Last summer comes to me in a dreamy kind of haze. "Remember?" it asks, gauzy linen sleeves blowing in the wind, "remember the memories? dreamy days in the park, laughing together at the movies, exploring the city hand in hand? Remember?" I do, faintly. I remember it like that. Also I very faintly remember sweating a lot and crying in the car after a particularly strenuous movie outing... but most of the memories are sweet.
Already, the chubbiness has slipped away and I find myself grasping the slender hand of an older child, a child who is pulling away toward independence. Already the baby laughter of last year has changed, the closeness of just me and them has changed as they make friends and learn the world. Already they are growing and I am not ready.
I made the summer schedule, all the camps and lessons and vacation Bible schools. My stomach sank as I realized they'll spend half their days away. Maybe I'll cancel some things, I thought, dreaming of snow cones and togetherness. I'll cancel things and we'll go to the zoo, to the water park. We'll rent a movie and make heaping bowls of popcorn. Tomorrow, I think, we will begin. Family Memory Summer '14, game on.
7 am on the first weekday of summer: I am awakened by a foot in my face. Tristan is asleep in my bed, Darth Vader undies and a train clutched in his fist. Downstairs, the natives battle it out over Super Mario Super Mega Something Or Other 12. I pretend I am asleep.
9 am: the natives are offered cereal. They don't like cereal. The oldest wakes up from the screaming. "When is my birthday when when when when when cake chuck e cheese birthday when when when change my diaper" he sends via brain waves. "I don't like cereal either" he sends and it lands directly on my central nervous system.
9:04 am the cereal is gone. I step in pee.
9:05 am: everyone is very, very bored. I send them outside to play in the kiddie pool. They are entranced.
9:07 am: bored. hungry. bored.
Vacation Bible School is starting to look pretty good.