August Updates

All I wanted for this summer was to spend a lot of time with my kids and pack in as many quintessential summertime activities as we cared for, while keeping it simple and close to home. We wander through the park quite a bit, and carry a picnic blanket to spread beneath shady trees. Laurel's improved her bike riding and swimming skills quite a bit and Marko has uncanny upper body strength on the playground equipment. We eat Italian Ice at the farmer's market on Mondays and go to the science center or museum whenever we need some air conditioning. We got in a little hiking and camping and swimming in the river. M ran so much the kids started playing "running" as a game. We floated - and sunk - a lot of little boats. The list that Laurel and I made at the beginning of the summer is pretty much checked off. So, it has been a really wonderful summer as evidenced by their suntans and bleached hair and the amount of dirt we scrub off our toes at the end of each day. My phone memory is maxed out right now because I took so many pictures of us doing awesome things. However, the days are long. The Perfect Childhood Summer should always wind down in August with a few too-long days and a little bit of boredom.

Today was such a long and tearful day that it seemed appropriate when Laurel's classroom assignment arrived in the mail, along with a thick packet of forms to return. She will start kindergarten in two weeks.

I was standing in my yard yesterday when I met one of our neighbors, coming down the street from the grocery store with her two little boys. She had that look about her, the look I've come to recognize that hits stay-at-home-moms around 4 o'clock. Moms that go to a job during the day look slightly mentally refreshed at 4 or 5 o'clock. I think it must be the transition and those 15 minutes of quiet in the car before you pick your kids up from daycare. Moms who have been with their kids nonstop all day seem much more acutely aware that there are a solid 4 hours until bedtime is remotely possible. (And I say moms, but my next door neighbor is with his kids all day and I know we are in solidarity on this one.) We exchanged phone numbers and immediately started texting and arranging play dates.

I wonder what I look like at that time of day. I don't even want to explain the situation I got into with Marko today when I needed to stop him from wrapping tape around a chair outside and get him into the bathtub. The time period between 4 and 8 is filled with me uttering the most ridiculous directions because my kids are doing weird, annoying or destructive things and misusing all sorts of household objects.

And then finally, everyone is scrubbed clean and inspected for ticks and we sink into bed with a pile of books and all is right with the world again. We talk about our day and recently, Laurel has been begging me to tell stories of my childhood. And from this, Marko has started telling stories about when he was "a kid". (Generally, he's telling us about something that happened last week, or this morning.)

I love the sounds of August...conversations drifting out of cars passing by and the crickets and cicadas in the trees all around us. It's pleasant company for me after everyone else is sleeping and I'm still working on the perpetual pile of dishes. Summer has been different for me this year. I'm really grateful I've been in a position to enjoy it for what it is.

1 comment:

Sarah Aerni said...

Your description of 4 pm is exactly the use case that I have in mind with Covey. It's when a conversation with another mom after a day with the children can make the day so much better for me. I love your description! Thanks again for taking the time to put your thoughts into words. I always appreciate them, Katy.
Hope to see you soon.