My family includes two humans – myself and my partner of 11 years, Ledcat. We have some extended family, some family of choice and a slew of furry family members. I participate in the Blogging for LGBTQ Families event because I think it is so important to raise the visibility of all families, especially queer families with children who are often overlooked.
Ledcat and I have just started to dip our toes into our summertime traditions this weekend so I thought that would make for an interesting post. Warning – none of this will shock you. At all. 🙂
Ice Cream is a big part of our summer activities. We have a little tradition I call “Ice Cream Sundays” where we head out to a local retro soda fountain (Klavon’s Ice Cream) after watching “60 Minutes” on Sunday evenings. Klavon’s changed owners and limited their Sunday hours now. Since 60 Minutes is a rerun through the summer, this is not a problem. We also like to try neighborhood stands around Pittsburgh. We prefer locally owned spaces to corporate ice cream, but we can be flexible. It is ice cream, after all! Based on my observations, many other couples without children also indulge regularly in this activity. Please leave a comment if there’s an ice cream place we must try.
Swimming is another must-do activity. We both grew up with family pools in the back yard so we absolutely swore off ever doing that to ourselves (all that skimming!) Ledcat introduced me to the City of Pittsburgh Citi Pools and we’ve never looked back. A family pass for June-July-August is $60 which includes 4 passes. We never had a problem being considered a family when we’ve applied. And we use the extra passes for guests or sometimes give them to people we know. There are three pools within a few miles of our home. I wrote a post about our adventures last summer.
Not Riding Our Bikes is a staple these a days. We bought the bikes 6 or 7 years ago at Target. We can’t safely navigate to a trail from our home so we have to put the bikes on the rack on Ledcat’s car. Since she is tiny, I have to do it and it is usually impossible to do. Or worse, impossible to mount to come back home again. There is much swearing and grunting and usually some grumbling. It is just easier to take a walk. Every year, we swear to get the bikes ready to go but we don’t do it. When we actually do get to the trail, it is a lot of fun. So maybe this year …
Arguing about the Air Conditioning is another tradition. I was brought up by a science-geek Dad who taught me about humidity and cost-efficiency – once it on, leave it on. Never open the windows barring an emergency. Laura was brought up by an engineer Dad but in a country town without air conditioning. So she turns it on and off at will. I also have asthma so while I love fresh air, I don’t love the fresh cut grass and we have a few lawn-obsessed neighbors who trim 3-4 times a week. I’ve given up this battle. For the most part. In the car? The rule is that the driver gets to make the call unless the passenger is sick. Fair enough.
Concerts in the Park. Ledcat loves music. A lot. Like front row of obscure band at 11 PM on a worknight loves it. I’m more of a background while I do something else lover. Plus, hey did GLEE cover this? Anyway, we find our own lovely harmony in the summer when we can roll into a nearby outdoor venue with our chairs, a bag of stuff, bug spray and sometimes a dog. Or a friend. Or both. I’m very happy to set up camp under a tree then sit and listen while I read a magazine, people watch and check Facebook. Ledcat can wander up to the stage, check out the other stuff and not worry about her stuff. If there’s funnel cake, even better.
This summer, we have plans to start a few new traditions
- Composting in the backyard. We bought a composter “The Earth Machine” and are almost ready to roll.
- A subscription to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share through a local farm. And we are getting a monthly chicken! The composter is how we’ll minimize waste. I hope.
I made Ledcat laugh when I read the list to her which is a good sign. She didn’t fuss with me about it so I am on to something!
We are fortunate to be able to enjoy these traditions and have the flexible schedules to make them work for us. What are your family’s summer traditions?
Also, I want to thank the event organizers for adding the “Q” to LGBTQ this year. That’s my personal preference for acronyms, but I also think it is more representative of queer identified families in the community. So thanks!