Childhood · family · Modern Nostalgia · Nostalgia · Parenting · Stories

Why I’m Not Letting this Late Summer Get the Better of Me

I’m struggling with summer this year.

We’re 21 days into June, and it still doesn’t feel like this season has really started yet.

Every afternoon, a smattering of raindrops streams down my window, and I feel my dreams for a magical summer sliding down beside them. As I sit inside at work, watching these rivers snake their way across the glass, I wonder why my stress levels are rising like the puddles I step into on a regular occurrence these days.

Maybe I’m just a little nostalgic for the way summers once were—for the way I remember them.

When I didn’t wake up before sunrise and crash on the couch at an embarrassingly early hour. When the lights from the lampposts were my nightly reminder to go inside and sprinklers solely existed to be run through instead of simply watering the lawn I need to regularly weed. When lightning bugs lit up mason jars and cloud gazing seemed like a perfectly acceptable way to spend the day.

When everything was magical and happy and, most of all, easy.

But I’m determined not to let this late-blooming summer get the better of me.

Earlier this week, on our way home, my daughter and I decided to ruin our dinner and stopped to get ice cream.

We sat outside on a patio and let the afternoon’s post-storm, humid air create sweat lines down our backs. We brushed our hair off our damp foreheads and dipped our spoons into our cold treats, savoring their sweetness. Later, we ate salad on the couch while we watched a silly show, and then I gave my daughter a little pedicure in the prettiest shade we could find.

As I painted her toenails, I looked up, wondering what Zoey might remember about her summers as a child.

Fortunately – or maybe unfortunately I guess – Zoey doesn’t have summers like I once did. She goes off to summer school as I go to work, and her real summertime exists in the evening hours and on the weekends.

But as we sat there together, me worried if I was really doing everything I could to make this summer one to remember, I watched a smile tug at the corners of her lips. I listened as her giggles filled the space between us. And I felt a familiar feeling bubble up inside me.

It felt easy.

I hope Zoey remembers that night. When mango gelato dripped from her chin as a rainbow appeared above us and the sun began its evening descent. When my fingers tickled her tiny toes as I painted them turquoise blue, the exact same shade of her nightgown. When she curled herself up against me as the ceiling fan whirred above us and the eager crickets chirped outside her window.

I hope she remembers her last words before sleep took her away that night.

“This was the best day of summer ever.”

Even if she doesn’t remember those words, I will.

I will carry her words with me whenever I’m feeling guilty that maybe summers now will never be what I remember. For not being able to give her a summer like those I remember.

Because other than being technical term for this season, what really is summer?

It’s a feeling—one I’m determined to create, for both her and for me, one ruined dinner at a time.

family · Nostalgia · Parenting · Stories

Status Update: Perfect

It is the middle of the night—around 2 AM by my best estimation—when I roll over in my sleep onto a tiny hand, an indistinguishable amount of stuffed animals, and a small, hard object that feels suspiciously like a phone.

In spite of my sleepy state, I know the hand belongs to my seven-year-old daughter, Zoey, and that the stuffed animals are hers, too. The iPhone, of course, belongs to me, and the music that I’d put on to help Zoey fall asleep hours before is still softly playing.

I sigh, realizing I had yet again crashed alongside Zoey after reading that extra chapter of Little House on the Prairie she had insisted would be the last one.

Although my intentions are good, stemming from my desire to sneak in a few extra minutes of one-on-one time with Zoey, I can’t help but find myself thinking this falling asleep habit is just one more way I keep failing at the I-have-everything-figured-out-and-I’m-achieving-everything-I’ve-ever-wanted-and-oh-by-the-way-I-do-everything-right-when-it-comes-to-motherhood kind of success I’ve always wanted.

Please click here to read the rest of this essay for Kindred Mom’s Around the Table series. I’m honored to be a Writer-in-Residence on the Kindred Mom team this fall!


coreyCorey is a writer, graphic designer, and mom to her amazing daughter, Zoey. Here at The Nostalgia Diaries, her goal is to simplify, enhance, and engage people’s lives by helping them focus on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.


Like what you just read? Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a post!

At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow our colorful, creative spaces on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We’re fun and happy and whimsical and nostalgic over there, too. Pinky swear.

 

Childhood · family · Nostalgia · Parenting · Stories

Happy to Be Home

nathan-fertig-271363-unsplashIt’s a typical Monday, and I’m standing in my apartment elevator, scrolling through a handful of late afternoon work emails on my phone as a small brown and white Dachshund stares up at me. The other end of the pup’s limp leash finds another disconnected human staring into his own glowing screen. So here the three of us are, riding up four levels in an uncomfortable silence.

As I wait for the cold, fingerprint-smudged silver door to slide open and deliver me to an echoey hallway leading to my apartment, the quiet surrounding us provides the perfect backdrop for my mind to wander.

This wasn’t how I pictured all of this working out. I once had visions of an idyllic home, with overstuffed couches and a handful of kids underfoot. A bright, happy home with a stainless kitchen sink shining proudly beneath a window that overlooked a sprawling backyard. A comfortable, well-loved home with character to spare and plenty of space to hold the million memories my family surely would make within its walls.

In those dreams, an awkward elevator ride was not part of the plan.

Please click here to read the rest of this essay for Kindred Mom’s Around the Table series. I’m honored to be a Writer-in-Residence on the Kindred Mom team this fall!


coreyCorey is a writer, graphic designer, and mom to her amazing daughter, Zoey. Here at The Nostalgia Diaries, her goal is to simplify, enhance, and engage people’s lives by helping them focus on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.


Like what you just read? Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a post!

At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow our colorful, creative spaces on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We’re fun and happy and whimsical and nostalgic over there, too. Pinky swear.

 

Childhood · Nostalgia · Parenting · Stories · traditions

Come Sit Next to Me

My daughter, Zoey, and I stand inside the small entryway of our beloved neighborhood restaurant, Sylvie’s, waiting for the hostess to show up and seat us.

Zoey, in true six-year-old fashion, fidgets besides me, her tiny bones full of endless childhood energy. Yet in spite of my daughter’s movement, her hand stays nestled in mine, and as we watch the hostess round a corner and head our way, I feel a gentle, familiar tug on my fingers.

“Don’t forget to ask her,” Zoey whispers loud enough so I can hear over the din of the restaurant.

“Table for two?” the hostess asks.

“Yes,” I say, nodding. “But would it be possible for us to sit at a booth?”

The hostess smiles and tells us we are in luck. After leading us to a booth tucked away from the bustle of the room, she places our silverware and menus on opposite sides of the table in standard restaurant protocol and then leaves, telling us our server will be with us shortly.

I slide into the booth bench, but I don’t stop in the middle. I make my way toward the end, knowing what will happen next: Zoey hops up beside me, reaches across the table to turn her place setting around, and then finally settles down next to me, into the place she has rightfully claimed as her own. We spend our meal curved against one another, our conversation and giggles filling in the space around us with love and letting the rest of the world fade away.

Please click here to read the rest of this essay for Kindred Mom’s Around the Table series. I’m honored to be a Writer-in-Residence on the Kindred Mom team this fall!


coreyCorey is a writer, graphic designer, and mom to her amazing daughter, Zoey. Here at The Nostalgia Diaries, her goal is to simplify, enhance, and engage people’s lives by helping them focus on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.


Like what you just read? Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a post!

At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow our colorful, creative spaces on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We’re fun and happy and whimsical and nostalgic over there, too. Pinky swear.

Music · Music Monday · Nostalgia · Stories

Sweet Nostalgia: 5 Songs That Move Me Still | Eli @ Coach Daddy

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Photo credit: DocChewbacca Ewok Rock via photopin (license)

You’ll never run out of things to say about music. Or nostalgia.

If they haven’t written every song there is to write about love and love lost and lost love and also entire continents (Africa, by Toto) and being spun like a record (baby), well, chances are they never will.

Nostalgia has just as many flavors as does music.

I know this, because I could have compiled a five-songs post for every emotion and every emotion in the margin of every emotion. From emo to zany. Instead, I relied on the random nature of the universe (and Pandora) to deliver to me songs that moved something inside.

Here are the five that did, and the emotions (and memories, and of course, the nostalgia) they evoked when I heard them: Continue reading “Sweet Nostalgia: 5 Songs That Move Me Still | Eli @ Coach Daddy”