Friday, May 31, 2013

End of May

I apparently have lost hearing in my right ear.  Or blown my ear drum.  Or funneled in pool water.  Or tree pollen.  Or some small toy that found its way to my pillow in the night.  The sickness that fell a month ago when I ate pots of tortilla soup has resurfaced and lodged itself in my ear, cut off some of my taste buds, and is just overall inconvenient.

But the air is breezy with only 44% humidity, which for a Washington day in the 90's I will bask in!  Tonight, Ben and I sat on our front stoop (which literally means sat on the one tiny step we have that leads to the front door) and drank June-eve cocktails (coconut rum + cran-raspberry juice and a little splash of lemonade, shaken and served on ice) and watched the first two fireflies in the yard.  Then we migrated to our neighbor's porch where newly installed fans really did blow the mosquitoes away.  I was skeptical, but now we may sit there every night.

The kids can tell you exactly how many days are left, probably hours, of school.  We are all standing at the exit.  Silas is already plotting ways I could take him out early, launch a road trip, be done.  Eden pined for school each day over our long weekend (we stretched Memorial weekend), and I'm not sure she understands that she isn't going back to her preschool -- this is it and then we will fall into two and a half months without school.  But her birthday party is tomorrow -- she will be 5 -- and that she certainly understands.

Eden these days is like a mini 12 year old packed into a 4 and 11.8/12 year old's body.  She is expressive, independent, adoring, imaginative.  She's fun and good company.  It's hard to escape her games when we're together: usually one of three: Maeve's twin (in which her name is Maggie and Maeve's name is Sadie and they are both two but Maeve is slower in her development because Maggie can speak and Maeve is more like an 8 month old -- which she is); neighbors (we are are neighbor friends who are 11 and have no brothers or sisters); or cousins (we're named Violet and Sadie or Brittany or Lexi and we are 11 with rainbow braces.  Sometimes we have identical sisters who share our same name and sometimes we don't, but Silas is always our younger brother and Maeve sometimes lives next door with a girl named Eden).

May.  May is a chicken-with-its-head-cut-off month.  I forgot this.  There are field days, assemblies, ballet shows, concerts, class parties, pajama days, forms to fill out for class gifts, forms to fill out for next year, forms to fill out for camps, flowers to pick for teacher appreciation (missed that entirely this year), camps to register for (if you haven't...), swim team overlapping with soccer, soccer's final game and party, school projects -- like making a building out of recycled materials--  busy.

Long before I had children, when I was just teaching, I resolved NOT to have over scheduled kids, kids involved in activities every day who raced around and had no down time.  This month I have wondered what in the world I did wrong because we have been racing.  It took me until this week to realize that if each kid has only one or two commitments, he or she is pretty good, but I am living the addition and have to be all of the places.  I didn't know that before!  So I am shifting expectations, and hopefully their lives will remain relatively mellow, but that will not mean that mine will........This should not be a surprise, really.  I remember my mother living in her car every single day.  So much so that in jr. high when I was grounded, my punishment was to ride around with her everywhere she went. I do kind of feel like I'm revisiting that punishment.

But in two weeks we will plunge fully into summer -- hot, slow, long, bright days.  I can feel the anticipation percolating: what books will we check out from the library? what projects will we tackle? how will we structure our weeks?  where will we drive?

And at the same time I wonder about being exhausted and having to stay home every morning so Maeve can nap while the kids long to  DO something.

We will see how it shakes out.  But in the meantime, welcome June.  So glad you're coming.

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