Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Daze

The end of July is here.  It's what I call the "leggy" days of summer.  The trees are dripping with green, the weeds are long, the corn tall with its leafy stalks. Crepe Myrtle blooms in pinks and purples.  The cicadas have been wound and let loose with their creepy, cackling buzz. Black-eyed Susans splash their orange faces across suburban fences. School supplies are appearing on store shelves.  These are some of the things I gauge my summers by.  Familiar things.  Signs I rely on and look forward to, reassuring me that summer is in full swing.

Some things are changing, though. Against my will, without my permission. Small and subtle, they are the tiny changes that make raising a family a fluid journey- ebbing and flowing with simultaneous familiarity and change.

My oldest child is entering middle school.  Middle school!  My sweet boy. I remember middle school as a hellacious misery.  His circumstances are different than mine were, and his school seems to be very student-focused, so I am confident his experience will differ from mine.

His hair is not nearly as blond as it usually gets over the summer. It's staying darker, apparently to match his more noticeable leg hair.  His handful of freckles are multiplying. He's growing up, and it's as beautiful to watch as it is difficult to accept.

Gabriel seems to get taller every day.  He is about to start fourth grade.  Yikes! He's still cuddly and affectionate, and I love that about him. His face (and his brother's) is still so soft.  I make sure and pet their baby-soft skin while I can, because I know in just a few years, stubble and scruff will take over their cherub cheeks. He tries my patience the most, but just about makes up for it with his ridiculous, goofy sense of humor.  

Maddie is entering seventh grade. She's growing and leggy, but still a kid, which I appreciate. She's all glasses and braces and quite independent. Even so, she's still a daddy's girl, and I love her giggle.

Summer is speeding right by, thrusting us right into the next school year.  I'm not ready. I love the slower pace of summer, with the entire day ahead of us.  What will we do today? Stay home? Go out for an adventure? Create our own adventure here at home? Make plans, but change our mind at the last minute? Unexpectedly let the kids stay up late because we feel like it? Really late, just this once? Because it's summer?  Pleeeeaaaase? 

I love saying yes. I relish being a fun mom. I get to say yes more during the summer, and we make so many beautiful memories together. The end of summer (and many times during a hectic part of the school year) always makes me reconsider if we could pull off homeschooling. It's not going to work for us anytime soon, and I suppose it just makes us grateful for the more relaxed summer, yet appreciative of the routine that the school year brings. 

At this moment, we are all outside and the kids have decided on a water gun fight! The weather is gorgeous, and everyone is getting along and having fun.  We have no schedule, no errands, no pressures.  I am ignoring the laundry and vacuuming, and just enjoying being outside. I'm loving every second of it!