Once upon a time there was a girl who took her family to the beach. She took a lot of photos. She made them into a book for her family to enjoy. That was eight years ago. She took her family to the beach every year (sometimes two times!!!) but ever since that first beach trip, she has never finished working on her vacation photos. She has not made them into a book. She probably processed her favorites but certainly didn’t tell the STORY of her family’s trip. The girl is going to be taking her family back to the beach soon and has yet to even finish looking through the images from the very same trip, last summer. She thought she’d get caught up on editing when her kids started school. Her son will be going into fifth grade soon. Maybe by the time they graduate, she will get the books made.
His sister had art camp last week. He had such a hard time dropping her off each day. One afternoon he even protested that he was seven and could stay. I felt so bad that he wanted to go to art camp too so when we came home I set up the paint for him. I usually shy away from painting because of the mess. Watching his face light up as he dipped his brush in and out of the different colored paints made it all worthwhile. When he had covered his paper completely in paint, he decided to move on to his belly. I couldn’t stop it because (1) photos and (2) his smile was huge! He was too proud of himself and his masterpiece!
It’s hard to be mad when you realize that they didn’t go to bed like they were supposed to, and then find out it is because they were so involved in their books that they wanted to stay up and read. I was exactly the same way as a child, constantly reading whenever I could, and I am glad that they have also discovered the magic of books.
I admit, there are moments this summer when I want to scream, “Argh – just give me two seconds with my thoughts! How many times can you say, “Mom, mom, mom” in day?! But, mostly, this 65 Days of Summer project I have undertaken is encouraging me to focus on the blessings, on the easy pace of summer, of this sweet time in their lives. I came upstairs to wake them for swim lessons and found this — him reading, her sleeping so peacefully, and him patting and holding her hand.
Summer swim is upon us. Despite the fact that we still have another week of school (June 23rd is a ridiculous last day, but that’s a different story), the swim team season is here, and the boys had time trials this weekend. Now we embark upon pep rallies, relay carnivals, early Saturday morning meets, team cheers, chants, and traditions that will make July go by in the blink of an eye. It keeps them entertained, and the parents exhausted. It also increases my grocery bill dramatically because swimming makes you hungry. They love it, though, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Only 1 week left of grade four. How is that possible? Grade five sounds so, so, so … so impossible. When did that little boy of mine who never wanted to be put down morph overnight into this hulking man-boy who loves rock’n roll, mixed tapes and loud engines. Stuck between a boy and a man. He is realizing it too. He sees his body changing and knows now that childhood isn’t endless like he once thought. It is the same panic I left at 10 1/2, the same panic which I feel now while I am trying to grasp at these moments of his childhood while I still can. Every minute. Every second. I am trying to slow it down to a crawl for him, but I’m not having much success.