In spite of another diaper incident this morning, I'm going to have to vote today one of my favorites this summer. It wasn't that Gracie and Luke woke up at 6:45 (as opposed to 6:00 am or 5:15 am), or that we had fun eating more mini bagels than any one should eat, ever. It wasn't even that they napped for a full hour in the car on the way to Aunt Bec's house.
What made it one of my favorite days so far this summer was the number of smiles, the number of belly laughs, and the number of times I saw my babies do big kid things. If they could tell you, I'd bet they'd vote today one of their favorites too.
Gracie and Luke spent the better part of the morning, running from Mommy and Daddy's bedroom down the hall, through the office and into the living room. Then, they would turn around and race right back, all the while carrying blueberry mini bagels in their hands. After a while, this got boring, so they decided to walk in circles around me. They laughed, giggled, smiled, stopped to kiss me, and kept walking around me for quite some time. I can't believe it kept their attention so long.
Eventually, we packed ourselves up into my car and Gracie, Luke, and I went to Aunt Bec's house. I've decided that both Aunt Bec and Auntie Ten-Ten are saints in disguise. They are incredibly patient with Gracie and Luke, even when they are dropping water all over the floor, throwing rocks in the pool, or releasing the crickets from their secret hiding places. It is as I watch Aunt Bec and Auntie Ten-Ten that I am reminded to slow myself down. Sometimes, I get to focused on my goal (getting out of the house or getting dinner made), that I forget Gracie and Luke are only 22 months old. They don't understand my goals, only that I am at times impatient and not focused on them. While the latter is not the end of the world, my impatience makes us all cranky. So, it is something I am working furiously on.
The other day I bought Gracie and Luke floaty swimsuits. Today was their test drive and they were a huge hit. Gracie's new middle name is "The Fish." You should have seen her! She got into the pool with Aunt Bec and was swimming off by herself, kicking her feet and smiling the entire time. No swim lessons, just an innate love of the water and a need for independence. I could not believe it. She was so proud of herself and she would swim aways and then back when she started to doubt herself. It was truly astounding! I'm so glad I bought that suit for her. It gave her a whole new way to explore her world.
Lukie also had a new floaty suit, but he just isn't sure about the water. It might be the "Nu-Nu" (a.k.a. the underwater vaccuumy thing that travels around the pool and three times tried to eat my toes today) or it just might be that he doesn't like how easy it is for him to lose control of his place in the water. I managed to get him to jump in a few times and the float around with me, but he spent most of the day hanging out by the side of the pool. He picked up the balls around the pool and threw them in. When he ran out of balls, he climbed in Aunt Bec's planters and chucked rocks at the pool. There was no amount of convincing him that rocks do not belong in the pool. Luckily, Bianca showed up and was able to swim to the bottom of the deep end to rescue the rocks.
We spent the late afternoon hours eating french fries and chicken, dipping fingers in Ranch dressing (they don't understand that the dressing is for the chicken, not their fingers), and running like crazy people in and out of Aunt Bec's house, hitting balls into the street in the front yard so that Aunt Bec would have to walk us into the street to retrieve them, and racing from the bedrooms to fall crazily onto the carpet in the living room.
It was such a laid back day, but filled with love and kid things. The kind of kid things that build memories you don't forget. I want to make sure that Gracie and Luke have a lot of those experiences. I want them to remember these fun, amazing days with their cousins when they got to just be kids. I want them to sit around on Christmas one day and talk about the day they chased one another through the house and used the carpet in the living room as a landing pad.
I have memories like that, but most of them are of riding my bike off of curbs and no hands on the handle bars. Luckily, those days are coming soon.
But hopefully, not too fast.