Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Good Ol Summertime...or something like that

With only a limited number of days until school starts, we decided to cram as much summertime fun into the next few weekends as humanly possible. Great idea! After today's events, I am no longer sad to see the summer go. Bring on the cold. Make us stay indoors. Okay, I'm not totally to that point. Yet. However, I am ready for fall. Every year around this time I start to get nostalgic that the summer is almost over. I think it dates back to when I was a child. The summer meant fun, freedom, my birthday and relaxation. I always loved to shop for school supplies. I never liked going back to school, though. It wasn't school that I didn't like. It was the idea of saying goodbye to summer. I still carry that with me now. I've learned, though, with three kids summer no longer means freedom and relaxation. It still means my birthday, but I can tell you I'm not thrilled about watching my youth slip away year after year. And summer is just not as much fun when you're old.Today, while Chris worked, I took the kids to do some of my favorite things from my childhood. I packed a picnic lunch, loaded up the kids and headed to the park. Sans vehicle. I always loved going for walks as a little girl. I still try to take the kids on walks as often as possible. We are fortunate enough to have a beautiful park only a mile from our house. I broke out the double stroller for Alex and Eva. Grace decided to boycott the walk and would not get leave the front porch until I consented to her riding her scooter. I even tried the whole "See ya later! Have fun at home ALONE. Hope nobody tries to break-in!" as we started to walk down the street. Apparently, she's too old to be fooled by those lame attempts for her to comply. She smiled and waved as we "pretended" to leave. Fabulous start to our "Day O'Fun"! I'm arguing with a six year old. Pick your battles, I reminded myself.By the time we reached the park, we were all in need of some food and water. We sat down at the first table we found in the shade. Within minutes, all the food was consumed and the kid's energy level escalated. They had a blast playing. I, however, was a nervous wreck. The playground equipment looked so unsafe. Now, don't get me wrong. This IS NOT the first time they have played on this equipment. And I DO worry about it every single time. This particular time, though, I was without the support of the non-neurotic parent. I was also without a vehicle. What a genius idea! Let me bring all THREE of my children to play on playground equipment that was built by SATAN himself and not have a vehicle in case of an emergency. BRILLANT! Fortunately, the kids decided to control their clumbsiness, and we left the park an hour and a half later without so much as a scratch.

Before we were even one-eigth of a mile into our journey home, Alex and Eva were sleeping, and Grace was no longer interested in riding her scooter. What she did find interesting, though, was walking next to me and whining the ENTIRE TIME about how hot and tired she was. By the time we reached the top of our street, she saw her destiny only minutes away. She hopped on her scooter (which is the first time she actually rode it since we left the park), and took off down the street. I could faintly hear her yell, "See ya at home." When we arrived, I cautiously took each of the little ones into their beds being sure not to wake them. SUCCESS! Both still out like a rock. I went downstairs to find Grace already asleep on the couch. The little boogers were worn out! Oh, how I longed to take a nap as well. But as the unfortunate curse of committing to too much would have it, I had a BBQ to get ready for. It's not very often I get to shower in peace, though. Very grateful for that.The kids began waking up right as Chris was getting home for work. I employed his help in bathing and dressing them. Once we were all ready, we headed out to Wentzville for a BBQ hosted by a friend of mine. It was a great time. I don't get to spend much time with my friends anymore. Especially since between the five of us we have a combined total of 8 kids with one more on the way. But when we do....Oh the fun we have. The kids love playing with each other. By nine o'clock, I was exhausted and ready to go home.I cannot remember the last time I've been this tired.

I'm no longer sad to see summer go. I really am looking forward to the slower pace and cooler air that Missouri falls bring. I know once school starts there will be a jillion of opportunities to consume all of our time. I just hope this year we are a little smarter about how much we commit to. Sometimes the most fun is in doing nothing at all.