Saturday, August 21, 2010

Conversation with a 5 year old

- 6:30 a.m. Priya climbs into bed with me.

Good morning Priya.
Good morning Papa. Can I watch saturday-morning cartoons?
*hands out for a hug*
I'll give you a hug and kiss first.
I love you Priya.
I love you too Papa.
I love you more.
I love you more than ten-hundred-thousand-million-infinity.
How much is infinity?
Infinity is on-and-off, on-and-off forever.
I love you Priya.
I love you too Papa.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The End of Summer

Tomorrow is the first day of school--and by that I mean public school, which Joe and Priya are attending for, well, for the time being, at least. It has been a difficult decision, but in the end, the sleepless nights won out, and I decided that it wouldn't be fair to anyone to homeschool them when I'm operating out of such a deficit.

But that's not really what I'm blogging about today. This is an "end of the summer" blog post, even though, in Florida, summer won't even think about ending for another several months. It's still so hot and humid here that you step out of the front door and wonder if you will have to grow gills just to breathe. We do have storms here, too, but they usually sweep in during the afternoon, dump a bucket of rain, and then depart quickly enough that our evenings are clear skied again. They don't really cool anything off, and, of course, the air was already at 100% humidity before it rained anyway.

My sun-bronzed babies, however, are saying goodbye to that--goodbye to weekly trips to the beach and daily trips to the pool. Goodbye to fifteen minutes of jumping on the trampoline followed by forty-five minutes of drying off in the house. I realized the other day that Florida is really all my kids know of the world. They can't fathom living somewhere that doesn't have an ocean within a 45-minute drive. They wear sunscreen like you might use a daily moisturizer, and the pool is just an extension of their back yard.

My favorite evenings this summer have been when we pack a picnic dinner and meet dad after work at the pool. We eat on the patio (no dishes!) and then swim until the sun goes down and the pool closes. The water is perfect, I don't even have to put on sunscreen, and I think maybe we should live in Florida forever. But I don't mean it.

This is goodbye to summer because it is our last true summer in Florida, and I want to remember what we have loved about it and how much of an adventure the past six years have been. John will finish his residency at the end of next June and we will be moving somewhere back west. Even if we do move near a beach, it will be a cold beach where children wade in up to their knees, not jump in up to their necks. It won't be sunny Ft. Lauderdale, the fifth burrow of New York, and it won't be west Jacksonville, the first city of the deep south. It might feel more familiar to me, because I grew up where you can use the mountains to figure out which way is north, but it's going to totally disorient my children, who always know that the beach is to the east. And I guess that's okay.

Elijah is growing quickly--much more quickly, it seems to me, than my other children did. He is morphing out of the indistinctness of infancy and into the wonder of personhood. He rolls both directions and is starting to army crawl a bit, too. He got his two bottom teeth a few weeks ago, and started eating solid foods with great enthusiasm. He is so patient with his siblings as they try to feed him, carry him, sit him up, and tug him around.

Auralee is really excited to have mom to herself for a few hours each day while Elijah sleeps. She is obsessed with doing things herself and is almost too smart for her own good. She knows how to work my iPad almost as well as I do, making me think maybe I should download a few more educational games.

Priya is very excited to start kindergarten. She had a birthday last week, and we are happy to report that five years old is a great deal better than four. She is becoming such a pleasant little person to be around. She loves everybody--especially Elijah--and is getting better at cleaning up after herself and obeying her parents.

Joseph was not initially excited at the idea of public school, but when he found out that he could make friends with the kids in his new class, his attitude changed. He is such a social kid, and his enthusiasm for hanging out with friends is matched only by his obsession with fishing, Saturday morning cartoons, and Pokemon, in no particular order.

Our other news is that John's brother, Sam, is engaged. We are excited to have a new aunt, Sarah, in the family next summer. They came to visit us, and everybody had a great time getting to know one another again. Congratulations, Sam and Sarah. Can't wait to play at your wedding.

And that's about the end of it all, but the beginning of a whole new adventure. Here's to a new and exciting year.