Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hot Family Summer

Photo by the unmatched Justin Hackworth

Here it is, the last day of summer break. We're definitely going out with a whimper. In a minute we'll hit up the pool for the last time. Then we'll clean up and go to back-to-school night so our kids can meet their new teachers, see where they'll sit tomorrow morning, high-five their friends they haven't seen in two and half months.

It was a good summer.

I think I prefer summer to school schedules. I like spending time intuitively rather than instructively. I like slow days for my kids. I like to see what they do when they get to spend their own minutes in a day. Yesterday they built a town out of Duplos and asked for help. When I sat down to aid in the construction I got an idea to build a church. It had a huge cross on the top. Then Erin knocked down the spires and turned into a queen's castle, with a huge statue of Snow White standing guard over the gates.

I mean, ok. Appropriate for the house she's living in, I suppose.

We didn't do much this summer, just as I hoped a few months ago. We went to Bear Lake twice as guests of friends and family. We did a lot of kayaking on lakes and rivers. Ate a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches (or as Iris calls them, "burnt cheese"). Swam daily at the local swimming centers. I taught Erin how to use my credit card and so when we go to the pool she promptly fetches us two churros and a cinnamon pretzel for Iris and I don't have to move from my beach chair. Best part about that is that Erin and I are so damn proud of ourselves for this development.

This was the most social summer of my adult life I think--CK and I were lucky to spend a lot of time enjoying friends these past few months. What a difference having in-house babysitters make! And our kids inexplicably like it when we leave. Which yes makes me suspicious, but on the other hand FREE DATE NIGHT!!!

Anson's hair has grown out this summer to the point where he has dreamy boy band hair in the front, but in the back, it looks like a desperate octopus is trying to escape out of his head. That's just a detail about Summer 2019 I never, ever want to forget.

I took Iris to jazz class where she shook her hips and strutted her clever confidence. She learned to connect her device to her siblings and enjoyed playing online with each other. (I now call screen time STEM Discovery Family Time!).

Christopher and I were sitting on the old couch in the Green Room the other night when he looked over at me, put his hands on my knees (like we're 90?) and said very sincerely, "This is it. This is life. And it's f*&^ing great." Not without pain, for sure. But great. Solid. With a slice of f word.

Last night we went to visit Grandpa Clark's garden to relieve him of some very fertile produce he's been tending to all summer. The kids picked carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini. We had a huge bag full of vitamins in vegetable form and finished just as the sun was setting.

Ever walked home with me. "Mom," she said as we rounded the corner for home, "I want us always to have a relationship like we do right now."

"Me too," I told her, "I think the secret is for me to accept you as you are and for you to be patient with me."

"I promise I'll try." She said.

"Me too," I responded.

Thank you for these moments, summer.

Until next year....over and out.