YOU GUYS, I feel like summer is simultaneously ALMOST OVER and JUST BEGINNING. This combination has led to a lot of "Woah, Mom is so much FUN all of the sudden" type of activities for the kidlets (No really, even Ryan made a comment about how much happier I have been lately). Like, everyone is grouchy and would probably not put up a fight if I put them to bed right now but "SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER LET'S PACK UP AND GO TO THE POOL RIGHT NOW!" At 6 pm. MADNESS. We swam for two hours, even James and Mary who both skipped their afternoon naps.
There comes a moment after the birth of every one of the kids where I sort of wake up and look around and think "Huh. We're a FUN family again! We can have fun! We can leave the house spontaneously!"
I think this is happening now. It takes a while with number four.
It also helps that two of the children can A) Dress themselves in their swimsuits, B) Carry things in a manner that is actually helpful, and C) Be in a pool area without drowning, so impossibly, a baby and a preschooler plus two big kids (now) is easier than just a baby and a preschooler (sometime in 2010). That's the new math for you.
And then last night my friend and I were standing in the living room laughing hysterically about something with kids milling all around dirty and in various states of undress (and some were still in the wading pool, probably) when Ryan came walking in the front door and I felt like I had been caught doing something wrong.
"OH HI! You're home early! What a nice surprise!" I managed when I remembered that FUN is ALLOWED.
He looked at me curiously and said "It's six-fifteen."
You guys, I have never before IN MY LIFE lost track of time when in direct supervision of the children. Usually I can tell you the exact number of seconds until Ryan is due home starting around three o'clock. If he's not home by six ten I start getting twitchy.
And then, this morning they all slept until EIGHT O'CLOCK. WE FINALLY FIGURED OUT SUMMER.
Which makes it all the sadder that summer ends August 11 for us. The kids' new school starts two weeks ahead of the district schools and then makes up for it with a week-long fall break and extended Thanksgiving Break, a policy I wholeheartedly supported back in February when I first heard about it but now am like "What, what? But, SUMMER."
Hence the late-night trips to the pool, watermelon binging, and neverending movies and neighborhood playtime.
Less than two weeks left of my summer research project* and then I have a MONTH off. And then I am sure August 11 will sound far away again. But for now, GAH SLOW DOWN.
*Summer research project is AWESOME by the way. Great students, cooperative data, a fun and valuable trip to the field site, lots of time to work on my other research projects too, I AM NOT PREGNANT THIS YEAR AND NEVER WILL BE AGAIN. So glad I am doing this program again and so glad the schedule is flexible enough that I can blow off an afternoon here and there and eat popsicles with my feet in the pool.