Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Heating Up

Someone flipped a switch and turned on the heat.  And this backyard lifeguard could not resist a cool cerveza after work today.  T minus 3 days and counting... until we begin our extended at-home days.    

Although there are still three days until our holidays begin, there was no way that we could wait another minute to blow up the kiddie pool and fill it with cool relief from this weeks heat wave.

Today  the school kids lugged home book bags and worn out running shoes for the last time this year.  Class parties were had, well wishes were made...and all that's left is a couple of administration days to wrap up the school year before the formality of picking up report cards at the end of the week. 

It was the last day of school for everyone, except Callie.  Today was her first day...sorta. Callie and I spent the morning with her upcoming kindergarten teacher.  An informal meeting to help ease the transition because  underneath that confident girl who graduated from preschool there remains the girl who needs time to warm up to new ideas.  The girl who likes to watch first and try later. The girl who wants to be in your presence many times before she attempts eye contact or a conversation.

I was careful to follow her lead today.  To not push her away even when her best of friends asked her to play and she clung to my side. I didn't push her out from behind my leg when her new teacher said hello and asked her a bunch of questions.  I didn't insist on good manners by demanding her to answer.  Because I know she is a kind person.  I know that she has hellos and pleases and thank yous inside her.  She has stories to tell.  She is silly and funny and she will make you laugh.

All her greatness is reserved  for those who have the time to invest in her.  And when she is comfortable and the protective layers of shyness begin to fade away...she's going to rock this kindergarten thing!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer... We're On Our Way

Last night as I was laying in bed with Callie saying my good nights, I closed my eyes.  I thought about how good it would feel to just go to sleep right then and dismiss the do to list that was circling in my brain.  So I let myself go and drift off into sleep world, even though it was only 8:30.  Now this morning I am up bright and early, before the girls, wishing I had a cup of coffee but I don't want to make any noise grinding the beans.  

There are a lot of things happening these days.  Wrapping up in June is just as much work as starting up in September... it just has a different feel.  Yesterday Callie graduated from preschool.  She received her paper grad hat and the teachers wished her well as she makes her way to kindergarten. And it was all okay.  No emotional goodbyes or deep thinking for mom.  Just a happy, confident girl.

Despite my lack of having a green thumb, my helpers and I finally got some life and color planted in the backyard.  There used to be this commercial on TV that described our seasons in the north.  I always think of it this time of year.  It had images of our four seasons - winter, winter, winter, SUMMER!  And in the shot of summer it has nearly a years worth of living packed into two months.

Big sister had her final soccer game last night. She ran hard and kicked away but I think she liked the half time orange break and holding hands and giggling with her friends the best.

Little sister is going to miss the orange break too.

 Now it's time to get moving.  The girls just woke up and we got a years worth of living to get done.  Six more days on the official countdown.  Lookout summer... were on our way!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Letter

A letter to my girls for the future.

Dear Callie and Lexi,

When you are grown and living your lives you may not remember the kind of dad you had when you were five and two years old.  I want to tell you about your dad.  Your dad takes his girls fishing, he plays soccer and hockey with you. He laced up his skates for every skating lesson, holding your hand, standing right by your side until you let go and went on your own.  Your dad always knew he would have girls and has never, not even once, mentioned anything about wishing for a son.  He has no activity reserved for a boy.  He believes his girls can do anything boys can do, or anything girls can do for that matter.  He loves you both for the exact little people you are and the exact big people you will become.  

Your dad plays games with his girls.  He teaches you card games and helps you count the squares on Chutes and Ladders.  He builds puzzles and reads bedtime stories.  He knows that the time may come when hanging out with your old man won't be top on your list so he does not sit by, he does not take the time he has with you for granted.

Your dad takes good care of you.  He wakes you in the morning, makes your breakfast and helps to pick out clothes.  He makes pancakes on your birthday in the shape of your age.  Your dad never lets us leave for the day without a kiss.  And he tries his best to be home on time after work because he knows his girls are waiting to tell him their stories.

Your dad takes you swimming, to the zoo, and to the park.  He lifts you up when your too short and he pushes you on the swings.  Higher and faster, whatever you request.  He buys you ice cream.  He wipes your tears when you cry and holds your hand when you're scared.  

Your dad says, "no".  He says, "no feet on the table, no more treats, no more band-aids for pretend injuries". He insists on good manners and kind words and is happiest when you, "listen the first time".  He says you are smart and beautiful, funny and cute, creative and talented.

Your dad loves your mom.  He shows you everyday how you will be accepted unconditionally,  respected and encouraged, trusted and forgiven... all by loving your mom.  

Every young girl wants to marry her first love.  Her Dad.  Is it any wonder?  Happy Father's Day.

My Birthday

The house is filled with the fragrance from my birthday bouquet, cut from the tree in my mom's yard.  I have planted three lilac trees in my own yard over the years but none have surmounted to anything that resembles these blossoms.

And now, in my thirty-seventh year, I have accepted that I do not have a green thumb.  After many years of experimenting with trees and shrubs, annuals and perennials, I am content with marigolds.  We could learn a lot from marigolds...maybe they're not the most beautiful of flowers and definitely do not the most appealing fragrance...but they are the most forgiving.
My birthday had the perfect theme...family.  With some help from grandma and dad, Callie and Lexi pulled off a gormet dinner party.  When I arrived home from work they jumped out and yelled surprise!  And in true party fashion, no detail was missed.

My wine glass was topped with a drink umbrella, the girls excitedly told me who picked which balloon,  a Happy Birthday banner was scotched taped to the wall, the BBQ was producing a delicious meal, and the lilacs filled the house with their aroma.

It was a great day.  Thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes.   It feels good to be loved by so many.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Countdown Begins

This years soccer season has been duking it out with Mother Nature.  The rain has won out several times in this very short eight week season.  Last night's make-up game may have been dry but Mother Nature still got in a final upper-cut as the sand flies swarmed our heads and we did crazy arm-flapping dances on the sidelines to avoid her worst move... the old sand fly up the nostril trick.  

As the kids ran up and down the field trying to outrun the bugs, Lexi climbed up and down the bleachers seemingly unbothered by their annoying biting habits.

We are starting the official countdown to summer vacation.  Just 15 more days until lazy jammie mornings and daily coffees on the deck.  In two weeks there will be more time for books and friends, beaches and pools, art and games...

Callie has been working on her poker face.  She can play a mean game of Go Fish... always trying to trip you up with her cunning strategy.

The official countdown to summer begins.  Starting with tomorrow. My birthday.  Good Night.