Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Carrying on with summer fun

My dear blog, I haven't forgotten you ... only neglected you. But, you must understand summer is here. Summer with no one to carry, pack or lug around. The very first summer in four years that I'm not carrying around someone else in one fashion or another.

Quite liberating to say the least.

Four years ago the wonderful summer months were also the last trimester of Alena's pregnancy. I was hot, tired and huge. I prayed for cool, and wished away the summer days. By early September, I wanted nothing to do with hot temperatures and was wishing Alena a speedy exit.

The following summer brought toting around a not-yet-walking infant while keeping the bun in the oven cool and comfortable. With some experience under my not-so-visible belt, Alena and I survived her first summer splashing a bit in the wading pool and swinging. It was to our advantage that she didn't take her first steps until the end of August which meant no chasing a toddler around in July.

Summer of 2006 saw a curious, walking Alena, but an eight-month-old Alivia who needed carrying from point A to point B when outdoors. And near the beginning of July came the news we were expecting again (it was probably a blessing in disguise that the "two" shock came a bit later), so this time I was chasing one, carrying another in my arms and a couple more in utero.

And definitely the icing on the carrying cake is having two little ones who need holding. Two four-month olds make for few trips to the zoo, swimming pool or other fun toddler spots. Simply getting four so little out into the backyard was a process, so last summer Alena and Alivia's fun was limited by the curse of being the oldest pair in a line of four.

Ahh, but only a week or so into warm weather and we've been having a blast. Co-hosting a yard sale, taking part in a community parade, a wading pool that needs refills throughout the day and a visit to the zoo already. There's a certain independence that comes with arms free to play in the sand, garden a bit and sip sangria while swings are squeaking and fights are brewing over water toys.

Yes, this is the life. Eighty degree weather, a yard better landscaped than it's been in years and four sets of walking legs. Now, the only thing left to carry are laundry baskets full of ice-cream stained shirts and mulch-filled swim trunks (Trace, that would be you, brother). Summer, I've missed you.

P.S. Today I'm thankful for:

  • A squiggly toddler to hug and snuggle in each arm.
  • Alena's artistic sense.
  • Having been blessed with a child as compassionate as Alivia (after all, she hugs her hideous plastic owl before coming indoors for the night).
  • Jason's patience with my window box project (love the finished product).

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