watermelon summer.

It’s been a little while! Not because I don’t have things to say, but because finding time to blog with a toddler around is even harder than it was to find time with a baby around.

Our summer has been great so far. Morella turned two. She’s talking up a storm, so much in fact that I find myself having long conversations with her all day. She can ask for things, describe things, and complain about things. She puts on her own shoes and buckles them. She says things like “Okay bye-bye Mommy, I’ll be back in a few minutes! I promise.” What a little lady. And then in the middle of the night she’ll cry for me in her sleep, and when I shuffle into her room she wakes up a little bit, just enough to hold her arms out to me. She’s a neverending source of amazement.

We’ve been going on lots of hikes and short trips. I love tromping through the woods with her on my back and her constant commentary in my ear. We’ve tackled Busch Gardens a couple times, and she’s a big lover of the kids’ rides there. We went to the beach with the family, and it was heavenly. A whole week of help with the kid! A decent amount of my favorite method of healing (staring at the ocean). Seafood buffets! And Morella loved every part of it: playing in the sand, splashing in the waves, carting her sand toys via tiny plastic wagon back and forth, swimming in the pool, bobbing around in the hot tub, dancing on the windy deck with Siouxzy, eating watermelon with the juice running all down her face and arms and elbows, and rinsing her feet off with the hose under the house. I love how joyful she is about even the smallest things, and how much it informs how I see the world.

We’re entertaining a lot. Hosting regular playdates for Morella and her friends is a loud, chaotic, and fun pursuit. I really like all the parents I find myself with during these playdates, potlucks, and evenings at the playground. Though sometimes our only conversation is a meaningful look hurled over our shoulders as we wrangle wayward kids, we get each other. Though there are all different kinds of parenting philosophies in play, there is very little judgment in our group, and any time I need something, they’re there with suggestions and with open hands. I don’t feel like I’m always parenting alone, and many hands make light work.

I feel like this is a weird / good time period of both change and no change. I’m doing all the things I’ve always done. Getting us both ready in the morning, going to work to deal with emails and emails and timecards and project plans and emails and to cackle loudly at something said in a chat room. Pickup from school, assembling some manner of a dinner which we eat with gusto, and pushing the stroller to the playground or settling in for a rainy-day movie and popcorn. After baby bedtime, there are always the chores I’ve put off while she was awake, like tidying and correspondence and paying bills and ordering groceries. I get into bed and sigh contentedly, fall asleep immediately, and sleep soundly, as ever. But I’m doing some things differently too. I’m getting ready for a friend to move away, and contemplating what that’s going to look like. I’m hosting a welcome party for a new friend, and waiting for another friend to arrive back home from overseas. I’ve gotten back in close, frequent touch with an old friend. I made a long overdue gesture of reaching out to someone for forgiveness and didn’t receive a response, and that’s okay. I was unexpectedly asked for forgiveness by someone else, and granted it easily. We’re ignoring that undercurrent of insidious manipulation and framing and posturing that exists like a dark cloud looming, not because it’s right, but because time is money playground. We’re learning to live as fully as we can, even in uncertainty. We’re letting time wash away the toxic and the temporary and the fairweather, and we’re enjoying seeing what comes up to fill that space.

I hope your summer is as full of joy and mischievous smiles as ours is…

 

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