A couple of Julia’s friends were here for a sleepover last weekend and I’m not sure anyone enjoyed it as much as my little guy.
At one point, he was on my lap, surrounded by little girls smiling and cooing at him, their voices soft and lilting, and he had never seemed more pleased.
The girls were celebrating the end of the softball season that never really ends because now Julia is playing for a 10 and Under team. And then in an 8 and Under tournament. And possibly a fall league. All the while Lucy is still playing t-ball. And BALL. BALL BALL BALL. BALL! All the time. Forever and ever. BALL.
I’m contemplating Julia’s birthday cake. I’m planning to use homemade fondant, meaning I will be making it myself. I gave the recipe a test run on Father’s Day. It’s sort of messy to make, but it seems I can make fondant, you guys. Fondant cakes for everyone!
We also tried some shaving cream painting, recently, which is pretty cool.
- resulted in this:
And this -
- made a big freakin’ mess, which is kid code for FUN and mom code for LET’S DO THIS OUTSIDE NEXT TIME.
Also THANK GOODNESS PHOEBE WAS NAPPING.
Julia found my stash of picture frames yesterday and asked if she could use one. This morning, I found this hanging in the stairway.
(Below “Our family” she had written “sticks together,” but the frame cuts it off.)
And as I type this to you, this is happening next to me.
Love is all around me.
Stepping stones are bullshit. I’ve been trying to makes those things for three summers now and they never turn out. I don’t know if it’s me or the materials, but clearly, I’m not meant to have beautiful, painted impressions of my children’s sweet baby hands decorating my flower bed!
Making Fairy Jars, however, is a lovely way to end a day of epic stepping stone-making failure.
The girls each made two and we hung them all over our yard and let the birds discover them.
The next day, I made our Fact of the Day about birds.
And after breakfast, we went outside and sat as quietly as our bunch can and waited to see if we could catch any birds eating from our feeders. When it started to get a little boring, we hopped in the car and went to a place where we knew we’d see a bird.
That’s a baby bald eagle. (Check #2 off our list!) My friend April tipped us off to a nearby nest and it’s pretty incredible. And popular. There were three people there when we showed up. One was a kind woman who stayed a while and helped the girls to spot the nest. Six or seven more people showed up before we left. One woman, who told me she’d been visiting there since the birds had started building the nest, let the girls show her where it was and tell her all about it. Then she told us about her son who had just graduated.
“I remember when he was that small,” she said, nodding toward my crew. “You know, when they want you all the time.” Her eyes got misty. “That goes away, you know.”
She looked at me and smiled. “You are so very blessed.”
“I really feel that I am,” I said. I wanted to hug her. Lucy did instead.
We didn’t see either of the adult eagles while we were there, but we’ll go back again.
After a few days with our bird feeders up at home, we’ve found a pair of cardinals are our best customers.
Here’s the male.
And the female.
(She’s in the tree and her colors aren’t as bold as her partner’s, but you can see her there.)
I’ve been trying to snap a picture of them actually eating from our feeders, but they just won’t stick around when we shout, “THERE THEY ARE!!!!”
I keep telling myself that, one day, I’m going to get up before the kids, sit out on the porch in the early morning sun, in the quiet, and get the shot. But, I don’t know. Right now I’m pretty committed to sleeping in.
*That’s a lyric from the song “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen, also remade (even cooler) by the Ramones.
I was 17 years old. Ilka and I had gone for a walk and got caught in the rain. We were too far from home to even think about making it back dry, so we shrugged and said, “Let’s get wet!” We jumped and splashed in puddles. We opened our mouths to the sky and tasted the rain on our tongues. We danced. We played in the rain like children. And at 17, I guess we still were, though I would have argued with you about that at the time. The photograph my mom took of us when we got home, soaked and smiling, is one of my favorites.
I thought about this when the girls and I were eating french toast this morning and Lucy said, “We can’t go outside. It’s raining.”
So I said, “Why not?”
Maybe one day, when my girls think about their childhood, the summer, their sisters – one of these photographs will be their favorite.