Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.  –Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller's Day Off So, I'm thinking about putting my current mommy neuroticism on hold for just a bit and … Continue reading →

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.  –Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller's Day Off

So, I'm thinking about putting my current mommy neuroticism on hold for just a bit and going with the flow this summer.   Way?   WAY!   You see I was totally inspired (that's “totes” inspired for you millennials) the other day by this  clever blog  about creating a '70s style summer for ours kids.   While I could absolutely relate to the writer's top 10, the bulk of my childhood actually took place in the 80s…complete with jams, jelly shoes, Hypercolor t-shirts, mix-tapes and some of the best movies/television EVER!   Thinking about that place in time brings back memories of super rad summers…chillin' with  choice family and friends, no grody schedules  bringing us down,    livin' it up with totally tubular fashion, and maxing out with  non-stop gnarly fun   Back then we turned our nose up at bogus rules and wigged out parents that just didn't understand the 80s way of life.   Dudes and dudettes, the 80s were  BOSS and wouldn't it be totally righteous of me to share those good times with my kiddos?   Agreed?   Cool beans.

Rockin' the 80s look!

Here's my take on the ULTIMATE 80s summer.   Grab your shades, fetch your fingerless gloves, style that hair sky-high…and prepare for AWESOME.   It's going to be  a tripendicular good time…major.

Wear what you want…how you want.   Have you seen some of the styles from the 80s?   Hideous, sure, but fun and unique every time.   I don't remember my folks saying, “cover up” or “that's too revealing” because in the 80s it was about funky layers and mismatched everything.   So  Mom didn't do laundry last night?   Whatever, kid…you're living in the 80s  now and your faded gym shorts look good with that yellow button down shirt…just remember to pair it with your converse sneakers and a backwards ball cap.   K-RAD.Watch TV…a lot of TV…actually the same shows over and over.   Back in the day  nothing new came out in the summer on  television.   It was rerun city, baby, and I LOVED IT!   I didn't mind hitting the couch, remote in hand and settling in for  rerun episodes of Three's Company, The Facts of Life and  Family Ties.   So you're replaying  them  during the show's regular time slot?   Still must see TV for me!   Get hooked on my mom's soap operas…there's nothing else on, why not?   HBO is showing  Sixteen Candles for the third time today?   I'm glued anyway.   While I'm not on board with letting my kids get hooked on soaps, I see no harm in letting them binge watch some retro goodies like Boy Meets World,  The Sandlot  and  Goonies.   Excellent!Drink Kool-Aid ALL DAY and eat your weight in Popsicles.    They always tell you to stay hydrated…especially in the heat of summer.   I know it sounds like a lot of sugar (and it is,) but  that doesn't mean anything to the 80s kid.   Orange Kool-Aid (same color and “flavor” as juice) was perfectly acceptable at breakfast with a bowl of cereal and toast.   The punch version was a  staple at every birthday party I ever attended.   Lemonade Kool-Aid was just as good as fresh-squeezed and PINK lemonade Kool-Aid was the beverage of choice for  the uppity, preppie set.   When you're not sucking down this sugar-water, head on over to the freezer for a frozen treat.   Popsicles are inexpensive and  unless you want to risk brain freeze, they can kill a lot of time.   Hands down…there is nothing like working on a grape popsicle while sitting  on your  front porch  during a  scorching hot, summer day, my friends.   Go ahead, kiddos, enjoy (to the max!)Sunglasses are a must…even indoors and ESPECIALLY at night.   That's right.   Wear your shades, like all the time!   Your specs speak volumes about who you are and what you stand for…sporty, goofy, cool and if you can pull off the flip-up sunglasses look…all the better!   The coolest kids I knew during childhood had a pair for every day of the week (probably mallrats.)   So come on kiddos, grab your plastic eyewear of choice and get your spec-tacular summer started.Baseball and sunflower seeds.    This  pretty much sums up my existence during  my childhood  summers.   This duo provided evening entertainment as well as a pseudo dinnertime meal.   In the 80s we didn't have all the fancy flavors they do now…we ate our salted sunflower seeds until our lips were swollen and we lost all feeling in our tongue.    When we were done…we begged for more!   This vicious cycle is  never so appealing as  when we're camped out  at the baseball diamond.   Sure, you have those who prefer peanuts  siting in the stands, but nothing really fills a hole (or maybe burns one in your throat) quite like sunflowers seeds.   Bonus points on your 80s summer if you can score some Astro Pops  at the ball park (those bad boys look soooo much cooler than they taste!)

The Astro Pop

Stargazing…oh, yeah.   I can't remember if we borrowed the telescope or if it was just handed down to us, but either way we were the luckiest kids on the block (even if we didn't really know how to use the silly thing!)   We spent countless nights outside on our back porch just checking out the moon and trying to spot planets among the stars.   We looked for constellations and laid flat on the  picnic table  in our yard to take in all the night sky's wonders.   It was peaceful and totally stellar at the same time.   Come on kids, put down your technology and open your eyes to something so much better!   Shooting stars and meteor showers are just as mind-blowing today as they were in the 80s.Brush up on your gaming skills, dude.   No, I'm not talking about video games…I'm talking about real games…as in the type you gather around a table to play!   Growing up in the 80s we took our games pretty seriously.   Bragging rights were always at stake, occasionally money was involved, and sometimes a stupid dare was the prize.   Either way, we played to win.   All night Monopoly games, vicious games of Sorry and Battleship, and my favorite–card games.   Nothing says summer like a knock down game of Spoons!   This is definitely on my list for this summer.   My kiddos need to learn this throw back game and maybe even how to throw a few elbows in the process…I said we play to win, remember.Fun…on the cheap, duh.   Ahhh, yes…the 80s were a good decade for  America.   As kids, most of us didn't know that we were average middle class and that was okay.   We didn't expect new cars, designer clothes  or the latest gadget.   We were content with simple things and made the most of our days with basic, cheap fun.   For example, we grew up without Supersoakers and Nerf water guns.   The sprinkler and the garden hose provided all the fun we needed.   Water balloon ambushing an unsuspecting friend walking into the backyard was good for a million laughs.   I can remember neighborhood water wars…and when our rinky-dink water guns weren't enough to win the  battle we repurposed 2 liter soda bottles to soak each other to the bone.   Make-shift water games and activities are the absolute best…and my kiddos have already started creating their own water fun with friends this summer.   No pool required.   For added inexpensive fun, check out free zoos (yes, they do exist,) state parks and road side attractions.   You have not lived until you've had your photo taken with an extreme size, concrete animal or the world's largest something or other!   Homebodies can make a whole mess of fun with a good, old-fashioned watermelon feed…complete with seed-spitting contest.   Go ahead,  invite the neighbors.Summer music playlist…for sure.    In the 80s,  a mix-tape took time and skill…and usually involved a pretty hip friend.   Getting the hook-up on the latest songs  sometimes meant that you  had to listen to the radio and quickly  hit the record button when your favorite jam came on.   I remember countless tapes  where I missed the first few beats of a song,  you  could hear the commercials  or  maybe even a little of the  the DJ talking (pretty amateurish, I now, but whatevs.)   I also remember the awesome feeling that came with getting a  “real” mix tape, where someone with an elaborate music collection or DJ skills put together  only the best.    Rockin' out in your bedroom with your boom box full blast…there's nothing quite like it.   A close second would be  toolin' around town with your Walkman in tow.    Poolside  fun requires just the right set of jams, too!   When we were  old enough to cruise Main Street the  perfect mix tape could make or break the night.    Today's kiddos love music just as much and here's where their technology could actually come in handy.    With the  swipe of a finger, kids can create their own, FREE  summer music playlists or tap into  ready-made lists on music streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Prime Music or Pandora.    It amazes me  just how much 80s music they already know thanks to pop culture, but the best part  is when I pull up the  old music videos for them to see with their own eyes!   Thank you, YouTube.   Let's just say it's good for a lot of laughs

So take a chill pill and relax.   After all,  savoring summer isn't privy to just one decade.   We can all take part in this bodacious ride!   Summertime is where we write some of our best stories.   It's where we create  many of our favorite  memories and cement those relationships we will always treasure.   This is where best friends are made, family road trips  take place,  where crushes and first loves are experienced and we collectively have a chance to breathe and reset.    Take in the warm temperatures, go places you've never been, laugh a lot and when you run out of things to do–start the list all over.   The rules are different in the summer…and  the 80s rules…well they just RULE!   Parents, say hello to what just might be your best summer yet.     Totally (to the max.)

The question isn't “what are we going to do,” the question is “what aren't we going to do?”–Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller's Day Off