I think it’s safe for me to go out on a limb and say that this isn’t the summer any of us were expecting.
With endless rain on the forecast, a worldwide pandemic at large, and events canceled indefinitely, parents face the challenge of finding fun close to home.
It’s easy to feel burdened with guilt that your kids are missing out (trust me, I get it), but it doesn’t mean you’re up against a cruel summer.
Repeat after me momma: THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT.
Remember how our parents used to over-schedule our activities and playdates during summer break?
I was a 90’s latchkey kid who roamed the block after breakfast to source my entertainment.
We made up dance routines on our rollerblades in the driveway to the sweet sounds of Ace of Base pumping on our ghetto blasters. When we worked up a thirst, we drank from the backyard hose or shelled out our allowances on a Big Gulp.
Other than maybe a quick camping trip or a weekend visit to my grandparent’s trailer across the border in Birch Bay, much of my summer was spent at home “looking after” my younger brother.
Did we get bored? Often. Did we fight? Well…
I do recall an incident where I locked myself in the bathroom away from my brother who wielded a butter knife in my direction. To be fair, I may have ripped the head off his favourite wrestler and crushed his LEGO creation.
But it was that boredom and tenacity that forced us 90s latchkey brats to come up with our own fun.
We started Babysitters clubs in our backyards, binged crappy horror movies, nearly broke our necks jumping on soapy trampolines, spied on teenagers, picked wild blackberries from the ravine and built forts in the bushes.
I also remember spending endless hours sliding down a sketchy makeshift wooden skateboard ramp out in the fields under the power lines (the same spot where I’d later bury my period box).
One kid ripped their pants AND underwear as his clothes snagged a rusty nail on the downslide. Man did we giggle.
On the days mom forgot to fill the freezer with Pizza Bagels or Pizza Pockets, and the shelves of KD and Chef Boyardee needed restocking,
we came up with our own concoctions in the kitchen like the Weiner Pickle Dog.
You take a Weiner and a pickle, wrap them together with a non-name brand cheese slice and Wonderbread. Squish it all together with your hands and then nuke in microwave for 1 minute. Wash it down with and a hearty glass of Sunny D.
On rainy days, we watched cartoons and Degrassi High reruns, played Mall Madness and Barbies, spent hours on Chatline (that’s a whole new post coming your way soon), and devoured our VC Andrews collections. So much incest and drama — our prepubescent minds were blown away, but we our grubby Dunkaroo-frosted mitts could never get enough.
Friday nights were slated for trips to Willowbrook Mall for foodcourt noodles, a new BodyShop shirt and the latest Babysitter Club Book. We had to be home by 8 p.m. stat to catch TGIF. Hello Step by Step and Hanging with Mr Cooper.
Saturdays were a free for all that usually ended up with a trip to Willow Video to select the perfect family flick, and if my brother and I were good, a Nintendo game.
Okay, this is probably all oddly specific, but I’m guessing that you can probably relate to some of this stuff. Am I right?
You’re probably also wondering, what the heck does this have to do with a pandemic or my child?
Here’s my two cents.
Life has slowed down considerably and we will probably never have this opportunity again. Savor the crap out of it.
Resist that primal urge to turn into a Mary Poppins/Martha Stewart hybrid when the “I’m bored” monsters rear their ugly heads.
Instead, reflect on how dull but memorable your childhood was and gift your wee ones with a hearty dose of a 90s-inspired summer, minus the underage calls to an adult dating service.
Now for your viewing pleasure, here are some awkward AF summer photos of yours truly from the best decade ever.