It Ain’t Over Till the T. Rex Sings

The other day Saoirse mentioned that I seemed to be a lot more “organized” this summer. I managed to choke back my laughter–if she ever tells you about that time Mommy sounded like she swallowed a small goat, she means this–and asked her what she meant, exactly. At first she said, “Well, you know: you have everything we’re doing written on the calendar.”8.11.16. Dinosaurs. Cian pointingThe goat kicked around in my esophagus for a bit longer before I could respond to her. See, here’s the thing: if I planned anything this summer, it was the week of–days before, really–it happened.  This summer I think I earned my PhD in pants-seat-flying. But maybe what SK noticed is that I’ve been jotting down what we have done on the whiteboard calendar I keep in the kitchen. (I know, it’s weird, but I liked a record of this abyss other people call “summer break.”).8.11.16. Dinosaurs. girls with HBG T RexLater, I realized that what she meant by organized was our pattern: we usually spent the morning at home–the kids would play while I got work done–and then we’d do something together in the afternoon. That usually meant the pool. For them, that also usually meant fun, of course. But it wasn’t until she mentioned it that I realized we actually had a little routine going. Maybe I’m better at this full-time parenting gig than I thought. 

8.11.16. Dinosaurs. Cian T Rex feetDavid took part of the day off today to spend some time with us–the girls had asked him to go to a water park with them, and that’s what we’d planned to do, until we looked outside this morning and saw that it was supposed to feel like 100 degrees today with thunderstorms all around. Strangely enough, no one in the family was in the mood to get electrocuted while swimming in a mechanical wave pool in the back of a hilly amusement park.8.11.16. Dinosaurs. Cian jewelled dinoSo you know what we did instead? Harrisburg, our nearest city, has an outdoor display scattered around the sidewalks right now of dinosaur statues that different artists have decorated. That’s what we decided to do instead of go swimming–walk around the concrete sidewalks of a stinking, sweltering city in 90-plus-degree heat in search of dinosaur art. (“Uh, Mom?” Cian asked before we left. “They’re not going to be real dinosaurs, are dey? They’re painted dinosaurs, right?”) We lasted about a half hour, but I will say it was a cheerful half hour. And, as always, as we drove home (via an ice cream shop, because HOT), I heard the following, once again, from Cian: “That was fun.” Because I guess he likes sweating his little toddler self to a puddle just so he can look at a Tyrannosaurus Rex dressed up like a Transformer. I’ll take it. 8.11.16. Dinosaurs. Cian police t rexSummer ends for us next weekend. I’m not ready for it to end. Not ready at all. This time with the kids–as real as they get, as individual as they are, as fascinating as they can be–has been worth all of the crazy and uncertainty and lack of my Saoirse-professed organization. So I’ll keep marking what we’ve done, noting the time spent together, as a family, with each other. Because right now, those tanned legs and chlorine-knotted hair and bruises and bug bites that are lying all over my family room floor are the most precious things to me in the world (David’s here, too. I haven’t forgotten him).8.11.16. Dinosaurs. kids dino w wineI won’t miss the slobbery couch pillows (I don’t know how. I just know that I picked one up, and there was slobber). I won’t miss the coffee table being used as a way to block misguided headstands. I won’t miss the cute little sibling slumber parties on the bedroom floor that end with somebody punching the other in the back and everybody waking up with dark circles under their eyes because one child kept rolling over on top of the other two. But that’s it. That’s only it. The good parts, though? The painted dinosaurs and ice cream and pool dates on the calendar and my kids who are here to bake and fight and play and swim and wake up happy and tackling each other on the way into our bedroom each morning?8.11.16. Dinosaurs. Cian cornerThat part I’m not ready to let go.


  1. Hannah | 11th Aug 16

    First I want you to know that I just discovered “leave a comment” at the beginning of your post, and I’ve been sad for several posts because I thought I couldn’t comment. That’s my science teacher observation skills at their very best. Second, I do miss those days. Woods, chalk in the driveway, imaginary everything, costumes, dress ups, whining, bickering, time for the 7 yo to take a nap…and the countdown to the first day, glorious quiet, me and baby toddler waiting anxiously for them to come back home. And then one day there was college, marriage and no more buses. FaceTime ain’t the same. So happy you’re a mom that is savoring the moments

    • Leah Ferguson | 12th Aug 16

      Now I’m sad, too, because I love your comments…Thanks for the kind words. I took the kids shoe shopping yesterday, and discovered they’d grown two–TWO!–sizes over the summer. That’s how much they’d grown (I knew they’d gotten taller, but that’s just too much for a mom to handle, you know? ;). I know what you mean–I’m going to blink and it’ll all be over. But I will say–purely from social media observation–that it seems like you have such an incredible relationship with your girls. I only hope it’s the same when it’s my turn. In the meantime, occasional naps for 7-year-olds don’t seem like such a bad idea. 😉

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