(this is not my family. we were never this quiet. plus, no boys were allowed.)
When I was growing up, our household always had lots of exclamation points. Especially during the month of June. The four Dale girls looked forward to SUMMER VACATION!! with enthusiasm that bordered on hysteria, literally counting the days until the college POOL!!! opened and we could FINALLY!!!! GO SWIMMING!!!!!!!!!!!
A bit of explanation about the college pool ...
We grew up on a college campus, where Daddy taught music, and we were quite comfortable taking advantage of all the facilities. We would breeze into the library, standing on tip-toe to check out books while casually addressing the librarian's raised eyebrows with a simple explanation: "We're faculty."
We bought our school supplies in the college book store.
We knew the combination to Daddy's campus mailbox, and thought nothing of retrieving whatever might be in there.
We explored the arboretum, getting lost in the woods on purpose and eventually wandering out in time for dinner.
We never sat in on classes, but only because our attendance was required at Winthrop Elementary School during the day. I'm sure we would have felt quite comfortable barging into English Literature 204, completely oblivious to stares and whispers from the students who actually belonged there.
We were very nonchalant about the whole campus experience - except, as I said, the POOL!!!!
We would scamper into the dressing room, shower as quickly as possible, and wait by the locked pool door, in grave danger of hyperventilating, until FINALLY we heard the LIFEGUARD COMING!!! She would UNLOCK the DOOR and BAM!! we would hurtle through it, racing each other to be the first to BREAK THE WATER!!!! YAAAA!!!!!!!!
The campus community may not have always appreciated our enthusiastic and uninhibited scampering. But I'm glad I had a childhood where I was allowed to feel like a special little person, in a special little place.
They say that the sense of smell is a powerful trigger for memories of the past. And it's interesting ... to this day, some of my favorite scents are the dust from an old chalkboard, the musty aroma of a dark library, and the clean smell of chlorine that rises from a swimming pool sleek with undisturbed water, waiting for bare little legs and flailing arms and a happy shriek.