May 28, 2008

Don't Get Lost in the Summer

This month I have been wistfully remembering the simpler times when May was filled with swim parties, vacation planning, proms and end-of-school-year excitement. I missed the days when summer wasn't just another season of the year, but a time to rest from school work and spend time with friends.
My best summer of all time was the summer before my Junior year in highschool (2002?). It was the summer of the Seven Girls, my 16th birthday, my biggest crush of all time (on my future husband), and seemingly endless months of boating on Lake Travis, summer baseball games, movie nights, and slumber parties. I also remember my RYM trip to Florida, returning spiritually refreshed and inspired and full of faith. You know those "camp highs."
There had always been a "core" group of girls in my tiny class, but after sophomore year our class got tinier and all that was left of the girls were SEVEN. Courtney, Christi, Katie, Megan, Lauren, Janean, and Yours Truly. In years prior there had been rivalries and catty fights and jealousies. But for whatever reason, in the summer of '02 that didn't matter to anyone. We were determined to have a good time. We had no serious boyfriends, we were thin and tan, we had just discovered CHI straighteners (oh! the vanity!), we had cell phones, we had drivers' licenses and we were finally comfortable in our skins. After all, we'd been going to school together for nearly four years. In that time we'd all become well aware of each other's faults and strange quirks and insecurities, and we'd come to really love each other. Every get together became a group-thing. Of course we would separate into twosomes occasionally, but that summer I remember everyone calling everyone EVERY time we got together.
Most of "the seven" friendships have remained. All of the girls were in my wedding. But that summer will never, could never repeat itself. I still love those girls, and I keep in contact with many of them. A few of them are still people I would consider my closest friends. Perhaps I've glossed over and forgotten anything negative from that summer and idealized it in my mind. All I remember was that it was the most fun I've ever packed into one summer.
One song sticks out in my mind:
"The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World

I didn't really mean to go off on that tangent about the summer before Junior year, but I'm feeling nostalgic. And for good reason. Last night I went to a Pool Hall/Karaoke bar with some old friends, all people from my high school class. It was the most unlikely crowd, and I had such great fun. We reminisced and laughed and joked about old memories and inside jokes. I got to sit and have good conversation with some of my favorite girl-friends (some of "the seven!"). Everyone seemed so happy to be together and getting reacquainted. And I enjoyed getting to see people growing up and changing, sometimes even acting like adults!
So far this summer feels more special than the other seasons. Even though Daniel and I don't have three months off of work to goof around and go on vacation, our friends are in town, I have a car, a cell phone, and a straightener. We can still have movie nights and poker nights and days at the lake. I'm ready to have some fun and enjoy the heat!

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