still hangs above my bed, and we talk about it often. I’m so glad I made that effort, and that we have a visible reminder to accompany the reminders that are written in the sky, on the leaves, in the air, in my heart. I know she won’t always choose to spend her summers with me, but for now the thread continues, and I have hope that if she ever becomes a mother she will pass it on.

underwater summer  (3 of 1).jpg

Besides the first photo, all are film, mostly made with a Nikonos camera (an awesome waterproof tank) and Ektar film.