Thursday, June 18, 2015

the joy of being a child in summer

We have been spending most afternoons at the pool this summer. This is the first year that four out of the five can pretty much swim without a lot of supervision. It is a great way to get energy out and the kids have friends from school who they love to play with.  Afternoons have been a bit more relaxing than other summers although I am not quite at the "sit in a beach chair and read a book" stage yet. This was confirmed the other day when I was talking to another mom by the shallow end and suddenly heard shrieks from across the pool yard. There was my youngest child buck naked on the playground. She had stripped down and was happily running free. 

Going to the pool reminds me of my childhood. Growing up we lived a couple blocks from the community pool. When I was old enough I was allowed to walk or ride my bike there by myself on afternoons. This was pure freedom and I loved it. Sometimes I had to take my younger brother along for company too. 
It was on such an afternoon that I remember sitting on our beach towels my brother and I eating shoe string licorice which was one of the only candy we could afford to buy from the snack shop. We were taking a break from swimming and sat together in the sun. We had just recently watched a documentary on TV about Siamese twins which are twins who are born joined together and somehow the conversation turned to that topic. We pondered what it would be like to go swimming as a Siamese twin and we chuckled at the thought. 
I suddenly got an idea. 
"Daniel, " I said excitedly, "I dare you to go ask the pool guy how many pool passes a Siamese twin would need, one or two?" 
We thought this was just hilarious and laughed and laughed. And being the older bossier sister I somehow convinced him to do it. I am sure there was probably some candy or money involved. I sat there on my towel snickering as he walked over to the counter.

The pool guys response was classic, "it depends if they have two heads or one"

That story still makes me chuckle. It is so stupid and silly. But too often I get caught up in the seriousness of life and forget the joy of being a child in summer. Sometimes seeing my kids reminds me of my own carefree days of childhood playing with my siblings and laughing over dumb things. In them I can see myself. And if I close my eyes I can still feel the warmth of the sun after a long afternoon of swimming and my only worry is whether or not Siamese twins need one pool pass or two.

Are we having fun yet? 

Friday, June 12, 2015

sweet summertime.

Ahh sweet summertime. Welcome to the days of no schedule, afternoons at the pool, popsicles, sunkissed faces and evenings of eating dinner under the canopy of trees. And welcome to the days of  "what are we doing today?" on repeat, chasing a toddler around the pool while enviously watching other moms sit and tan, navigating grocery stores with a small herd and just overall more messes everywhere.
It is such a mix. There is more fun and more chaos. More time together and more fighting.
Each year as the kids get older and I see how quickly the school years fly I find myself wanting to enjoy and savor the time together that summer brings. Some days this can be a battle, okay, a lot of days it is. Mostly it is a battle of perspective. I cannot control every outcome. Kids are going to fight as much as I hate it. And there are going to be some crazy hair pulling moments.

 But there are going to to be sweet memories made. We will spend many fun times together. There will be moments I want to freeze in time.  

This is summer. This is life.
We welcome you summertime and all that you bring.