The suns golden glow has been sitting significantly lower in the branches during our latest post-dinner park visits. The air has certainly been cooler, prompting me to pull my cardigan ever so slightly tighter around me. It’s evident that summer is slowly coming to an end. But with ending always come new beginnings and as the back to school hype reaches boiling point I’m reminded how many times I returned from summer break to first find my classmates, later the children I taught to be somewhat a little taller, a little older and (sometimes) a little more mature.
Summer, with all it’s adventures and new experiences seems to spur on growth in children like no other season. Our littlest lady is not at school age yet, however the change in her after three months of sunshine and outdoor fun is remarkable.
As I scrolled through my phone the other night to send some updates to her German grandparents I came across so many wonderful memories that I decided to somehow try and preserve the essence of this wonderful wild and adventurous season and chronicle her change and growth in one album.
Luckily, at the beginning of June I had written down a Summer Manifesto. At the time it wasn’t more than a simple collection of activities and experiences to inspire us to make the most of the season and take advantage of summer’s offerings. Mostly, I noted down things that I already knew we would be doing or simple things that might be fun planning for; from spotting some butterflies to collecting a posy. However, now the manifesto also served as a great jumping off point to source through the heap of pictures that naturally had gathered themselves on my phone.
It only took an hour one evening to search through, highlight and edit all relevant pictures on my phone. I printed them off as instant prints at a local store while running some errands in town and bought a simple black self-adhesive album along side them. The album starts with the written summer manifesto which is followed by the pictures that capture the adventures and ends with a random assortment of other highlights. Here and there I scribbled a few notes, dates and places as explanations on pieces of paper and stuck them next to pictures. It came together so quick and already provides so much fun flicking through the places, I’m feeling almost a bit impatient for other years to fill the album.
A few examples of what’s in our album are below and if you’ve got a phone full of summer pictures I invite you to print them off and make your own version.
A Simple Summer Album
The season’s best moments captured on camera/ skinny runs through Oma’s garden, splashing fun in the pool with her Australian friends and that first Sunday in June, when we found more strawberries in our garden than our hands could carry.
Collection of summer Manifesto impressions/ Smelling the cornflowers that we collected for a summer posy, waving at the butterflies at the wildlife garden, dipping our toes in the wild waters of Menorca’s beaches.
Beginning and End comparisons/ How at the beginning of June she’s barely touch the water fountain, now goes and stands over them drowning her nappy in the water. Or how she used to shout No, No, No! Whenever she came across an animal, from ant to cat, nervously stepping back and eyeing up the opponent; now she stops for dogs to stroke them (always asking for permission!), waves at any and all butterflies and recently watched a spider walk up a wall in happy giggles.
Favourite things and other random facts/ A collection of simple things like her favourite tv-show at the moment (Peter Rabbit), the books we couldn’t put down (Peck, Peck, Peck and Yoga Babies), the things she said and done (Shouting Cotton Tail over and over, putting her cuddly toy to sleep all day and riding the zip line all by herself, surprising us with her strength).
I can already hear the soft scrape of the sturdy pages on future littlest lady’s clothes, every time she’ll pick the album up to turn the pages. Slowly rediscovering herself through the lens of my memories. Stoping here and there to take a closer look, and taking in all the adventures we had and she most likely will have forgotten about but that shaped her into the human she’ll become. And I cannot wait to sit beside her and tell her all about it. How she once discovered a slide four times the size of her and without hesitation proceeded to climb it, while her Mama was tingly with fright over the height. Or how we would buy her ice creams as big as her face and of course how we’d take her to the park every evening after dinner for a jump on the trampoline. All this and so much more just in one summer.