I feel like this is the first summer in a long time that I have thoroughly taken advantage of and actually enjoyed. I guess I should say that I am enjoying since it technically just started—our weather in the northeast has been so good I feel completely summerfied already. I was pregnant two of the last three summers, which was aiight, but summer is tough without the occasional (i.e., frequent) corona and lime or margarita or oyster on the half shell. And the summer in between, we were too obsessed with Alex’s nap times to really get out much (the best part about number two: you realize a 20-minute snooze in the car will not kill anyone). Of course there are things about this time of year that make me crazy—the battle to apply sunscreen, mosquito's and all other bugs that bite and don’t light up, the fact that the ice cream man does loops around my house right before dinnertime—but for the most part I am in love. Here’s why (with photos at the end!):
1. Eating outside. And spraying down the food-covered patio afterward. Sadly, not an option in my kitchen.
2. My kids go to bed before dark so Nick and I get some good quality alone time. Which is necessary since these days are freakin endless.
3. That said, the nights when we’re out somewhere as a family and the kids run (or in Nora’s case, squirm) themselves ragged and we change them into their pajamas and they both fall asleep in the car on the way home, well, life is good.
4. S’mores. Is there anything better in life than gooey marshmallows and melted chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers? I actually went through a phase in college where I would make these in my microwave as a snack. But they are so much better cooked on an open flame.
5. Less laundry. Lately Alex has been living in a bathing suit and crocs. I wear a beach cover-up even when I’m at my pool-less house (what can I say, I’m in the spirit!) and Nora, well, she’s often in just a diaper. Sorry, Mom, but it’s been hot!
6. Rinsing off with a garden hose after swimming in the pool all day (my parents and my sister both have one so we’re at their houses a lot) counts as a bath for them. And for me.
7. Playing outside after dinner. This was one of my favorite things about summer as a kid. After dinner my dad would take us outside and we’d play pepper—he’d hit baseballs at us super fast and we’d field them (he raised his three girls to be pretty hardcore). With my kids this bonus play time means we avoid TV watching and they fall into bed utterly exhausted. A win, win.
8. Reliving the summers of my youth by teaching them how to catch fireflies, play marco polo, collect shells on the beach, husk an ear of corn, steer a boat, camp out (I promised Alex and my nephew, Andrew, that they could camp out in our backyard this summer—stay tuned), do a canon ball, etc., etc., etc....
9. Yard work equals playtime. Nick and I spent about five hours on Saturday outside planting trees and flowers and mulching and potting. Alex was right there with us, digging up worms, watering the plants (and us), and making mud pies. Unfortunately, he does not get the same joy from helping me with the laundry.
10. I look so much prettier with a little suntan. OK, this has nothing to do with being a mom but this summer, in the name of Vitamin D, I’m letting myself pick up just a little color (a big no no, I know) and damn if I don’t feel happier/healthier/thinner/smarter/more relaxed, etc. Please don’t judge.
I could go on and on, but I want to hear what’s on your list. Do tell!
Alex in his constant state of water play....
Alex and his buddy grilling at a friend's BBQ the other night
Lunching with some pals in our backyard.
Boys being boys....
Nora getting in a little workout.
The summerfied Ruddy family at our friend's party. Yay, summer!!!