Summer is grand. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but I love summer so much more now with kids. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love the hot humid weather that we often get here in the Northeast, but I do love all the things that we get to do on the weekends and when school gets out. All of this is so much easier now that the girls are older. No more bulky strollers and a bag full of diapers, wipes and 7 kinds of snacks to haul around. No more public tantrums because so and so happened to brush against the other one’s elbow by accident or some other equally ridiculous and random thing (ok, sometimes that nuttiness still happens). When we were still stroller bound, I couldn’t really do outings outside our neighborhood that wasn’t within walking distance if I was parenting solo that day because I couldn’t haul 2 kids, a stroller and all that gear up and down subway stairs myself. I think the city is great with school age kids, but it can be logistically tougher with babies and toddlers. It’s not impossible, of course, to live in a walk up with a baby and it’s not impossible to go grocery shopping with a baby in tow either, but sometimes the little, every day things can be tough to deal with when you’re living in a big city and walking everywhere. As much as I love babies – and I really do love the baby phase – I don’t miss those days.
I sometimes think that we’re in this “golden” period of parenting. You know, those years when the kids are bigger, but still small, and before you are dealing with tween and teenage issues and flashing through all those scenes from the movie “Thirteen” (that film is now 10 years old, btw). The girls at ages 6 and 9 are still all about legos, reading books, role playing imaginary games and drawing pictures. It still all seems innocent, for now. We have yet to enter into pop culture-obsessed mania or peer pressure cliques but I’m sure all that stuff is right around the corner. Right now, however, we’re enjoying the kids as true companions as we explore all there is to do in the city and beyond. Family outings are actually fun, and for the most part, turn out the way I envision them – you know “fun!” rather than “arrrghh! Must run away as soon as I get home and hide in the bathroom by myself”. It’s even a pleasure to have the girls as companions at Flea Markets now, as evidenced by Mia’s most recent all day visit with Mark on Saturday. She was there early in the morning from set up to break down. During the long day, she read her book, she bought food at various booths by herself, played with the ipad, and she talked to people. Such a far cry from the early days when I couldn’t think of a worse hell than having to chase 2 children running in opposite directions from grabbing everything from another vendor’s booth.
Yes, we’re looking forward to a whole summer of fun and activities, trips to the beach, the pool, city festivals and our annual trip to the Northwest. Summer is grand.
PS. To the family from the Netherlands who came to visit us at the Flea Saturday with a gorgeous tin of stoopwafels…THANK YOU for such a thoughtful gift. So sorry that Mark was so swamped at that moment because he would have loved to give you a gift as well. How great is it that we get visits from blog readers all over the world??!
PPS. Photos are from Planting Fieds at Coe Hall. That painting is a small part of a mural that covers all 4 walls of Mrs. Coe’s bedroom. Intense.