Doesn’t It All Go By in a Blink

Summer 2014 004

Broken arm to start off the hot months.

Summer 2014 015

Baby’s first haircut. Goodbye curls:(

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” ― L.M. MontgomeryAnne’s House of Dreams

When every day of summer lasts a million years (this is how it feels anyway) I find myself forgetting that I only really get a handful of summers with my kids.  What I mean of course, is a handful of summers when they are still mine.  Before they’re begging to go over to friend’s houses and to summer camp and into the future without a backward glance.  It isn’t my wish to keep them little forever- little kids are an incredible amount of work.  But I do love the innocence.  I love the soft cheeks, the concept that mom and dad can make everything alright, and the way they sleep without anything weighing them down.

These are a few pictures of our summer so far- a blur of manic energy contained in a few photos.

 

Summer 2014 037

July garden.

Summer 2014 032

Calvert Marine Museum, terrapin.

Summer 2014 Indoor beach 011

Indoor Beach Day

Summer 2014 031

The new balance bike.

Summer 2014 051

Water table fun and bug catching.

Summer 2014 077

First full family campout, Elk Neck State Park, MD.

Summer 2014 131

I capture the castle.

Summer 2014 163

I’m 3 today!

Summer 2014 135

Life is good.

Summer 2014 119

Oh yes we DID bring the clip-on highchair.

Summer 2014 038 Summer 2014 105 Summer 2014 106

Advertisements

When Your Kids Are Older (Like 8)

Take a minute to consider how far your family has come.  Are you able to successfully transfer your laundry from the washer to the dryer in three minutes of uninterrupted bliss?  If there is anyone in the house under 4 years of age then chances are good that some kind of screaming/crying/pottying on oneself/falling down the stairs/stubbing a toe/tantrum ensues whenever you attempt this.  If you remember these times but no longer have to deal with them you should give yourself a point for progress.

When you hand your child a crayon and some paper do they color?  For more than 2 minutes?  Success again!  A point for you.

Have you been able to take the child locks off your kitchen cabinets?  Do you find yourself without a changing table in your home?  Has it been a while since you said, “Good grief, where did all these boogers come from?”  Does your bathroom smell like poop less than 100% of the time?

Have you stopped finding microscopic socks in the crannies of your washer?  Do you no longer find surprise items in your purse or pockets?  Here’s a big one:  Is your car without car seats?  Are all members of the family able to sit unassisted in the chairs that came with the kitchen table?  Has it been a while since you’ve seen Duplo blocks, Mega blocks, Little People, Sesame Street anyting, stacking cups, sippy cups, and compartmentalized kid plates?

Have you moved beyond footie pajamas?

Does your child still kiss you on the lips?

Do they still revel in their nakedness?

Do they still think you’re perfect?

When you become a parent no one tells you that you’ve just entered a new realm of complete vulnerability.  Or that you will feel things 5x more than you ever did before.  Or that when you hear about a school shooting you will instantly become choked with fear and agony and despair- for all the children whose chances just ended but more for their parents whose pain you can imagine across a multitude of miles.

They never tell you that although you may have loved you have never loved like this.

So you decide to roll with the large shiny blob of snot on your shoulder and you scoop your preschooler up off the floor in between washing the slimy dishes and baking another loaf of bread.  You cover her with kisses and then you go rub your cheek on your baby’s soft hair while listening to him coo like a dove.

One day the child locks will be gone and we will all ride in the car with regular seatbelts. We will cook one dinner (instead of 3 different ones) and my kids will cut up their own food and put it in their own mouths.  We will stay outside for more than 15 minutes on cold winter days and I will eventually forget the words to Rainbow Connection.  We will be able to do things as a family that I’ve never even imagined (because who has time?) like bake together and play board games.  We will write plays and have puppet shows and race our sleds in the winter.  We will have inside family jokes, our kids will help set up the tent when we camp, and one day we will watch them participate in things such as spelling bees and jogathons.

I’ll be ready for all that when it comes.  I certainly will not lament the loss of the poop sprayer attached to the back of my toilet.  I will pass my stack of cloth diapers on to the next person quite cheerfully and without any sense of loss.  My sippy cups?  When the time comes they can be yours if you’d like them.

But the moment right before her bath when my daughter unabashedly shakes her naked butt for every person in the house, and the sound of infectious baby laughter when I tickle the bottom of my son’s feet-  I can’t imagine not having those.

One day I’ll pull the final sodden baby sock out of the washer.  Thank goodness it will be impossible for me to realize it is the last time.

Winter Came

Winter 2013 145We all said, “Winter is coming,” but soon we will say, “Winter came.”

When spring comes I hope I’ll be able to look back with gratitude at this period of hibernation.  Winter can be a hard time with small children.  Every time you want to leave the house you must locate the leg warmers, coats, shoes, diapers, snacks, hats, gloves, and most importantly, the children themselves.  Then you must stuff them into their carseats, pile books and toys into their laps, and turn on The Cat in the Hat audio book which you’d really like to watch go up in a big explosion.  When all this gets accomplished it is likely that you are so worn out that leaving the house no longer seems like a good idea.  Maybe it would be better to just go back inside?  If you choose instead to go forth with your plan of “leaving the house” it is likely that you will need to sing “Go to Sleep Little Baby” in order to soothe your little one,  pull over to nurse in a parking lot (in your winter coat), and ask your toddler to lower her voice repeatedly all before arriving at your destination.  Even if that destination is the Lexington Park library down the street.

Winter 2013 125Still, winter isn’t all bad.

Yes there was snow, there was sickness, but there was also time to slow down and watch my children grow.   There was a respite from the biting insects.  There were all the delicious holidays.  There were days (moments) of wearing warm hats and sledding.  Winter 2013 029There was the day we made a table fort and the acquisition of a well loved sand table.

We finished off all the tomato soup and strawberry jam we made last summer and now our mason jars stand empty awaiting the next canning project.  In this, we did our job.  We ate, we played, we read, and we survived the winter.  We made lists, we crossed things off, and we made them again.  And every day we raised our kids.

Winter 2013 157

And if winter hadn’t come I wouldn’t be able to experience the joy of seeing the daffodil bulbs push up from the earth.  They’re ready for spring- are you?