Here’s to hoping this summer is one to remember.
My daughter Ellie turned one about a month ago. My son Jack’s third birthday is in about a month. How did we get here? When other people say this, it makes me want to roll my eyes, but when I think about my own kids, I truly have no idea how time can pass so quickly.
Things I think will take forever actually don’t. Things I think that I will always remember, I can hardly recall. Yesterday I asked Ben if he remembered the day we brought Ellie home from the hospital because I have no memory of it.
On the one hand, the beginning of last summer could be time that I would be okay forgetting. I worry that Jack will remember that as a sad time. Ben and I would leave him with a grandparent at the house each morning to go to the hospital to sit and hold vigil at Ellie’s bedside until the doctors rounded and the plan for the day was put into place.
Late afternoon after Jack’s nap, we would head back home to try pull it together long enough to do something fun as a family, have dinner and do the bedtime routine for Jack before going back to the hospital to meet the night nurse and doctors. Then leave the hospital at 10 pm, the tail end of visiting hours. Rinse and repeat. It was tough for us physically, mentally, emotionally, all of the -llys, and we wanted to shield Jack from all of it.
On the other hand, what an incredible summer we experienced. This baby who was never promised to us and was surrounded by an environment that is the embodiment of fragility, showed us just how strong she was while she demanded that her parents keep up. Our family grew. Ellie grew in size and strength. Jack grew in maturity, size, vocabulary, and physicality. Ben and I grew together in medical terminology and knowledge and also with a greater understanding of what really matters to the two of us.
This summer I have a big boy who is so much smarter than I ever knew was possible and a big girl who is starting to see things click together in her world. Both of them are curious, adventurous, clumsy and determined. This is a summer that I hope we all want to remember.
Jack and I bought a pool on Saturday. We put water in it yesterday and held our first summer pool party, complete with a slip-n-slide. Ben and Ellie joined us and we played in the water until our fingers and toes were wrinkled like prunes. “This is so much fun,” he said over and over throughout the course of the afternoon. Ellie splashed and babbled while wearing Jack’s old floppy sunhat.
I know it will all fly by so fast. Just like last summer, this one will be over soon too. I hope we will remember it for the “slimys” that Jack likes to get at Sonic—you would probably call them slushies, the hours and hours that we spend on the front porch drawing with chalk and blowing bubbles, the baby birds that have hatched in the nest outside of Jack’s bedroom window, Ellie’s new-found physical self-confidence, and this feeling of settling in as a family that we have been dreaming about for so long.