I thought I might try a photo-a-day thing this summer but hahahaha, this is the only kind of picture I seem to take nowadays. But this is what my world looks like: blurry, colorful, a little off-center, full of goofy smiles. We kicked off our summer today, the younger three and I, with a celebratory lunch at Subway. (Note: I used to refer to this bunch as “the littles,” but Wonderboy has registered an objection. He’s ten, after all: no longer a little one. At a family conference this morning it was decided that they are henceforth to be described as “the trio.”)
We haven’t quite found our summer rhythm yet—it’s early days, after all, with Jane barely even unpacked and Wonderboy only just out of school—but we’re sorting out our plans. WB had an orthodontist appointment and then I dropped the older girls at the mall to see a movie. That meant the trio had me all to themselves this afternoon, and they were pleased as punch. We enjoyed our lunch (I do a good manners/bad manners game with Huck, and this was a chance to practice restaurant manners) and headed home for read-aloud time. Kind of a big day, actually, because I think Huck is ready for his first novel. We usually start with My Father’s Dragon, but that’s a Daddy book (i.e. a readaloud reserved for Scott), so I made a sudden decision and grabbed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You can’t go wrong with Dahl.
Of course we had to go have some chocolate after our chapter. Jane brought everyone treats from school—they make chocolate in the Food Services program there!—which is all the more reason it’s the perfect time for Charlie.
I get so giddy about these milestones, you know.
Then I put on “Young Americans” and we had a little dance party in the living room, because that’s what you do with your sugar rush. After that, I announced it was time to begin a new summer habit we’d all discussed at our morning confab: Quiet Reading Time. “New” only if you don’t count my first seventeen years of motherhood. 😉 Somewhere around the time Huck was three and gave up regular naps, our afternoon quiet time shifted direction and became, er, less quiet. But I really really want some reading time for myself this summer (and I’m big on letting the kids see that’s a priority for me), so I decided that we’ll work our way (back) up to 45 minutes of quiet reading time every day after lunch. (That’s a long time for a Huckleberry. Littles are allowed to play quietly with toys during QRT if they get tired of looking at books.) We started with 15 minutes today, Huck beside me on my bed. I read a chapter and a half of A Passage to India and felt pretty spoiled. Huck read Up Dog and Mommy, Mommy, a pair of board books he loves, and then he surveyed the various other options arrayed at his feet and declared he would look at The Grey Lady at the Strawberry Snatcher “because it doesn’t have any words, so it’s easy for me to read.”
Fifteen minutes goes by really quickly when you’re pretending to read Forster but are really spying on a rapt five-year-old out of the corner of your eye, is all I’m saying.
The trio and I reconvened in the kitchen and set to work tidying up the art-supply shelf next to the table. Long overdue. Months of drawings crammed in among the coloring books and Draw Right Now volumes. We sorted crayons and sharpened pencils and got ourselves set to do some art this summer. Then Huck remembered I’d promised him a “play tubby” today (yesterday’s sluice-the-dirt-off-your-grubby-little-feet tubby was way too short for his liking), so I popped him in with some bubbles and took the opportunity to give the bathroom a good scrubbing. Rilla practiced piano and Wonderboy wrote some emails. And before I knew it, it was time to run back to the mall for the girls. On the way over, I couldn’t help but laugh. Low tide, we call it. It’s always high tide for mom, isn’t it?
Letters from Thailand: the Second
Sometimes I feel like…
Catch Me If You Can