Monday, August 29, 2011

our recent days have been long.
especially since our recent 'media blackout.'
getting no more relief from the wiggles or berenstein bears or phineas and ferb,
we are left to fend for ourselves,
tend to each other.
and it's SO much more beautiful.
oh, it hasn't been COMPLETELY lovely these last few weeks of summer.
lots of ugly moments, leaving me staring down my street,
then back at these little people that are 'allegedly' mine,
some days wondering why they are here, who they are 
and when the hell my ride is going to show up.
but more good days than bad.  
that's all we can ask for.
and now it's time. 
time for fall, 
cozy sweaters, big blankets,
raking and leaf-piling,
but not before a little recap.
without media to interrupt, 
our remaining summer days are as they should be.  
long and lazy and seemingly never-ending,
just like they were when we were kids.
our summer has been chock-full of changes.
many unexpected, as they most often are with kids.
changes that seemed to come out of nowhere,
most notably from grace, who turned 5 this summer.
we took a last minute trip to duluth for a night,
to get out of dodge one more time before we close the chapter on another summer gone by.
crammed with as many 'little' adventures as we could pack in.
trolley rides,
a light house,
my favorite trees,
a mini-hike,
to see another version of that aforementioned lighthouse.
and of course, what's a nice hike with children,
without a meltdown on the way back.
why do we do this to ourselves?
i have no idea.
{oh yeah.  all 3 of them.}
i was able to escape our hotel room,
leaving exhausted babes and husband behind,
for a few short minutes,
to catch my breath and capture this.
one of the coolest storms i've seen.
you can't beat a minnesota summer storm on the lake.
nothing more amazing.

but it wasn't all that, that made this trip special and memorable.
it was the small things.
that my little charlie actually WANTED to hold my hand when we walked.
(normally he doesn't.)
the sad and significant, truth that my baby girl, 
isn't a baby anymore.
on this trip, she asked to take a shower.
not a bath.
when these moments have occurred in my childrens' little lives,
(and there haven't been many of these yet, but more are to come,)
i want to throw myself on the ground,
fall to my knees and scream, 'NO!  NOT YET!  YOU CAN'T!'
and weep.
but there's no stopping this. . .the growing up of children.
no more interest in baths and it breaks my heart.
and now gracie, daydreaming over justin beiber,
who'll she'll fall in love with,
all these heavy things that a 5-year-old shouldn't be concerned with yet.
slowly, slipping away from me at every turn.
but that's what raising children is all about.
we don't get to keep them with us forever.
i learned that charlie, although little and my baby,
well, isn't my baby anymore either.
'i not a baby!  i a boy!' he proclaims now.
and i have to slowly stop treating him like one.
he's not quite 3 yet, so didn't meat the 'guidelines' of the alpine ride at spirit mountain,
but he SOBBED when he saw his brother and sister going on it.
making a scene and all, i caved and said,
'F-it.  let the kid go on.'  and he did.

and he LOVED it.
i learned how fearless he is.
grace rode with me and thought it was pretty awesome.
other recent excitement,
the WA county fair,
{charlie thought he was the shizzle.}
where i just want to pull up a stool and sit and chat with these guys,
maybe hold their hand or give them a hug,
find out what brought them here?  did they take a wrong turn?  had they always dreamed of this job?
maybe they know something we don't, about life?
i'm intrigued by the carnival game guys and ride operators.
sometimes their life, their gig, sounds lovely, in comparison to wrangling children.
i think i'd be much better at asking kids for 3 bucks to throw a dart at a balloon,
then trying to parent them.
let's see.
what else.
jack's 7th birthday.
the most lovely and low key birthday we've had this year.
(unlike gracie's.)
he's at an awesome age.
"what do you want to do for your birthday?  your decision.  the day is yours."
"um, well, i want you to suprise me and decorate my door like you always do.
oh.  i want to go golf with dad.  and pick out my own cake.  oh, and maybe go out to breakfast."
done and done.
God bless him.
we did just that.
{our breakfast friends.}
{jack wanted his fave girl to come along golfing too.}
{tuna without clothes on.  shocking.}
topped off with an evening in the yard.
mostly screaming at and chasing pants-less 2 & 5-year-olds out of the street.
a day that was way more our speed.
and i've discovered,
no matter the day, the temperament, the season, 
there is something sacred, magical, 
especially on these lingering summer nights.
when after a long day,
when little patience or energy is left to spare,
and bedtime is a fight,
and sometimes it takes every last ounce of my being to trudge up the stairs,
the creak of our sweet wooden stairs interrupting each step,
hauling the weight of the world in the form of a basket full of folded laundry, that will eventually,
maybe, get put away.  just in time to fill it back up again, of course.
when that cool end-of-summer breeze saunters through the open windows at night now,
that little ellipsis. . .
reminding you it's still summer. . .but not for long.
but that evening breeze, filling your lungs and your heart, causing you to take a deep breath,
continue to shut down a sleeping house.
something blessed in that solitude after a day lived the best you could,
with the hope of trying harder tomorrow, no matter what it brings,
encouragment on that breeze through the windows, riding your heels as you tiptoe room to room,
to kiss little foreheads one last time,
whisper i love you's and pull blankets up a little closer.
beyond grateful to have this life, no matter how tiring, frustrating and monotonous it can be.
that you have another day to try again.


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