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this summer

The following is a poem in the shape of an ice cream cone. Well, sort of. This is an example of ASCII art.

this summer, i promise
to gripe less about flies that find their way
into the house because of kids leaving the back door open.
i promise to worry less about mosquitoes carrying west nile virus
and play outside more. ■ i promise to gripe less about the heat and squirt the
water hose more. i promise to worry less about having cellulite and more about
whether or not i’m teaching my kids the value of beauty that never fades. ■ this summer, i
promise to leave a roll of dollars in a drawer so we can grab a few every time we hear the ice
cream truck sing. we’ll waste our dollars on gooey, frozen yellow tweety bird treats that don’t look
nearly as good in person as they do in the pictures on the side of the truck. ■ this summer, i promise
to let the kids play in the backyard after dark. we’ll watch the street lights come on together and listen
to the crickets chirp. and, i promise, this summer, i’ll check that box on my electric bill designating a few
extra bucks to help some family that can’t pay their bill. ■ this summer, i promise to visit a small church on
on a sunday night and leave cash in the offering plate. i promise to have friends over for a cookout; not those
people i just wish were my friends, but those who really are. ■ this summer, i promise to jump in the pool and
slide down the slide and go camping in unbearably hot weather. i promise to swim in a muddy lake in my good
swimming suit and make more time for my husband. they say every woman is more of one than the other. she
is either mostly a mother or mostly a wife. but, nobody ever heard of a wifey blogger. this summer, i’ll try to
be the first. i’ll kiss him like I’m 16, and thank him more often for taking out the trash and mowing the lawn;
playing horsey with the kids and feeding the dogs; changing the oil and running to the store and rubbing
my feet and never complaining about anything, but always listening to me gripe. ■ this summer,
i’ll eat the grapes delivered to my lips by the dirty little hands of a two-year old. and, i’ll take
my boy to the store barefoot with dirty feet and chocolate ice cream smeared on his
face and shirt. this summer, i’ll cut off cable and use up all the sidewalk chalk
drawing pictures of clouds and rainbows. i’ll buy watermelons with
seeds and i won’t be annoyed. instead, i’ll impress my kids
with how far i can spit them. ■ this summer, I won’t
gripe when my tween returns from summer
camp without her swimming suit, sun-
glasses or camera. i’ll let her sleep
until noon every day and i’ll even
tell her secrets. this summer,
i’ll ride my bike; sing while
i walk and pray everyday.
i’ll ask God for 100
more summers
and wisdom
to live like
this is
is the
Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Yogi♪♪♪


  2. jen

    @DEBRA – You made my day!!!!!!!!!!! =))))) Thank you. The feeling is mutual!

  3. Debra W


    Have I told you lately that I adore you?


  4. TheMuffinMan


    I bet it too a long time! A very fine example of ASCII Art!

    Kudos! 🙂

  5. Berlinkat

    what an awesome and inspiring list! thanks for posting it…and i look forward to hearing how you are living it. 🙂

  6. jen

    @ UNDERSTANDING ALICE – thank you so much for you kind words. I love that phrase “go see what my life needs.”

    @TERRITORY MOM – How sweet. What did the cake look like?

    @BECK – Thank you! It means so much coming from you.

  7. Rebecca

    My favorite of all your posts…

    Keep the promises you can this summer~ Those you can’t will be there next summer and again the summer after that…

    You have a few years left before the summers with your little children end~ Then sadly they will be gone forever…I know.

    Yer Sis, B

  8. Territory Mom

    This is beautiful. You made my day. Yesterday I ate “cake” my 4 yr old made. Bless her heart the dogs wouldn’t even eat it.

  9. Understanding Alice

    This is fabulous… a treaty for reclaiming true life rather than the rat race “you ought to” lives we all seem to get trapped in. You have inspired me, I think I might go see what my life needs.

  10. jen

    @KAT – The pact sounds like a good idea. I’m already failing miserably!

  11. jen

    @LE – Thank you, Le! Do you know it’s nearly been a year since we connected? My life is richer for it. When I read your comment, I realized you are not having summer in Australia. So, what is the poem for winter? In the shape of a snowman.

  12. Poetikat

    I don’t know how you constructed the balloon? ice-cream? BUT that is so cool!
    I don’t have kids, but I think I could tick off 85% of promises as my own. Inspirational!

    We’ll make a pact, here and now to try and stick to as many of these as possible. (Don’t forget your insect repellant though!)


  13. le @ thirdontheright

    Jen I love love love this work – I think it is my absolute fav to date of your original work. Like Laura it made me cry too 🙂 and made me think what I might want for our next summer.

    my biggest hugs darling girl le xoxo

  14. John Hayes

    What a great list– & I like the layout & colors a lot. An enjoyable read!

  15. jen

    @FEROCIOUS KITTY – Thank you! I think I’ve let you fall off my radar. Back on! Is your blog back up? I’ll go have a look. I think I checked twice and once you’d taken a break and another time it was gone!

  16. Ferocious Kitty

    I have SO missed your voice! This is lovely…

  17. jen

    @THE MUFFIN MAN – Do you know how hard it was to make this baby booger sucker? hahahahaha!!!

  18. In Bug's Drawers

    You are a great writer! Thanks for the add. I will return the favor!

  19. TheMuffinMan

    I was always partial to ice cream sandwiches (Neapolitan ice cream please) or the rocket pops. 🙂

  20. TheMuffinMan

    It looks like a baby booger sucker!

  21. jen

    @DEE – Write it! Everyone has a different list, which will resonate with different people.

  22. jen

    @NINA – I like that phrase petty annoyances – they’ve received too much of my focus for too many years. THank you for visiting!

  23. jen

    @OKLAHOMA – your willingness to tell the truth/share your wisdom is always a gift.

  24. jen

    @MARY – TR send you! =) Thank you. Yes, the flies are a big one for me. This poem was inspired by the flies. They’re still in the house this morning, and that was yesterday at 2. ahhhhhhh!

  25. jen

    @MARY – TR send you! =) Thank you. Yes, the flies are a big one for me. This poem was inspired by the flies. They’re still in the house this morning, and that was yesterday at 2. ahhhhhhh!

  26. jen

    @REMI – That sounds like a song I’d write. My husband was reading some other comments and said, “this person is from the UK!” I love how I can connect with amazing women an ocean away. I’m really looking forward to reading more of your blog. And, now I have to go see if I can find out more about that artist you mentioned.

  27. Dee/reddirtramblings

    Jen, this just beautiful. Worry less, gripe less, gratitude more. We should all write something similar.~~Dee

  28. Nina

    A lovely reminder to us all.
    The petty annoyances that combine to create the most wonderful memories–true grit, real and raw.

  29. Oklahoma Girl

    This is such a beautiful ode to Summer, Motherhood, Marriage, & Life. Thank you for the insight. The days of Summer end too soon as both a Season of the Year & a Season of Life. Cherish all that they both bring for too soon the Seasons change.
    blessed be…

  30. Mary

    Jennifer, I wish you the best summer…

    Your thoughts are all so good. I think I’ll always have trouble with the flies… :o)

    (TR sent me)

  31. Remi, United Kingdom

    Awe.. this is beautiful… It made me thankfu… I am actually listening to India Arie – “little things” a song about being thankful for little things.. and then I read this! God I am so thankful… for every single thing..

    and than I giggled so heard when I read what you wrote “summer, i’ll try to be the first. i’ll kiss him like I’m 16, and thank him more often for taking out the trash and mowing the lawn” hehehehe 🙂

    Have an awesome weekend.. Much Love x

  32. jen

    @LAURA – Your comments are so kind. Between you and my Gen Y nephew I’m about to start a second blog. =) JUST KIDDING! Like I’d have time. I also appreciate the advice, b/c of course I would beat myself up, especially over the flies. Sigh.

    @LOREN – Thank you! I couldn’t decide whether or not I should forego the ice cream. =/

  33. Loren Christie

    This is beautiful and really resonates with me. You should publish it somewhere. 🙂

  34. Laura

    Jennifer, I love this. It made me tear up for reasons I can’t explain. You need to keep this in a safe place for Juliette, Sully, and Bridget to find later on when they least expect it. These are wonderful goals. You are such a wonderful, dedicated mother. Remember this over the summer, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t always follow it.

    PS. Tweety bird was my favorite : )

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