Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Land of the Midnight Sun

As summer nears, and the sun stretches itself further around the clock, I find memories of my childhood crawling out, interrupting my thoughts like chirping cicadas.


Fla-Vor-Ice.
Relive your childhood: buy a case of Fla-Vor-Ice..
 Nancy Drew, “Bonanza” reruns and Sandra Dee movies on TV.
How summery is Sandra Dee?
See the movies.
Going to Lakewood, where we paid one dollar to swim and, maybe, 50-cents for a frozen Whatchamacallit.
I call it, "delightful", "delicious" and "delectable."
Thanks to Fancy Nancy for the vocabulary words. Thanks to Hershey's for the photo.
Having rough, sandpapery fingers from days spent in chlorinated water, doing handstands on the rough, sandpapery pool floor.
Shame I didn't discover shea butter till I was much older.
Get some at Sephora.
And, what I remember most of all, going to bed while the sun was still up. Streetlights not even flickering on yet. Kids still playing outside, shouting and laughing, while I lay in my bed, tears pooling in my eyes, hating my parents for being so heartbreakingly cruel.

My 7:30 bedtime was strictly enforced year-round. No exceptions.

Wicked, wicked parents.

How could they listen to me complain night after night and not break, not even bend? They must’ve been dead inside.

Just like I am now.

Because guess who put the kids to bed at 7:30 tonight? With the sun still shining? And children playing in the neighbor’s yard, in full view of Olivia’s bedroom window?

Uh huh. You got it.

Me.

And no, Olivia, I don’t care that it’s still light out. And yes, I’m sorry that those kids are making so much noise. But no, Livvie, I won’t go outside and tell them to be quiet. But yes, I will pull up the covers and give you one last kiss.

And NO, you better get back in that bed: I don’t care that it’s too bright for you to sleep. You would complain if it was too dark – you can’t have it both ways!

Yes, yes, I appreciate that the sun makes it hard for you to see the green stars from your ladybug. 
Twilight Ladybug shines stars in red, blue and green. Liv prefers green.
via Cloud B
No, Olivia, I won’t tuck you in a third time. Twice is enough. Mommy is tired and still has work to do.

No, Liv, we can’t just leave the dishes in the sink and crumbs on the floor; we’d get bugs. You hate bugs.

(Deep breath.)

Livvie, it’s time for Mommy to rest, too. I love you very much. Get a good night’s sleep. I’ll see you in the morning.

(Crumpling to the floor, spent.)

Yes, all these many years later, I finally get it.

My mom was tired. I am tired. Those kids should be tired. Most importantly, those kids should be in bed, so I can get some rest.

And I don’t feel a whit of guilt. I see the eye rubbing and the behavior spiraling as the clock clicks closer to eight. I know what that means. It means “bed.”

My only problem is living so far west in the Eastern Time Zone. It’s 9:15, and only just now fully dark. By the time summer actually gets here, we’ll be living in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

We’ve got to get some blackout shades for that girl, stat.

2 comments:

Jessica said...

LOVE this post - and good job sticking to your rules, Mama.

Vincenzo has a Twilight Turtle. And a Sleep Sheep. I heart Cloud B.

Kate said...

Fletch has a Sleep Sheep. I got addicted to that thing when he was in the bassinet next to my bed. Ah, the beauty of white noise.