doing the days

Visiting Ohio Village and the mall kiosk for an iphone screen repair, 
reading books and riding carts and frying fish and finding the ice cream truck with friends,
science experiments and craft projects and card games and cat naps...


picking battles, and zucchini

It used to be that Tolliver wasn't much interested in tasting new food, particularly vegetables. We didn't force it - he ate mostly nutritious meals, and we all know that if Tolliver is locked in a battle, his tactic is always, always to wait. On the rare occasion that one of us had the stamina to insist that he try a bite of something, the spectacle of his displeasure was so varied and colorful it was almost entertaining - like a peacock of disdain. 

Now Tollie is interested in where our food comes from, eager to help prepare it, curious about how to cook it. It doesn't hurt that he's allowed to wield a giant knife in the process. 


allll in

When our friend Juliet wondered whether Hank would be up for a rainbow eye shadow photo shoot with a new friend and sprinkle donuts, she did not have to ask twice!


eyes wide open

Are LMNOP the only fast ones, Mom? 
In terms of singing the alphabet, yes, those letters are the only fast ones, but what about the days?
Summer feels suddenly almost over, like we need to scramble to cram in all the things. This happens every year, but it may be heightened after a pandemic.
The idea of sending the boys back to school - all three of them gone from the house  - gives me pause. 
I will certainly appreciate a few quiet, tidy hours, but I get a little sad thinking about shooing them out the door every day, about losing the texture of their presence in our home.

My thoughts feel mostly suspended - between heartache and possibility, between regret and relief, moving forward and backward at the same time. Meanwhile, the boys are delighting in a fleet of naval vessels built from blocks, awarding one another trophies for invented games and creating self portraits with found objects... I envy these habits of theirs that shape the dull hours, the way they sift pleasure from worry, joy from disappointment, in spite of everything.

At the pool, as Hank flips underwater, I give his body a slight nudge.
Practicing enough means you don't need help anymore, Mom! he exclaims as he comes up for air, eyes wide behind bright goggle lenses.

Practice makes better, for sure. I will find a back-to-school routine baggy enough to live in, and we will fill our remaining summer days with lots of good things.