Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer, Halfway

It's six weeks down and six to go and I'm sitting outside with a Left Hand Milk Stout thinking that seems just about right. Jason's on a ride and the girls are freshly tucked in bed after a day that included both slushies and the new fro-yo spot in town, which also somehow seems right.

One of the fifteen new arborvitae in the back yard has died. Just one. Jemma bit my shoulder today when I lifted her into the house for a time-out, wet and dripping from the hot tub, and then she drew me a picture and wrote, "MOM IM. VORE SORRY. I LOVE YOU MOM. JEMMA."

The girls did a couple of pages in their workbooks this morning, but my early summer fantasy of languid, coffee-drinking mornings with the three of us working happily at the dining room table has proved to be exactly that: a fantasy. The girls spend much of their time outside (they are brown, despite the sunscreen I slather on them daily), creating elaborate fairy houses or homes for caterpillars and roly-polies they dig out of the mulch.

They cannot both be upstairs together at the same time, a situation that will have to change when school starts. When I send them both up to change clothes or get an item to bring wherever we're going, there is inevitable prolonged nakedness, followed by laughing wresting, followed by crying wrestling, followed by looks of stricken confusion when I ask what is taking so long. They forget why they're upstairs at all. Jemma threw a twenty minute fit about getting dressed yesterday morning, and Annie and I had this conversation when it was her turn:

A: So can I get a pedicure?
Me: What?
A: Can I get a pedicure as a prize for getting dressed?

You can imagine she didn't take that very well.

(I wondered today while I was driving whether, if a parent raising girls mapped out these particularly hysterical days on a calendar for a period of several months, the parent would eventually, in seven or eight years, come to see that the particularly challenging periods were occurring in, say, some sort of monthly pattern. (No reason at all! Ahem. Just wondered.))

We took a family bike ride tonight. We can do that this summer sans bike trailer, Jemma pedaling her little heart out, the bright pink feather in Annie's hair left over from the rock concert peeking out of her helmet. (She wishes aloud that there could be a rock concert every night. She is learning the guitar now, too, from Jason.)

My favorite photos of the summer so far are mostly the ones of the girls, really close up, eating something special: ice cream, s'mores, corn on the cob. Also the ones of us around any kind of water: boating on Walloon, spending an afternoon at the beach with friends, wearing goggles in the hot tub or at the pool, my toes on the dock. (Jemma wanted to take the swim test at the pool yesterday but was a little nervous. Annie offered to swim next to her the whole way. They made it all the way to the other side.)

Everyone asks me lately what I'll do in September when both girls are in school all day, and here's my standard answer: I don't know. Some days, that's a Zen, the-universe-is-unfolding-as-it-should, calm "I don't know;" other days it's a wide-eyed, nervous-laughter, slightly panicked "I don't know." Either way. Both. I've got a few ideas, and in the meantime, I'm trying to be okay with not knowing, and with six more weeks of summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment