Friday, May 12, 2017

Almost Summer

We are down to two weeks left in this school year. Big things are happening -- like Abe taking his first ever AP test. (European history. He'll do great. While his friends joked about it having done little more than provide a nice door stop over the year, the kid actually READ the class's massive text book and is often found to be telling me things like how funny it was that for a moment he accidentally paired Catherine of such and such with Henry or Edward of whichever number when they would have made such an obviously opposing pair).

Photo Apr 05, 3 02 16 AM

And small things are happening . . . like me deciding Jesse and I have done his homework assignments enough times for the year. (Shhhhh.)

And in between things are happening -- like Daisy talking about end-of-year parties with friends, and Goldie and Penny signing up for a running camp, and me looking at the calendar and asking Mike about vacation days in an effort to find at least one long stretch in which we can manage to be at Bear Lake (and wondering if it will be with a repaired cabin basement [the flood!!!] or not), and Penny reminding us that Northern Ice (a seasonal snow cone place behind our local grocery store) is open again, and Anders insisting he's too scared to go to swimming lessons and too scared to leave me and go to kindergarten when the summer ends, and everyone wondering what they will do for books all summer with our library having just closed its doors in preparation to be demolished (and rebuilt).

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At times we think about big things like about how we only have a few more summers like this – all of us together for whatever adventures or chores come each day – before life will begin shifting to something very different: kids on missions, kids in college, and me no longer wholly involved in the crafting of each day for all of my children. Or we think about last summer – how it started out just like this, with no major expectations, but suddenly changed directions – handing us a three week impossible rollercoaster of “Dad (grandpa) is recovering. No, he’s dying. No surely he’s recovering. No, I think he is leaving.” And then his death. And then an unexpected month 2,000 miles from home.

But mostly we think ordinary thoughts involving whatever things are happening during whatever day we happen to be living.

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Such as:

Hans just hit four months. At three months babies can still pass for newborn-ish, but four months seems to complete the transition to . . . baby. After all, he’s beginning to sleep swaddle-free, stay somewhat upright in a stroller, and wear the clothes from boxes that I never bothered to pull out when he was first coming (because him being that big was an eternity away). It was hard, I think, adjusting to a newborn with two little toddlers running about; but I can’t be absolutely certain; because before I had a chance to really decide how hard it was, or wasn’t, he’d left newborn-ness behind. He’s a pleasant little fellow though. Calm and undemanding. I am forever having to go check to see if he has woken from his naps because he’s far too polite to ever cry to let me know he’s up. He’ll just lie there – patiently looking about or scratching his fingers on the side of his bassinet a bit as he waits for someone to notice that he could use a little attention.

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And also . . . for one brief, glorious moment, we had a pet squirrel. I suppose he wasn’t ours exactly, but he was here. We first caught sight of him during a Sunday dinner as he dashed along the strip of rock and bushes against our back fence. Mike insisted he would never stay (as we’ve nothing for him here), but I saw him day after day for the next week. He kept growing bolder and bolder -- throwing in, amongst his dashing, more and more intervals of . . . sitting (and nibbling on what, for all the world appeared to be weeds -- which, of course, couldn't possibly be true, [because too good to be true] and yet?) And we'd NEVER had any squirrels in our yard! Only rats. (And the rats, unfair though it may be, only filled me with low level revulsion. Poor things. I feel terrible even admitting it. What about Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh? I CRIED at the death of rats then!) Still, the case remained: I was thrilled to have the rats gone but delighted over the possibility of the squirrel -- our squirrel -- staying! I knew they could be a nuisance. My dad used to shake his fist at the squirrels in our backyard. They'd pick our apricots, take one bite in order to reach the pit, and throw the rest of the fruit to the ground. But even with their apricot-ruining ways I’d liked watching them run along our telephone wires and up and down our trees, and I couldn’t think of anything I minded a squirrel taking here in my own yard. He was welcome to our chicken feed and we had no fruit. So Penny named him acorn and I continued shouting, “Look! There’s the squirrel!” every chance I got. And then, he left.

Which is a bit of a sad ending, but an ending all the same, and off I go to feed the little people some lunch (and one of them just came in saying she’d stepped in chicken poop so . . . it’s somewhat pressing that I set this aside).


Kara said...

My #2 was like Hans. Too polite to cry about anything... Lol. Made me nervous when I figured it out because how would she let me know she was hurt? But she was a fabulous sleeper. Thank the heavens. Two more weeks, hey? We have that plus a month. Not a worry, though. I've gotten used to having only two months to entertain kids. I'm more than okay with that. Haha! Especially since just north of us it's SNOwING. And it's pouring here. I'm convinced summer will never arrive and we'll just carry on into autumn.

Marilyn said...

The library is closing! 😱😱😱 That will be hard. Summer library visits are so much part of my memories. Coming in from the car and flopping down on the guest room bed downstairs because it was too hot to even make it up the stairs. And reading ALL DAY LONG.

I have been wondering a lot about this very thing lately--or I guess not lately, but for a long time, and I've probably said all this to you before--but just how mixed everything is. The big and the small and the ordinary and the amazing. And it seems weird that opposites like that could coexist so...peacefully. Almost so you don't even notice. Because like you said, mostly you are just thinking about whatever happens to be happening right now. And that is plenty! (And I can't quite sort out all the things I want to say about this so I will stop trying to say them! But...I loved this post. And Hansie who looks like Anders. A nd I wish your squirrel had stayed for good.)

Nancy said...

Oh Kara! A little spring morphing into fall with no summer in between! Haha! Oh no. You deserve a summer! I'm wishing one your way! And I do think it's a little weird how early my kids get out because even friends I'm the states are still doing school stuff for a good three weeks after us!

Nancy said...

Yes! Me too! All the time I think about the strangeness of life never being JUST . . . big stuff. Anything lofty or sacred is all surrounded in messy kitchens and drippy noses, and even huge hard things like death don't pause any of life's ordinary happy and annoying bits. It seems to be important and necessary for everything significant yo be carried out amidst everything mundane here and I'm always trying to learn and understand it and somehow see meaning then in all the extra surrounding stuff.

And the library. There is another branch probably 25 minutes away. But of course that would mean our late fees will triple since I can't even manage to get books back to our mile-away library on time!

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