The way summer weekends should be

Don’t mind the dirty feet. We were having fun!

This weekend was the fourth summer get-together we’ve had with the families of the two babies who came over on the plane with Devin. Although they’re certainly not babies anymore. Four! They’re four. How did that go so fast?

There was much fun splashing, tubing and chowing down on grilled pizza. (Unless you were Devin and all you decided to eat was chips and candy.) Closed out by a gorgeous sunset that the kiddos were oblivious to as they chased each other ’round and ’round the living room.

We were also invited to an impromptu birthday party by the family across the street. The 8-year-old star of the birthday festivities took a liking to Dev and made him feel comfortable amongst all of the older kids. They found “buried treasure,” played balloon volleyball and chased each other around. After the party, there were also monster-truck races on the sidewalk. It was Devin Heaven!

Things will definitely be looking up

Bah. This week wasn’t at all what I wanted it to be. I wanted to relax and take some time for myself. Instead I had endless appointments and lines to wait in. I know. Complaining doesn’t help. It’s just that I feel like a little black cloud has been following me around and I can’t seem to dislodge it.

I did enjoy, however, the time spent with my son today at the beach. We stood strong and helpless with laughter in the face of endless waves, we buried him up to his little belly in sand, and we watched kites sketching about in a vivid blue sky filled with puffy clouds. So instead of all the rest of the junk, I’m going to focus on that as I snuggle into bed tonight.

The picture of persistence

He’s cute. He’s sweet. He’s funny. He’s also been a handful lately. I have never met a more persistent and determined person.

I really wish I’d had more of his attitude when I was a kid. I was always intimidated by the idea of trying something new or arguing my case about something I wanted. I really wanted to try out for the volleyball team when I was in high school, but I figured they’d say no because I wasn’t tall enough.

When I was 17 I scored an interview for a great opportunity at a local bank. It would have been a much better job than most of the part-time gigs kids my age were working. But everyone would have had to wait for me to total up the numbers and balance everything out at the end of the day, and that kind of pressure scared me. So I worked at a movie theater instead.

This kid? I really doubt he’ll settle for anything less than what he wants or what he feels he should have. Although that trait can be a bit trying coming from a 4-year-old who thinks he doesn’t have to go to bed at night or eat dinner without throwing his food or sit quietly while someone is on the phone, I think it’s going to serve him well as he tackles life head-on.

The boy and the ballpark

Whitecaps vs. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Obstacle course. Playing catch with Dad. Hotdogs. Peanuts. Four spoonfuls of dipping dots. Three wails about how he just had to have cotton candy. Two bites of cotton candy the people sitting next to us offered when their little guy didn’t like it. Five minutes in the bounce house. Ten minutes of screaming when it was time to leave. One tired kid.

We don’t need no stinkin’ donuts!

During our trip to the grocery store:

Dev: Mom? Can we get donuts?
Me: No, I’d rather not buy a box of donuts. We don’t need a lot of unhealthy stuff at home.
(Upset reaction. Pouting. Lower lip sticking out.)
A few minutes later…
Me: You know, it’s not like I’m trying to torture you by saying no to the sweets. I love sugar too. In fact, if I could eat an entire bag of marshmallows right now I would.
Dev: If I could help you eat an entire bag of marshmallows right now, I would!

Have I mentioned how much I love him?

A rarity

Summer nights, as anyone who’s kept up with my posts might know, offer the moments I look forward to. Sitting outside in the fresh air, perched on a fairly comfortable deck chair, watching the sun slowly moving to the other side of the world. (Yes, I know we’re the ones moving, but still.) Often with a refreshing drink and some nice conversation with my husband. Other times solo with a good read.

The only problem with this scenario lately is that my charmingly adorable child doesn’t like to go to bed. He thinks sleep is for wussies. Often, by the time he’s all tuckered out, the sun is no longer in view. Boo. Last night, though, my husband volunteered for kid watch and encouraged me to pour a glass of wine and sit on the deck for some quiet time.

One day I hope to enjoy these moments with Dev too. When he can savor some relaxing moments. We can sit and chat and take in the summer noises: the cicadas whirring away, the neighbor’s sprinkler, the sound of kids who get to stay up a bit later chasing each other giddily through their backyards. Until then, I’ll just wish for him to fall asleep at the appointed 8:00 hour. Wishes can come true at least once a week, yes?

Can you tell he likes cars?

It’s about all he talks about most days. As he sat there pushing them back and forth, sending them flying through the air, and careening them into each other, he was giving me a play by play. Constant chatter. And I must listen intently to every word of it or he gets frustrated. So I sat for more than half an hour listening to the exploits of his racing cars and their dare-devil adventures. It’s not a bad way to spend part of a Saturday afternoon.