The Summer I've Been Waiting For

Reader, I'm almost afraid to say it out loud, but I think this is the summer I've been waiting for for nine years.

Nine years ago I was great with child number one.  I was still working feverishly, with all the other Capitol-types, to finish a marathon legislative session.  I was pining for days at home with baby, dreaming of all the fun and wonderful things we'd do as s/he grew up, imagining his or her future siblings, dreaming up my life as Mother.

As so often happens, the dream and reality didn't match up, at least not right away.  Because I couldn't possibly have imagined what days, weeks and years at home with three small ones was really like (for the benefit of those who are considering this or a similar feat, we will now draw the curtains of charity on the gory details of days, weeks, and years at home with three small ones).  And because the dream didn't include the highly inconvenient development of a serious chronic illness.

But now, here we are.  Everyone can walk.  Everyone is out of diapers.  Everyone can get into their own car seats.  Everyone can make their own sandwiches.  Nobody really has to have a nap (well....... except for me, but even I am learning to live with a half-hour timeslot during which no child is allowed to be in my room or speak to me unless they are vomiting or bleeding).

And here I am, feeling stronger, more stable, gaining weight, learning to live well within the limits of my illness.

And watch us go!  We've had so much fun this summer.  A week at camp in the north woods.  Kickball with friends from school.  Trips to the farmer's market for fresh produce.  Trips to the library for fresh books.  Impromptu tennis lessons with our good family friends, the K-woods.  This afternoon, we're going swimming at a friend's house.  These are all things that, between the Baby Factor and my illness, have never been possible before.  I am loving every minute of this summer, and I fully admit to neglecting the housework, the gardens, and what I not-so-lovingly refer to as The Grocery Situation (in which there are, so often, none to be found in the house), in order to run, bike, swim, and play with my kids.

It's true that I am still weighing every day with the one previous and the one coming next, to make sure I don't Overdo It.  It's true that the baby I was pining for nine years ago, my almost-9-yo Bean, has to carry the heavy gear.  And no, I don't really run with them, but I walk along as they run.  It's true that I have sometimes ended up a little more sore than I would've been if we had not gone on a given excursion on a given day.  But I'm so grateful to have the strength and stamina to enjoy this summer, in this way, with my kids.  It's been a long time coming.

I hope you're having a wonderful summer, too.


Gerry said...

The greatest gift of all is to know that you are happy when you are happy. Today your post made me happy.

Anonymous said...

And here's to many more of these good feeling, lots of doing days.

ljchicago said...

I love that you are loving summer.

I have a similar rule for quiet time but instead of vomiting or bleeding it's "don't come out of your room unless you've broken your leg or the house is on fire."

Ms. WK said...

Love to hear the positive energy coming from you! Hope to see you soon!!!

CitricSugar said...

Sounds wonderful, Molly! So glad you're getting this time with them...

Just think - a few more summers and they'll be able to get the groceries, too! :-)