Despite the fussing baby boy in the library yesterday whom I badly wanted to scoop up and snuggle (You go ahead and get some work done, Id say to his father who was on his laptop, Ill be in the fiction stacks with Mr. Gummy Smiles; or maybe Ill just make a sign: Will relactate for crying babies). Despite that precious baby, whose very smell ripened an ovarian follicle or two of mine, I like the ages my kids are.
Dan set up a fort for the kids in the backyard, the kind you could stand up in only if you were born say, after 2007. And its like someone plopped down Disneyland the tarp and PVC version in our yard because the kids head out there at 7 a.m. like commuters with their briefcases full of Legos and books.
Sometimes, all they need for hours is a plate of snacks strategically pushed under the fort, while I putter around the garden feeling insanely lucky and happy to hear their chatter (Col: Look at the triple-decker bus I made! Rose: Well, I found the Legos for the triple-decker bus, so I sort of made it too, Coley.); and insanely lucky and happy to be together, but not yknow, so together that I cant pull a few weeds with the hand thats not holding my beer.
Inevitably, the kids pack up their Fort Independence briefcases and return to their lighthouse of comfort, which is me. And theyre just in time, because by then Ive had enough time with the tomatoes and the luxury of following my own thoughts and want nothing more than to pretzel their enormous bodies into my lap.
A couple weeks ago, Roses preschool held its annual spring sing, which consists of 40 or so spit-shined kids singing their tirelessly rehearsed songs to the beautiful backdrop of their own hand-painted scenery.
Its always a festival of sentimental tears (those sweet faces belting out Bob Marley lyrics) and laughs (the nose-picking kids, the Joe Cocker, sing-like-it-hurts, faces).
When all those gorgeous children sang Simon and Garfunkels 59th St Bridge Song (Feelin Groovy), so sincerely, so earnestly let the morning time drop all its petals on me/life I love you, all is groovy tears pricked the corners of my eyes and a voice in my head said: Cherish this, cherish this, cherish their childhood.
School is out and summers revving up, this brief and magical time thats like a placeholder in my childrens lives, marking days of river play, camping, marveling over ladybugs and a carefreeness that my children inhabit like clothing. If it had a brand name, this summertime, wed call it something like: the best of childhood. Something to cherish, indeed.
Reach Rachel Turiel at firstname.lastname@example.org.Visit her blog, 6512 and growing, on raising children, chickens and other messy, rewarding endeavors at 6,512 feet.