Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just Another Summer Day

And here's me totally freaking out because there aren't many left. Sure, P. will be in half-day kindergarten because our town is slow to catch up with the demands of the modern family and Bo will still be home with me most days but like a friend and I said to each other today: It just won't be the same.

Fall and school and growing up won't be worse. Just not the same.

Every week for nearly five years there has been a gathering at that friend's house for coffee and conversation and a chaotic group playdate involving a whole host of extra little ones. These are the moms who I exercised with when we were all pregnant together and walked with when we had babes in arms and talked with a couple times a week and drank wine with when our little ones weren't so little anymore. At various times, some of us made it to weekly coffee and some didn't. I wasn't able to go for more than two years and then started going again. By then a lot of the other mamas had started working or their little ones were in preschool or they were just busy with other stuff. But still, we kept up the wine nights, if only sporadically.

There are a lot of reasons to worry about school - new kids, peer pressure, bullying, etc. - but I figured out that my worries are more selfish than not. I'm worried about losing touch with the families who were such an important part of my mothering experience for so long. I'm worried about the loss of freedom, even if I always had to work and never felt exactly free from the obligations that came with freelancing. I could almost always put things off to crawl under a blanket with a kid on the couch and just be.

But today was today and as busy as it was it was my kind of busy.

With all the chaos, I nearly forgot that today was pretty much the last official morning coffee. Huge thanks to my friend for calling to remind me. There were pools and water tables and waterslides, too. What a way to bid adieu to summer!

We walked home (walked there also with P. riding high on my shoulders) and made pizza together while Bo watched Mater's Tall Tales for what must be the thousandth time.

From there, we hit the library where we did puzzles and checked out about a zillion books, and then after sprinting around the common P. suggested we wander around the graveyard - which my children see as an exciting obstacle course full of things to slide down and things to climb on and things to jump off of. Someday someone is going to see them and lose it, but today was not that day.

We finished off the day with pilfered pears. Semi-pilfered, I guess. We found a pear tree just dripping with fruit in someone's yard and while I didn't feel quite right pulling pears off without asking I had no qualms about picking perfectly good fruit up off the grass.

Like I said... not at all a bad way to bid adieu to summer!

(Actually, P. finished off the day with the mister staying out way too late to watch Frozen on the common with friends. I baked chocolate chip cookies and made popcorn for her to take along. She dressed up as Elsa and cuddled up on her new sleeping bag. Wish I could have been there but it'll be my turn next time.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blink and You'll Miss Everything

This summer was too short. Or maybe life is just too short. I really don't know.

Here are a few things I do know:

It suddenly occurred to me that I no longer have to bathe P. (outside of washing her hair and sometimes not even that). And the fall boots we bought for her today look impossibly huge. As much as she still loves cuddles and asks every night to sleep in our bed, my little P. is not so little anymore.Kindergarten is not months but days away.

In one day, we took the straps off Bo's Tripp Trapp and put away all the pacifiers. Big boy's delighted not to be sitting on the straps we weren't using anyway and surprisingly sanguine about his beloved uh-oh, though every so often he asks to be picked up so he can recheck the spot where they used to live.

We hardly crossed off any of the things on my summer bucket list, which was all in my head anyway because I knew I'd get stressed out by a half-done to-do list hanging on the fridge. Now I'm only half freaked out because there was no formal list but I can't figure out if we just did other fun things instead of the fun things I thought we'd do.

Maybe we were just too busy?

Here's something else I know:

This summer was a little different from other summers. P.'s first day of school is coming at me like a wrecking ball and no matter how hard I remind myself that all of the change that will come with it is a good thing I still feel like things need to slow down.

Wasn't it just yesterday that she and I spent every lazy morning meandering to the playground and back or puttering around the back yard? Or reading endless books when the weather was bad - and sometimes after we'd go out anyway just for the air. And wasn't it just before that we were doing weekly E.I. on the living room floor with Tracey to catch P. up to her non-preemie peers?

Before that it was just us laying skin to skin in the NICU and then home, trying to figure out how we fit together as a breastfeeding pair. I can still remember balancing her four pound body on my right shoulder, steadying her with my hand so I could use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Pacing the bedroom floor with her in my arms singing songs because she didn't yet know nighttime is for sleeping.

Now she's tricky to carry for anything more than a couple of minutes, not because she's heavy but because she's all arms and legs.

Does she always walk on that wall, the mister asked me tonight. Yes, I said, and then I realized I was going to cry. Because she did always walk on that wall but the routes we'll take from here on won't always include it. Might hardly include it. Our journey will be on some new path and that's okay, or so I keep reminding myself. 

It's not summer I'm mourning, I figured out today. It's everything. The end of the beginning. School looms large and it looms long, too. P. and I will never exactly have that same kind of freedom we had during our first two years together. There will be other good but not the same good. And that's turning out to be pretty hard sometimes. 

P.S. - Costco is pretty much the best kid date ever. For four bucks I can get two drinks (lemonade for them and Diet Pepsi for me) and a big slice of cheese pizza cut in half. Since we buy fruit on every trip, the pizza gets eaten with raspberries or these amazing tiny table grapes Costco sometimes has. 
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