Summer. It must be around here somewhere. Even though my calendar says it is the end of May, we have had weeks on end of cold & clouds & wind. Silly summer... where are you?
Growing up in Alaska, the arrival of warm weather & the sun causes an actual physiological shift. The first afternoon you can walk home from school without a coat, or that first bike ride after months of snow & ice, or playing outside in daylight past 9pm... these things would mark the beginning of summer for me. I swear you could actually feel every cell in your body pop & tingle waking up from hibernation. Living up there I gained a real appreciation for the arrival of sunshine. Summer meant freedom, endless possibilities, bare-feet. Some of my favorite summertime memories from childhood... catching minnows with my brother at Quartz creek & laying them out on the warm rocks like we were natives drying our salmon. Trips to the mid-west where we caught fireflies, watched barges go by on the banks of the Mississippi & ate just-picked sweet corn dripping with butter. The smell of chlorine hair and feeling of taut sun-kissed skin while sitting at the DQ eating peanut buster parfaits until our bellies ached. Or one of my all-time favorites... the canoe trip where we found an abandoned litter of puppies with their mama dog & got to take them ALL back to my Aunt & Uncle's farm. (Thank you Barb & Jeff!)
This summer we are dreaming of lazy days at the pool and lemonade and most of all... sunshine. We have plans, big plans, to PLAY this summer. Open-ended days with zoo visits to watch the elephants, bubble blowing & chalk drawing on the front porch and home-made popsicles dripping down our chins. The start of potty training two little boys who, in warm weather, can run around as naked as the day I met them. Evening outdoor concert dates with bare arms & legs & no need of a sweater. This is what we are waiting for.
In the meantime... we are practicing wearing sunglasses... Abandoning highchairs to sit at the big boy's table... Making pizza with Daddy when he surprises us by coming home early from work... Wearing our spaghetti draped over our ears... silly kid... And doing outdoor fairs in the cold & wind... I set up the show on my own, well sort-of on my own... our neighbor drove the truck & provided much-needed muscle. (Thanks Scott!) It is the first time I have done a show without William since I was pregnant with Quinn... four years ago. Aside from mildly annoying weather, it went pretty well. Good to know I can still put it all together!
Another gray day awaits... have decided to embrace it & bundle up two boys & a lazy dog for a puddle walk. Dreaming of sunshine...
This morning I woke from a vivid dream that I had to do part of my life over again. Not some big-major-event part, just one particular project that I did more than 13 years ago. After shaking the disappointment that I would not actually be seeing a friend I worked with who passed away several years ago, I was left with the sense that what I would have done differently - the second time around - was to take it all less seriously. Less personally. To have more of a "roll-with-it" attitude.
With my more awake brain I'm trying to apply that gift of a do-over to my everyday life. Just for a moment, pretend you are living your second chance... what would you tell yourself to do differently? Besides telling my younger self to floss & keep exercising, I would say "pay attention". It all flies by so quickly. So often I find myself looking ahead to whatever is next on the list... all stuff that has to get done, yes, but not the kind of things that I will remember in 10 years. Taking a break from the dishwasher to read another book to Remy, or walking away from answering email to play build & destroy towers with Quinn... these are the kinds of things I would tell my do-over self to pay attention to.
This weekend we were able to have some of that "real" time to remember... it started with Daddy surprising us by coming home early from work on Saturday. Yay! We went over to visit friends & had a wonderful spur-of-the-moment backyard cookout. The kids ran around & ate popsicles & had a blast. On Sunday we all slept late and had a nice slow morning complete with bacon & french toast. (Really, is there anything better than bacon?!?) In the afternoon we took two little shaggy boys to get haircuts. Quinn really hates getting his hair cut so we tend to put it off until it is absolutely necessary. Remy is not a big fan either. Though he was far more cooperative...
Their favorite part, of course, is picking out their treasure after it is all done...
After all being sick the previous week, this weekend was just the recharge we needed.
It has been a week of sick. Yup, just sick. It all started last Friday... Remy was up at camp Grandma for his special weekend. He had a really really bad asthma attack & ended up in the ER. We brought him home & settled in for the next 7 days. Poor little Quinn had a relapse of his sick on Saturday (fever/chills/cough). Then I got it too. William is currently working. So it was just sick me & two sick little dudes. Other than one *brief* play session outside, we watched movies, ate popsicles & laid low. After his last ER visit the doc sent us home with a nebulizer machine thingie... he has to do it twice a day. It's really hard to get a two year old to sit still for 10 minute stretches... thankfully watching a video & having snuggle time seems to do the trick. It really helps his breathing a lot.
Sunny days are here again... loving this gorgeous spring! Just a few pics from our porch - got two buckets of water & dollar store paint brushes & the boys had a great time "painting" their playhouse & sidewalk. Park fun... Silly boys saying goodnight to each other... Enjoying the sunny-side.