Thursday, September 22, 2016

Summertime Blues

Summer is over.  It's official.  Today is the first day of Fall.  We are in our third week of school and summer has already receded in my children's minds.  Our summer was magical. Don't get me wrong, it was exhausting and if you looked at my google search queries, you'd find "Is my child a sociopath?" as a top search request.  Looking back though, I can say, unequivocally, that we had an amazing summer.

I'm not sure what my kids will remember, but here's what I will cherish:

1.  HT's tiny tush in a bathing suit, which always had a wedgie.  Her sand-covered cheek would hang out of whatever bathing suit she was wearing and she never seemed to mind.  Sometimes, Bean and I would just look at her butt and laugh.

2.  Watching Bean jump off the floating dock and laugh and swim with her friends.  We started the summer with her complaining about the lake water temperature and ended with me dragging her out of it.  I was always the one taking her out to the floating dock, promising to catch her in the water.  This year, she didn't need me.  She'd wave to me from the water and go back to playing with friends.  Watching her learn to swim gave me anxiety.  She looked like a drowning victim every time, but this summer, something clicked.  Her arm movements were more fluid and her kicks were real kicks, and she felt the difference too, and seeing that click in her was inspiring.

3.  Beach, beach and more beach!  We went to the Jersey shore, Jones Beach, the North Fork and Maine.  I want them to remember wave jumping at the Shore (I can say that now since I finally went to the Jersey Shore), getting pummeled in the face by waves at Jones, floating in Bay on the North Fork and giggling when something bit mom's toes, and endless days on Maine Beaches collecting shells, telling stories and body surfing.

4.  I want to remember forever what it feels like to sit on the beach, with one of my babies nestled on my lap under a blanket while I rub their arms to warm them up whispering stories in their ears.  I want to remember the weight of their bodies, and how incredibly close we felt in those quiet moments.

5.  This was the summer of nature hikes.  Perhaps, hike is too strong a word.  None of our hikes were more than 1.5 miles and there were always a lot of breaks.  Bean is an explorer.  She always wants to be the leader.  HT was carried in the pack, or fighting Bean with sticks to be co-leader, or dressed as a butterfly flitting around.  We hiked an island that was dotted with fairy houses and piqued my kids's interest in twig/leave/rock architecture.  What I love about this age, is that they believe wholeheartedly in fairies.  "Oh, of course, the fairies vacation here!  Why wouldn't they?  It's so beautiful and close to the beach!"  Another beautiful hike was down this rocky path surrounded by enormous, towering trees.  I just felt so small there looking up at the bluest sky through these interlocking branches.  When we got the bottom of the path, there was this little cliff that hung over a river.  My fearless Bean climbed down to the bottom and beckoned the rest of us to follow.  I had to learn to trust her.  My instinct is to say "NO" all time and to protect her, but there in the woods, surrounded by wilderness, I learned to trust her.  She will figure out what roots to grab, what rocks to step on, and what is solid ground.  And if she falls, she can pick herself up and try again.

6.  We spent most of July at the lake and it was glorious in the beginning and tedious by the end.  Playing in the sand and digging holes and rivers is an activity that will be sorely missed in the coming months.

7.  We went on a Disney Cruise to celebrate my dad's 75th birthday.  I will remember the girls' faces when they saw the princesses.  HT was beside herself when she saw Princess Anna and Rapunzel.  Bean was cool as a cucumber.  They were surrounded by family and loved every minute of it.  They still sing songs from the cruise and talk about it as if it happened yesterday.

8.  There was blackberry picking , mini-golf, paint parties, trips to the city and museums.  We jammed so much in this summer but there were also days when we ate popcorn and lounged on the couch watching movies.  Everybody loves screen time!

9.  Bean and I read the BFG and Matilda together.  I loved talking to her about the characters and the silly names.  More importantly, I loved that she loved reading them too.  We'd stay in bed way too late reading some nights, and I didn't even care!

10. Also, Bean lost about thousand teeth this summer.  Okay, not a thousand, but at least four and by the summer's end she was just pulling them out herself!

Summer of 2016 is over.  It will just be blip to them, and probably to me too.  It was a whirlwind, a mostly fun whirlwind, but definitely a whirlwind and now onto September and the holiday season hurricane!