I wish my summer was what it was like when I was a child.
Sleeping on the rooftop at night, playing in the courtyard, and maybe even splashing in the pond in the courtyard.
As an adult, summer is about heat, sweat, headaches, busyness, traffic, and honking horns.
I wish my summer was opening my eyes in the morning to a blue sky overhead, finding that I am on the rooftop again… rolling over to fall on……. the rug, knowing that my sister has gotten up, collected her bedding, and gone down to the room.
I wish my summer was having breakfast with my mom, next to the sofreh, in front of the samovar, half awake and feeling pampered, drinking tea in a curved tumbler with its saucer, while the radio plays a children’s program that can be heard throughout the house.
I wish my summer was about dipping my feet in the pond full of goldfish, in the courtyard, cooling off.
I wish I spent my summer playing Seven Stones and Hopscotch with the girls next door, throwing the stone on its numbers and my only worry being sure not to cross the line. If I did, and I lost, knowing that my mom would give me a khakshir yakhmal [A drink made with iced water, sugar and flixweed] to cool me off!
Or maybe my dad would give me one qeran (equivalent to one penny in the 1920’s and 1930’s) to buy an ice cream from the door-to-door ice cream vendor, and while I was licking it, all my childhood worries would fade away.
I wish in the summer I was a child again… and again and again, I want to stay a child and die a child.
I wish when summer came, I was still a child, just like I once was, but not like today’s children.
I wish I could wait for my dad to come home in the evening with a big, checkered cloth full of cantaloupes, my mom throwing them one by one into the pond with a splash, next to the watermelon already dancing in the water, longing to eat them after lunch.
I wish I was still a child to go to the Park e Shahr, the city park, to play in front of its big pond and savor the moments, thinking “this is the biggest park in the world!” Then I could brag about having been gone to the Park e Shahr, and no one would be surprised that I went there because that’s what children do…
When summer comes, you wish you were a child again. But as hard as you close your eyes, when you open them, not only aren’t you a child, you find that you’ve become more grown up and wiser. Still, you wonder: What happened to my summer? You keep looking for something you’ve lost, but you can’t find it.
Believe it or not, when you are a child, summer is all you have. What happened to my summer?