Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Calm

This weekend we were mostly at home - filling a rainy day with puzzles and art projects and books, having guests for dinner, celebrating a good friend's birthday with a night on the town, running the lake Saturday morning, and spontaneously driving to Saugatuck to hike the dunes and grab dinner on Sunday afternoon. It was cool and quiet in the woods, and as I watched the girls run down a dune toward the lake, I realized it's basically impossible for me to be unhappy there, and I wondered if this should be a major goal in life: to realize where your happy places are, and then to arrange your life so as to spend as much time in those places.

This week feels like the calm before the end-of-summer, start-of-school storm. I made this excellent salad, the girls spent an afternoon at Gymco, Jemma found the first fall leaf, we're still eating peaches and blueberries and cherries every single day, and we did art projects around the dining room table before dinner tonight. We have one last hurrah of summer ahead of us, then one last week of unscheduled time, then school. School. I can hardly believe it.

Annie has a very loose front tooth. I can't stand for her to lose it, because after that she'll look so much less like a little girl. She spends half her time with her nose in a book: in the car, on the stairs waiting to leave the house, on the couch in the morning before breakfast, sometimes even while walking down the sidewalk in Saugatuck on a Sunday evening. She desperately wants a hamster for her birthday.

We have an ongoing family gratitude chalkboard wall near the old back door. Every once in a while, I instruct one of the girls to go write one thing on it - whatever they want - when they're hanging around in the kitchen. This week Jemma wrote "SNUGGLING." She made me a marshmallow-toothpick sculpture today, then got into an argument with me because I said No to watching a show for the 47th time.

Right now the windows are open. I hear the crickets, the ice-cream truck playing Popeye the Sailor Man, Jason making the coffee for tomorrow morning. I'm reading Anne of Green Gables, checking to see if I should read it aloud to Annie next week or if she needs another year before meeting that red-headed sprite. I'm writing something long and hard - a shitty first draft, as writing idol Anne Lamott is known to say - and I'll share it here eventually, maybe. I'm going to go get in the hot tub and talk to my husband for the first time today.

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