Do you remember that blog post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, the one where I was (mildly, of course, sure) fretting about how unplanned our summer was, and even though that was supposed to be fantastic in theory how I was losing my mind just the tiniest bit?Well.
The girls have informed me, just yesterday, that THIS. IS. THE. BEST SUMMER. EVER. Did you hear that, world? (And by world, I mean my mother-in-law. Hi, Donna!) My kids are happy! They’re having fun! Even though Saoirse is yelling at her brother right now and Cian’s arguing with Quinlan, and they’re being made to clean up the toys they’ve scattered all over the living room, they think they’re having FUN. What folly is this, right?This is awesome.
I have just realized that almost every time we pile into the ol’ minivan after a trip out–the pool, dinner with their grandmother, a trip to the play area at the grocery store–Cian, from his little car seat in the second row of Maude (the minivan, I mean. Maude is our minivan’s name. David’s car is Norman, for the record, though he will adamantly disagree with you on that one), will look out the window for a while, quiet, and then say, almost to himself:
The past couple of weeks have been strange. We’ve witnessed a very creepy guy getting too close to our oldest daughter in line for a roller coaster at an amusement park. We’ve seen another man collapse in front of us while in line for another ride on another trip to that same amusement park, which was immediately followed by panicked cries for help and a 911 call (Saoirse: “Mom, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look so scared.” Quinlan: “Did you see the BLOOD?!”) and the horrid, helpless knowledge that I’m probably overdue for a lesson in CPR. I lost Quinlan in the middle of a crowded building on that same trip, only to find her again 10 horrible minutes later (more on that in another post, because I’m so proud of that kid and so mad at me, and if you’re also thinking that I should probably avoid amusement parks for a while, you could be right). I’ve discovered rotting month-old mac n cheese in the minivan (I seriously blamed the smell on the poor kids). I’ve argued: with my husband, with a family member, with my kids. I’ve perused social media only to walk away from social media because I’m tired of politics, and writer jealousy, and other people’s drama, and gorgeous vacation photos where everything looks perfect even though you know that every single person in the picture has sand wedged somewhere uncomfortable in his or her swimsuit. I’ve gone on a slight documentary-watching binge (can you tell that David was traveling for work?) and now David lives in slight fear that not only am I going to rampage against all the plastic in our lives (I am. Did you know that discarded straws are always getting up the noses of sea turtles?), but now I’m going to outlaw packaged foods in the house, too (MSG is in EVERYTHING, y’all). I’m teetering on the edge of my already existing pseudo-hippie-ness and in danger of falling straight into some world where I refuse to wear my glasses and contact lenses because they’re bad for the environment. (If you know how nearsighted I am, you know that these are precarious times.) I’m eternally running an hour behind this summer. I’m afraid the laundry room is starting to smell like chlorine and/or mildew even though it feels like all I wash are swimsuits and beach towels. I went out with the intention to run with the dog this morning, lost interest as soon as the humidity hit me, and settled for a walk instead where Riley sort of just lurched me along like some sort of enthusiastic Frankenstein’s monster. That is not the work-out I was hoping to accomplish, but it’s pretty typical all the same.
In a nutshell, I suppose, this summer has been, well, normal.But that was fun.
We have just three weeks left before school starts. I panic when I think about this. As much as I tease and groan, I’m not looking forward to shipping two off to school full-time. I’m not excited about homework, and all those school emails, and dealing with whatever social drama might pop up here and there. I’m going to drop Cian off at preschool for the first time, too, and with it, start to see the sun set on this era of my life as a mom of littles. Man, I’m not ready to see that go. (Just you wait till you see the blog post that will come when Cian’s ready to start elementary school. It’s gonna be EPIC.)We have three weeks left. It will be as unscheduled as the last six weeks have been, with a bigger urgency woven in: more trips to the pool. Uniform shopping, and shoe buying. Meet-ups with friends we won’t get to see as often once September rolls in. Hopefully–maybe–a trip to Connecticut with David to see where he works when he’s not at home. And each time, we will pile back into Maude (you know. The minivan), exhausted and sweaty and tired and ready for home, and Cian will look out his window at the passing scenery, think for a while, then announce, “That was fun.”And he’ll be right.