A summer weekend:
I wake at 6, lace up the shoes and go for a run. The summer heat and humidity is already so intense, my peppy run quickly devolves to a walk/jog. I shuffle over to Audubon park, do lunges around half the circle, wilt some more. I stagger home, and Craig flings open the front door for me, shouting “Duh-Pwize!” (This is his thing now – cheerfully “surprising” everyone who comes to the door.) I walk in, stripping off shirt, shoes, socks, and guzzle iced water. It takes a while to cool down, and I do some yoga. (That was yesterday, and today my back feels much better than usual, but the muscles are sore and stiff from the lunges.)
When I get home, the boys are up, and we all lounge for an hour talking about summer camp, school, stuff. We leave the tv off. Liam calls this “Mom and Dad Camp,” and crawls over and gives me a squeeze. WWOZ plays softly in the background.
We get them all dressed in swimsuits and head over to the pool. We swim for a few hours, reapplying sunscreen again and again. Mid-swim, the boys are whining, and so I pull them out for a rest in the shade and a snack. They droop, listless and half heartedly chewing, but perk up when the Capri Sun hits their blood stream, and then dive back in refreshed. Craig, who wears a full floatie suit (we now have one that floats him fully out of the water, instead of just the top of his head) has learned to leap in (shouting “CANNONBALL!”), then turn and swim to the side, hoist himself out (not at a ladder or steps or anything), then turn and do it again. Self sufficient beast toddler for the win. He talks about himself in the third person – “Craig’s do cannonball! Craig’s do it!”
Both parents are usually in there with them – I serve as an island for when the big boys get tired, and the Prof tosses the boys – “Again! Again!” He can still throw Jack across the pool, but not for much longer . . . #heavy. However, now that both big boys can swim reasonably well and Craig can entertain himself, we are able to take the parent’s prerogative for a few minutes and drape ourselves out on a poolside chair, relaxing, lifeguarding but not interacting. It is a blessed few moments of peace. We need refreshing once in a while, too.
We come home for a late lunch of sandwiches, pretzels, and fruit, and then they all take a nap. I take the rare moment for a nap myself. In the afternoon, after they’ve woken, rubbing sleep from their eyes and ravenous for more snacks, we go to a friend’s for burgers on the grill. They have people over every weekend, always a big group, always new folks in the mix. We contribute buns, brats, and a twist on strawberry shortcake – small Belgian waffles, strawberries, French Vanilla ice cream. The sun beats. They put a tent in the backyard to cover a wading pool, and my boys splash in borrowed swimsuits, Craig naked. The wife is pregnant – she’s a tiny reed of a person, and the belly sticks out so far, but nevertheless none of us want to ask. Finally they volunteer the info – she is twenty weeks or so, they’re not finding out the sex. This is #3 for them. They just bought this two bedroom house, so where Surprise Baby will go is the source of some tension and worry, but not much. They’ll figure it out. She is my age, 37, but looks ten years younger, carries this pregnancy well. She is one of the lowest key people I have ever met, and it shows in the (lack of) lines on her face.
There is a giant pot of enormous shrimp, spiced and boiled with citrus and onions and Old Bay. Jack, who is allergic as you may recall, bosses everyone loudly about washing their hands before they touch him. We’ve trained him well. I have an epi pen in my purse, so I relax and eat them myself, shrimp as big as a lemon, firm and crisp. There are boiled new potatoes, sliced and roasted with yellow squash and asparagus. There is a salad of avocado, cherry tomatoes, kale. I eat too much, sweat too much. The boys eat their giant hamburgers and asparagus, and ask for more. Craig disappears at one point, and we find him downstairs in their playroom, happily playing cars all by himself.
We come home, put the boys in bed without baths, and I’m asleep on the couch in seconds. I’m forever falling asleep on the couch. I’m told the day will come when they no longer completely wipe me out, but for now, that day has not yet arrived.
I wake today and feed the guinea pig that we are responsible for this week – Liam’s kindergarten class pet, who gets farmed out to the rising first graders every summer, a week at each household. She loves kale, carrots. Craig likes to hold her – she is gentle, much larger than the hamsters I had as a kid. He will go and fetch the towel we have co-opted for guinea-pig-cuddles, and say “Get Rosy blanket. Craig hold Rosy.” He strokes her fur with two fingers, from between her eyes down to her little tail-less rump. She snuggles in.
I water our porch garden – cherry tomatoes, basil, a jalapeno pepper plant that has yielded but one pepper. The cherry tomatoes have some sort of bug that tends to get in them and hollow them out. I water them anyway.
Craig is playing trains on the floor. The big boys, shirtless (shirtless is a big thing this summer), watch the Voltron re-boot from the couch. The Prof is soothing his OCD by cleaning out a kitchen drawer, purging mis-matched tupperware. I’m on our recliner, stretching my coffee, feet up. Later today, we plan to take the kids to see Finding Dory. I’ll finish the laundry, grocery shop. Maybe a bit more swimming. We’ll see what the day brings.