Here’s to hot weather.
Here’s to complaining about it.
Here’s to lemonade stands and biking in the streets and treasure hunts and skinned knees. Here’s to hot sticky days at amusement parks and relaxing days at the pool. Here’s to ice cream and soda and picnics and play dates. Watermelon and sweet tea. Blockbuster movies, junk food, long days inside in front of the TV. To Netflix and binging and video games. Here’s to hot dogs and fireworks and sunburns; towels and sand, an ocean breeze. Sunglasses and artsy photoshoots and Instagram.
Here’s to long road trips and trips across the world. Here’s to the 50 best colleges in America, to your grandma’s house, to the Hamilton cast recording, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift. Here’s to sleeping upright and waking up in a different country; “have a pleasant flight” and “thank you for flying.” Here’s to layovers and Starbucks, and seeing things you never thought you would. Eating foods you never thought you would. Hearing a language, getting to know a culture. Taking a moment to take it all in. You are here, you are seeing this. The world is your oyster. Sunrise to sunset, every second is worth its weight in gold.
Here’s to relaxing before your real life begins. Here’s to sleeping late and messy rooms and not doing anything. To procrastination and dumb decisions and all of your lasts. High school friends and hard goodbyes. Here’s to late night talks on balconies and rooftops and promising to keep in touch, even though no one has any idea what’s coming next. These are the people with the most embarrassing photos of you. Keep them close.
And here’s to summer jobs and feeling accomplished and wondering if this is what you’re going to feel like when you grow up. Here’s to slogging through summer homework to make sure the next year is good. Preparing to assume responsibility that you’re not sure you’re ready for. Here’s to resolving to do things better and to make this the best year you can. Go for it. I believe in you.
Here’s to the summer where nothing changes. You go to work. You come home. You stopped having a summer vacation a long time ago. Here’s to chauffeuring kids to VBS and sports camps, and taking a few extra hours off or saving for that long vacation come Christmas. You’re doing good work. Keep it up.
Here’s to the bad things that happen. Not that they happen (let’s hope they don’t), but here’s to dealing with them well. For giving grace when we don’t agree, and loving those we feel like we can’t. The world is a strange place. Sometimes all we can do is hope.
Here’s to doing that thing you always promised you were going to do. Here’s to deciding to finally learn how to play guitar, or drive a car, or write a blog. Here’s to reading those books you said you’d get to later that have been collecting dust for months. Here’s to developing an interest into a hobby, a hobby into a passion. Here’s to daydreams and night dreams and thinking that one day, that could be you. Now is the time.
To camp. To running and jumping and screaming and singing loudly. To cheering and dancing and generally going insane. To friends and fun and hugs. To some of the best friends you will ever make, staff and campers alike. To learning more, going deeper, and having honest conversations about God. Here’s to people and lessons you still remember years later and new ones that could change your life.
Here’s to friendship. Here’s to long conversations and long silences, when you’re just content to be together. Here’s to asking hard questions and not settling for simple answers. Loving hard and deeply. Here’s to laughing hard, and laughing deeply, with inside jokes to last for forever. Here’s to terrible photos late at night, and conversations about human nature and the meaning of life and whether or not you’ll end up dating that one person. To missing and skyping and almost wishing you were back at school. Here’s to pushing each other to be better people and inspiring each other with your best qualities. Here’s to pointing people to Jesus, and laughing over cold cups of coffee, too.
Here’s to Jesus. Here’s to using the long days to spend more time with Him. Here’s to asking questions and growing and learning more things about him than you ever thought. Here’s to saying that by the end of the summer, you’ll be consistent and stronger. Here’s to love and grace and justice. Here’s to a God who loves us and wants to know us.
Here’s to old songs that remind us of summers past. Play them loud with the windows down this year.
Here’s to summer.
Here’s to making it great.