The Slow Life

Last night, I snuggled in Will's bed with him by his little window as the last sunlight faded, and together we watched the season's first fireflies dance in the leaves overhead. It gave me goosebumps that they came out for the first time promptly on the first of June. There was something extra magical and soothing about that for me. 

There is something extra magical and soothing about this entire summer that we are starting. I was surprised when, chatting in pick-up line a few weeks ago at Will's preschool, a mom said something about dreading the summer that stretched ahead. I realized I had the opposite feeling. I have been so excited for my first summer since 2012 of not breastfeeding or growing a little baby; a summer that may be our last slow and quiet one... next summer Will will be about to start kindergarten, and I am sure both he and Henry will have outgrown their ability to sit agreeably in the double BOB for me to run. Plus I hope next summer we will be preparing to add to our little family ;). So this summer feels precious and too short already to me.

I wanted to go into this summer with very little on our calendars, so we could soak up a season of playing hooky as a threesome. I have been envisioning everyone waking up from naps and just winging a last minute run, or a playdate, or a bike ride. Jason is working hard at his new job, and I felt very keenly that I needed to be present and relaxed to keep the ship balanced for our family.

When I quit my little editor job in March, there was an immediate sensation of sheer relief. I am grateful for the opportunity of that job, and I think I learned a lot about myself. But I always felt that it would just be a season, and I went into it hoping I would have the ability to move on gracefully when I needed to. I think that happened. 

I did have a pretty hefty awakening to the amount of TV the kids had come to expect to watch daily. That was guilt inducing. And Jason complimented me so much on the cleanliness of the house I wondered how bad it must have been before when I was in a fog of deadlines. Guess I am not one of those women I have long admired who are good at juggling. 

It is hard not having the ability or pocket change to justify trendy clothing purchases. I keep lusting over rompers and studded gladiator sandals. But honestly I am grateful to be right where I am. 

Henry is getting so big and consequently is going through a phase of being a bit cuddlier. I believe they can sense their own growth spurts sometimes. He has a way of wrapping his chubby right arm around my neck, and nestling his big ole curly haired head under my chin that just melts me. He is daily adding words to his vocabulary. He is still a total imp in Church, though last Sunday we had the weirdest most well-behaved Mass since he was an infant. It made me nervous. 

We call him Blue Steel for his habit of staring steamily at every female he claps eyes on, until she falls under his spell. Which is inevitable. Blue Steel will getcha.

Will started reading short words. Jason and I are by turns busting with pride and worried we'll mess it up. We have honestly no idea what we did right, but it was a happy accident and we'll take it. :) We started private swim lessons today; bi-weekly, at a quiet country club pool, with one of Will's best buddies. The lessons will be the one steady punctuation in our slow, spontaneous summer. 

We lost our live-in uncle a few months ago. He got his own place, and then in May he got hitched to his lovely bride, Maddy. 

He is obscenely happy. ;) And nobody told me how emotional it was for a sibling to get married!!!! I think it is so much more shocking too when it is your brother - because I assume at least with a sister you slowly get used to seeing the engagement ring on her finger. My little sisters and I kept grabbing each other and going "OMG Moses has a wedding band on!!!" He looked so little and so old at the same time to us. 

Then we had a week at Lake Keowee with my Dad's brothers and their families, who are all the most fun and loud people to hang out with. My Aunt Alison kept laughing at how Henry always had something to eat in his hand paw - at one point she even rescued him from finding a little snack in the recesses of the kitchen garbage can. When I came home and we saw all Mo's wedding pics, this made me LOL:

My little Pooh-bear. 

We ended the week with family on our 5 year wedding anniversary, and Jason and I made an impulsive decision to book a room at the Hyatt in downtown Greenville, while my parents graciously took the boys for the night. It was wonderfully refreshing - the best part was getting to wake up slow, together. I am not a napper, so when I get really badly sleep-deprived, Jason will get up with the little guys and let me sleep. It was so nice for once to be able to sleep in with him. 

This is the smile he only gives me. ;) I am the luckiest. 

I felt so inept as a wife when I realized we hadn't taken a single night away together since Henry was born. That's almost 2 years! I could have made it happen; but the last two years have been such a blur. We did it often when Will was little, because it was so incredibly helpful for our marriage. Date nights can be hard cause you can't always turn off the faucet of constant thinking and talking about the kids and work and focus simply on each other. You need time to unwind, which even one night away can provide. 

I am hereby committed to saving money more intentionally for just such occasions this next year. Priorities.

We took stock of the last five years together; we reminded each other of some of our favorite, most stand-out memories. We talked about how far we had come. And we made a list of what we hope to achieve together in the next 5 years of our marriage. Hard to believe that when my brother and Maddy will be celebrating their 5th, Jason and I will be celebrating our TENTH. 10 sounds so old, and so long - but 5 went by like a flash of light. I have a feeling the next 5 will too. 

So here's to putting on the brakes, if only for a few months. To long afternoons playing in the sprinkler; to walking and talking in our shady neighborhood; to air-conditioned mornings in the library. To late playdates toasted with wine glasses (the best kinds of playdates). To the slow life.

Yeah, yeah - it is easier intended than done. But I have been finding unexpected help. Even as I am writing this - I was supposed to go out and put a second coat of paint on our new shed during nap time; but a thunderstorm rolled in, so instead I got this time to just sit here and dwell on our lovely memories from the last few months - and focus on what is most important for the next few. 

Cause I will never get this season back.