The sound and smell of cutting a fresh watermelon, freshly cut grass, kids' screaming laughter as they chase or are chased, locusts and mosquito trucks …all sounds and smells of summer from my youth. I can still remember playing outside in the warm Mississippi evenings as a young girl—spitting watermelon seeds and playing swinging statues and freeze tag with cousins and catching fire flies.
My children and I just got back from a visit with their cousins. We played at the beach during the day , played flashlight freeze tag after dark (okay, so Uncle Hal played while Aunt Christine and I watched ;-), and ate ice cream and pancakes more than once (but not at the same time;-). We climbed a 100 foot sand dune (that rises at what looks and feels like about a 45 degree angle), and purposefully watched a beautiful sun set.
I know my children are storing up their own "cousin memories," and it makes me happy. Because these are the kind of memories that help you grow up knowing you are loved, and you are stronger for knowing this. Just as my children have so many wonderful memories of summer evenings playing with Todd (whether they actually recall every particular moment is not an issue—these memories are indelibly written into their make-up, stored forever in them as part of who they are), they are building new memories that will help them continue the legacy of love their daddy began. And this can only make them stronger.