Last night before dinner, I sat in the middle of a cacophony of wailing and whining, and I wondered what in the world our life was going to be like in 10+ years when the wailing and whining morphs into eye rolling and yelling, and boy I decided Tim and I are in for it. I remember very well schlepping into my house with a backpack full of books and notebooks and hand written notes and plopping myself at the kitchen table where I started to attack just about anyone who looked at me wrong. Eek! (Remember that Matt?!) In my mind, I felt I was level headed, but now looking back, I was anything but so having 4 teenage girls at the table someday just terrifies me.
The wailing and whining ended shortly after we ate dinner when I grabbed the cake I baked for Tim's coworkers out of the fridge and cut a few slices for the girls. My girls go nuts for cake. I recently perfected my white cake, which let me tell you was really hard to do because unless you use a box cake mix as a base, white cake is really hard to make from scratch without having it come out dry and dense. But I did it! I combined three different recipes, and I baked a perfect cake. This has been the summer of cake.
The more time I give to my girls, the more patience I have with them when the tough gets going. The more present I am (not just a cold, lifeless body but an actual listening ear) with them, the more connected I feel to them, even when I have no idea what they are talking about. Mya and I speak daily about Halloween and the costumes we will wear. She really wants our entire family to be Star Wars characters, and even though I know nothing of the movie, I already started designing our costumes. Genevieve and I have been spending a few minutes alone each afternoon after quiet time. She sneaks out of her room early and peeks into my room to see if I am available to play. I'm usually right in the middle of work, but I have learned that she needs her time so I put my computer down and do whatever project she asks of me. Elle and I spend the mornings together. It is rare when you don't find her sweeping behind me as I clean the counters or dishes. She loves to be by my side, and I think she takes full advantage of my empty arms when Birdie is not around to fill them. And oh Birdie, I just spent a fun 25 minutes with her upstairs, allowing her to crawl and stand herself up on my body. She smiles and coos at me, and I instantly remember how fun it was to watch Mya do all these things for the first time.
Summer ends in 2 weeks. I'll have to find a new routine and schedule for everyone in the house. Mya will go back to feeling rushed in the morning, which makes me sad because I really love her in the morning. She is so sweet when she first wakes up. She climbs in my bed if I'm still in in it, and she snuggles close to my cheek. I feel her warm breath warm my skin within minutes she's asking me to borrow some lipstick. It's 6:30am, but I allow it. She gives me her big jack-o-lantern smile, and I smile back at her. I am going to miss our lazy mornings. I really do hate shoving her out the door, but I am grateful for school and structure. I think we're all in need of it. I can see the effects of summer as I brush the girls hair and find all their sun-damaged ends. I can feel the ends of summer when I apply lotion to dry skin and chapstick to burnt lips. And I can taste the end of summer with each ripe strawberry and blueberry. They go bad all too quick now, warning me fall is near. It's almost pumpkin season.
Oh summer, you've been really good to me this year. I am going to miss you and snow cones and endless pool days. Thank you for giving me a couple of extra weeks to be with my girls. I need them just as they need me.