What’s on your summer checklist? I’m excited for some lazy, knock-around weekends. I want to follow my heart and sandaled feet to an ice cream truck and then watch two hours of Frasier reruns. Here are 10 more low-key things we’re hoping to do (and I’d love to hear yours)…
Embrace side character energy. People talk about working hard, playing hard, and having “main-character energy.” But this summer, @loloaokola on Tiktok suggests leaning into “side character” energy instead: “The vibe is ‘beloved side character with great outfits and funny one-liners’… I will not undergo any character development, nor will I grow as a person. I’m here to be funny and sexy.” Who’s in?
Make tomato sandwiches. They take three minutes and are sooooo juicy and good.
Drink limeade. This weekend, Alex and I got limeade at a café and remembered how refreshing and delicious it is. Here’s a Jamaican recipe (and please share your own, if you have one).
Hug someone and don’t let go until they do. Recently, I was having a tough day, and eight-year-old Anton asked me if I needed a hug. I said yes and knelt down. He leaned into me — with his sweaty hair and soft T-shirt — and didn’t let go. He just waited. Finally, about 30 seconds later, I pulled away and thanked him for making me feel better. What is it that’s so restorative about a quiet, loving, I’m-not-going-anywhere hug? Now I want to pass along that gift to someone else who needs it.
Read a few poems. They don’t have to be academic or stuffy, of course. Kate Baer is a hilarious genius, and Jasmine Mans reads her poems aloud in her audiobook. (Side note: How great is her book cover?)
Here’s a poem for married people by John Kenney, if you’re in the mood:
It’s been dark for, like, five hours,
And yet the children are still awake,
And I am only a little drunk.
What you call yelling I call making a point.
Stay inside and don’t feel bad about it. Sometimes you just need to turn your brain off. My friend Sharon calls them “catch-up days.” Plus, it’s cool and 1970s.
Stop and smell the roses, literally.
Reread a favorite childhood book. When I was growing up, I was obsessed with the book Peter Pan. I made my parents call me Wendy at bedtime and believed he was real until an embarrassingly old age. Reading that novel again would feel so nostalgic. What books would you reread? So curious to hear.
Request a foot rub. While watching TV or hanging on the sofa, ask a pal if they’re up for switching off giving five-minute foot massages. Foot rubs weirdly make your whole body relax. Hot take: They’re better than shoulder rubs!
Eat a ripe peach over the kitchen sink. No explanation needed.
What’s on your summer checklist? Please share below. (This is the vibe I’m going for, haha.)
P.S. 10 more relaxing things to do in the summer and 14 things to do with friends (other than dinner).
(Photo by Padillarigau Mumsonfilm/Stocksy. Side character energy via The Cut.)
I am a children’s book author and illustrator. I have written a few books for young readers. I also enjoy reading and going outside.
I’m not a librarian, but I play one on the Internet. With this blog, I hope to share my experiences with libraries and librarianship. I want to help people understand what librarians do and how they can help both individuals and organizations. Topics will include book reviews, life as a librarian, programming for kids, as well as a wide range of other topics related to
I love reading, writing and surfing. I am happiest by the water, with a good book in my hands.
I’ve always loved reading books and writing ever since I was a kid. I have always had a passion for the ocean, and I am happiest when I am near the water.