Summer is about adventures. Summer is about doing exciting new things, like traveling to a new country, getting your permit (YAY Katrina!), or having three scoops of ice cream instead of two (it’s just a better economic value, can’t you see?)
Yet, I’ve found, summer is also a time to relish the beautifully mundane. And for a girl who is more on the move these days than she is grounded, I have grown quite fond of the simple, back-to-the-basic mentality of days that I have been able to experience here and there this summer.
With two-thirds of the summer gone already, a lot has happened with me already: a visit to Athens to visit my best friend; unexpected surgery; a whirlwind of an incredible journalism internship in lovely Wien. But small things have happened, too, and I’m finding that these are also important to write home about.
Two days before I found myself in a hospital bed, for example, I had lunch at the lovely home of my 11th grade math teacher, nestled in one of Stuttgart’s suburbs. I had been fortunate enough to have seen Mrs. Eichholtz a handful of times since I was her student (in large part due to the small nature of the International School of Stuttgart community, which can and has been both a wonderful and not-so-wonderful thing). Mrs. Eichholtz was easily one of the best and most well liked teachers at I.S.S. when I was there (I know most of her students would agree), and I had a wonderful time at her home, playing with her two young sons and chatting and eating in the backyard.
For me – for the past six years at least – summer has always been three months of old and new, familiar juxtaposed with unfamiliar. But lately I’ve been wondering about how this theme manifests itself in less obvious ways for me. And I’ve realized that on a smaller scale, sprinkled throughout summer’s big adventures, are things like having an intense discussion with my Mom and Dad about our personal relationships with religion at a German-Greek restaurant two minutes from our home. Or watching World Cup games on an outside patio with a few good old friends. Or ironing shirts for my Dad, which prompted a painful lesson (not literally – though, almost) on ironing from my mother. Or shucking corn with my grandmother, or playing Pretty Pretty Princess with my six-year-old cousin.
Not everyone needs or wants to experience something new everyday. But sometimes it’s a day’s smallest pleasures or mundane activities that we recall most fondly when we close our eyes at night. I love having big adventures and I love aspiring to do monumental things, but I’ve always believed life is truly about the little things. And on days like today — when all I can think about is the dance party Mom and I had in the living room the night before I flew to the States when I made her a playlist of her favorite oldies songs she hadn’t heard in ages — I love those little things more than anything else.
Here are some of my favorite “little” moments from the summer. Looking at them again, I realize they’re all about family. :)