When you've been away so long it's so hard to begin. Where to begin? With the superficial, I guess. Summer has been exquisite. It has been perfect. It kicked off with Tink's adorable little preschool graduation at an old historic theatre.
Then, we settled into July with long days at the pool, where Pink got her deep water band after barely being able to swim last summer. Tink and Rella went under water for the first time after Tink swore she'd never, ever, ever, EVER go underwater in her whole LIFE. They are all three little fishies.
There was the fourth of July parades and fireworks.
Pink turned seven and we celebrated by spending a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge.
Lawn sprinklers, family walks, grilling, cold beers, the circus, girls nights out, sleeping in... I *heart* summer so bleepin' much! Even with the Jersey heat and humidity - Jersey, you can't ruin it for me!
sleepovers with their cousin
our first circus which was very fun, but I felt really sad for the animals, so I may have to boycott
When our lawn sprinklers turn on, it's instant fun for the girls. They are usually naked.
Girls night out at a winery right down the street from my house... I know, how lucky can a girl be?
While I hear many comrades in the minefields of motherhood counting down the days until school, I actually am not looking forward to September and the change of pace it brings. Not because there aren't sibling spats, and other such chaos a slew of children can conjure. I just actually enjoy having the girls home during the summer, chaos and all. I am going to miss seeing them every day. There, I said it, I'm certifiably nuts. I miss my girls when they are at school and not one day this summer has gone by where I've thought "God, I can't wait until school starts." How pathetic, I know.
Well, let me put in a little caveat. If CB was home all summer without her extended year program? I would be feeling very differently. She was off yesterday and I was flat out DONE by noon after cleaning up pooh all over our family room floor and her. I love her to pieces, but that girl can really shred the thread of sanity that I hang on to. She's missing from most of these pictures as she spent much of her break from her summer program with her dad in Maryland. She doesn't do parades and water parks and fireworks well, so it ended up for the best. She does love the pool so every Friday, her day off, she enjoyed that. I hope that felt enough like summer to her.
I have to say that I have been in heaven and we still haven't gone on our 2 week vacation! With one exception. In July, my beloved grandmother died at 93. She was my mother's mother. Up until she died, I had all four grandparents living, so this was my first up close and personal experience with that type of loss. I am lucky to have made it into my 40s before facing the death of a someone very close to me. Not all of us are so fortunate. The void that is left when someone you can't ever remember not being in your life, someone who loved you and held you from the time you were born and lathered you with kindness and sweetness and joy, is tremendous. It is like losing a small piece of yourself, but I am confident that with time, I will come to know that she is not gone, but with us all. Woven into the fabric of who we are and can never be removed from our memories, our thoughts, our hopes, our heart. We just can't see her and talk to her anymore, and that part sucks big time.
The day we said goodbye to my grandma, was the day after my brother-in-law's first baby was born. She is the most precious little angelic thing.
It's so strange to have two very significant life events almost overlap like that, when you come face to face with birth and death, new and old, a soaring heart and a broken one. The way everything lives and dies, comes and goes, ebbs and flows. It's life, raw and uncut. There are only 2 certainties we really have with whatever life we live- it begins and it ends. All the stuff in between is largely out of our control and much less predictable, though we try our best to set the stage through our actions. Here's all I know: If I can spend more time celebrating than sobbing, being part of the solution instead of part of the problem, loving and being loved? Then I figure that's a pretty good life.
I promise to write more regularly. In all the stuff that happens in between a beginning and an end, I find there is also an ebb and flow of nothing and everything to say. I will make an effort to find everything to say in the face of the nothing - find it, make sense of it, give voice to it, free it. Because the stuff in between the bookends? That's the living. That's the story of our lives.