Summer is nearing and it makes me think of my dad.
I was lucky to have a childhood that allowed me to travel. The downside was of course having parents that had divorced, but the upside was another wonderful family that I looked forward to seeing every summer. I went through bouts of homesickness. I was just a kid after-all. But, now I get to have such wonderful memories of my sister and I travelling every summer once school let out. The excitement built towards the end of the school year and we got to start packing our bags. My mom would tuck sweet notes into our bags hidden among our clothes so that we could find them throughout our trip.
Ashley and I became pros at travelling on our own. When I was 11 and she was 6 we could maneuver even the largest airports. We had given up having a flight attendant walk us to our next flight, and usually we had to wait longer to find someone to walk with us anyway. We loved the freedom of getting to walk with all those people rushing to their next destination.

We spent each summer in California until my dad moved to New Hampshire before my senior year.Every school year I waited until school let out so I could smell that familiar smell that only California has. I miss that earthy smell. I find myself having dreams about it. Even though we moved from California when I was 9, something about that smell really makes me feel like I'm home.

We spent our summers with our brothers, staying up late watching movies, making popcorn, terrorizing the neighborhood, sometimes fighting, but always having adventures. We would walk or ride our bikes all over the place. We would go and get ice cream, browse the stores in the neighborhood and just wander. I miss the freedom of California summers.

We would spend time at the lake camping, riding in my Uncle's boat, riding jet-skis, driving the California coast, spending time with family, swimming at my Aunt's parents pool and if we were lucky visiting Disneyland or Universal.
I may have not thought I was so lucky when I was that young being a child of divorce, but I sure did live a charmed childhood. I have my dad and my stepmom to thank for those summers. They are great memories.
I don't think I can even put it properly into words how much those memories mean to me.