Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Perfect Summer

Somehow summer is almost over.  Tate had his preschool open house last night and Rowan had her first-grade open house tonight.  Both saw their classrooms, met their teachers and got thoroughly excited about school starting.  Both children have started their fall soccer leagues. We've gone back-to-school shopping and stocked up on clothes and school supplies.   But I'm still trying to hold on to this summer.

Somehow, despite the extreme heat and ever-growing belly, we managed to have a perfectly fabulous summer.  We spent a ridiculous amount of time at the pool (at which I took no pictures), played with neighborhood friends constantly (again, no pictures), went on a few short trips with the kids: one to the Detroit-ish area to see friends and stay in a hotel where my kids get to eat things like Fruit Loops for breakfast and think it's the best thing ever and one to Chicago for the zoo and Legoland.  We had cousins stay with us for a week and went to the zoo and Meijer Gardens and to visit the McGowan's at their cottage.  We saw fireworks, did sparklers, went to fun parties in the neighborhood, saw friends from school and even had a few lazy days at home.  We had swim lessons and tennis camp.  We picked lots of strawberries from our garden and made jam and strawberry shortcake and ate strawberries by the handful.  Now we're picking tons of cherry tomatoes from our garden and Tate and I are devouring them "freshly washed", as he calls them.   While I've been horrible about taking the time to right down all of our fun and memories of this summer, I have still been so grateful for this summer--our last as a family of four.

A few reasons I'm dreading the start of the school year:  1.  The exhaustion that will surely come with first grade.  And the attitude that will certainly go along with it.  A certain little girl who somehow already has quite the pre-teen little attitude becomes less and less pleasant when tired.  2.  A bored little buddy.  With Tate at preschool all of 5 hours a week, he's going to be completely lost without his sister to entertain him, facilitate all kinds of imaginative play and come up with crazy ideas to fill the time.  And I will be expected to fill that role.  I can see it now.  He'll want to play games, he'll want me to tell stories, he'll want to do puzzles and he'll want entertainment all day.  I love spending time with this little man, but I have no idea how this will all work with another little guy demanding my attention.  I predict a tough transition.  3.  Missing my girl.  With school all day, soccer practice once a week, soccer games once a week and Wednesday night church programs, it really will seem like I never get to see her.

A few reasons I'm looking forward to fall:  1.  a schedule.  We haven't really been following a schedule of any shape or form this summer.  While I had plans of doing schoolwork with the kids, having more purposeful playtime and having concrete plans for each day, that really never happened.  I think a good schedule and consistent bedtime will benefit all ofo us.  2.  fall.  Changing leaves, cooler weather, apple picking (if the crazy weather didn't destroy them all)  3.  no longer being pregnant.  4.  a new baby.  Who will he look like?  What will he be like?  What will we name him???

I recently read a portion of the book One Thousand Gifts and started keeping a gratitude journal where I jot down a few great things that happened that day.  Here are a few of my recent favorites:  a perfectly roasted marshmallow; Rowan requesting to read the baby his very first book--and going through the bookshelves to pick the perfect one;  stroking Tate's back when I tuck him in at night.  And this one, which is more of a story:  After describing different types of college degrees and different jobs people need different degrees for, Tate says "I want to know what one I need to become a knight."  Love these kids.

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