We had corn on the cob at supper the other night and as I scraped some off for Fresco to try (he did not try it) I remembered last summer, when I couldn’t scrape the corn off my cob fast enough to suit him. Last year, he could eat almost a whole cob of corn before I could butter the next one.
I was prepared to mourn the difference between this year and last. This year, he is a food refusal machine. (“Food refusal mach-iii-iiiine!”) You say up, he says down. You say tomato he makes a gagging noise. But then I decided not to mourn it, just to remember it. Last year he loved corn. This year he doesn’t. Who knows what next year will bring. Maybe by next year, everyone will love corn and I will actually buy 6 for a dollar instead of 2 for a fraction of a dollar.
This summer has had a theme. The theme is: active. We have kept busy. We have kept busy enough that I agree emphatically when the old ladies say “You must be keeping busy.” Usually I just nod half-heartedly. I don’t think they believe me, that I am keeping busy. Sometimes they are right, I am lying. I am not keeping busy at all. I am just turning on the television, putting crackers in a bowl and calling it lunch. But lately, I have kept us busy.
One reason for this is that 5 year olds have a lot of energy. They wake with it, maintain it, sustain it, refuse to part with it, and only if you run them ragged all day do they finally lie down and close their eyes. Our townhouse is not strong enough to stand the force of all that energy. In this way, Trombone is right. He is very powerful.
The second reason is that little brothers want to do everything their older brothers do, so whether or not Fresco has the same amount of energy as Trombone, he will fight you to do the death if you imply otherwise.
The third reason, then, is that when two small children convinced of their energy and power encounter a smallish townhouse, their mother says oh hell no, you will not punch holes in the drywall and makes them get out.
Our house, cluttered as it is with our accoutrements, er, junk, does not contain what it most needs; space. We live in a city with more parks per square foot than any other city anywhere (no cite. Just my theory) and we use those parks. Queens Park, Moody Park, Grimston Park, Hume Park, Ryall Park, The Upper School Park, The Lower School Park, The Close Park, The Sandbox Park IS IT THE WEEKEND YET? NO? OK, LET’S GO TO THE BURNABY PARKS TOO. Confederation Park, Central Park, Robert Burnaby Park.
I keep thinking the kids need more rest. Because I need more rest. But they’re just frolicking in the world I’ve made for them. The ‘let’s go to a park and eat snacks here are your other shoes and here is your water ok now it’s lunchtime oh did you spill something here is a wipe for that’ world. I am the one who makes that world so it makes sense that I am more tired than them. It takes a lot of energy to anticipate the next fifteen moves of two children who are of different ages and abilities. It takes a lot of energy to make a world. Look at God. On the 7th day, He rested.
Oh we are verging into Facebook status territory now. Rein it in, rein it in.
I mean I could always not anticipate those fifteen moves and just go out with a wallet but then I’d end up buying a lot of ice cream and pants.
And you know it’s hard to find both ice cream and pants in the same place so I’d be doing a lot more walking. Which can make you even more tired, especially if there is a three year old on your back shouting “I’m riding a piggy’s back! I’m riding a piggy’s back!” Not that the noise is tiring, well, actually it is. Noise is very tiring.
Let’s talk about noise.
Shhhhhhhhh. Noise is tiring.
Often, these summer days, it has been a good tired. Everyone has sore muscles and scrapes on their knees and farmer tans on their arms and freckles on their noses. We have had many playdates with many different people, and none of those people has been someone I will have to avoid for the next year! In fact, all of those people, and their kids, are entirely awesome. People: I like them. Who knew.
At the end of the day we all have hat-head and smell faintly of sweat and salt and sunscreen. We all sigh when we take off our shoes and feel the cold kitchen floor under our swollen, red feet. We gulp water.
Even if there hasn’t been time to think. Even if there are still five or ten idea-marbles rattling around in my head and I may never grab one, hold it tight in my fist and squeeze the beauty out of it. Sometimes it’s about being completely saturated with sun and grass and the prickle of heat on your neck and then, the ache of it leaving.