Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

A Few Perfect Days of Summer June 25, 2013

Now that we’re not working over the summer, we’ve settled into a really lovely family routine. On the way for a bike ride the other day, Seamus and Gilbert were so excited. One of them said, “Look it’s the four of us going out for a bike ride!” And the other one said, “I love it when it’s the four of us!” Family time is easily some of the best time we’ve been having, mostly because Patrick and I aren’t big balls of stress bouncing around our house.

On Friday, Grandude and Grandma took the boys to a puppet show at Glen Echo Theater. It was “Pirates in the Bathtub” and they loved it. I was a little confused when Seamus was telling me all about the story, and he stopped and asked if he was allowed to talk about the pirate with a pistol. We’ve had trouble with them using the word pistol as a verb. It all comes from Custard the Cowardly Dragon who fights the evil pirate. While they were off doing that, Patrick and I headed off on our bikes to see the great downtown. We cruised past the monuments, stopping at Korean War and Jefferson for a look around. Then we decided to head up to Franklin Square for a picnic from the food trucks parked there. As much as I miss Albuquerque, there’s something wonderful and unexpected about days like Friday here: low humidity, in the 70s and just generally beautiful.

Saturday was Farmer’s Market, water play in the backyard, and a quick trip to our friend’s pool club, where both boys hung out in the baby pool for an hour and a half, ate some quiche, and listened to live music. Despite the business, Saturday felt low-key. However, it was overscheduled, and instead of trying to change myself, I’ve decided to embrace my tendencies to over schedule us, and just enjoy that we will have lots of activities all the time. It’s not going to change; a habit 33 years in the making and keeps getting reinforced is not going to change.

Sunday! Oh, Sunday! We started the day with porridge. We’d been reading about The Three Bears and Goldilocks, and they wanted to try some porridge. Now, I’ve served them oatmeal before and they didn’t eat it, but call it porridge, and they beg for seconds. Then S, G & I played “put Mama down for a nap” for an hour before we had to be anywhere. They tucked me into S’s bed, sang a song, told me a story, and read me a book. When I told G I didn’t like the story about having to go to jail, he changed it to one about hugs and flowers. Then I felt bad for stifling his creativity, but then, he knew better! When I cried, they comforted me, “It’s okay, sweetie. I’m here.” Gilbert was more into that, and Seamus finally said, “Ok, Mama, you can’t cry anymore, even if one of your friends dies.” Well okay, then. (Surprising, that Sean’s death has stuck with them in that way.) When I finally told them I had to go to the potty, they said sternly, but sweetly, “Ok, that’s good, but you should have gone before you laid down.” And now I’ve heard myself too much.

We took off for a birthday party in Cleveland Park. It was a lovely little neighborhood, and a super cute place. The boys had a great time playing with the trains and having some cake. (Pineapple whole grain, Seamus is keeping track.) They didn’t play with their friend much, but that’s 3-year-olds for you.

Seamus said, “Don’t take a picture of me!”

You may notice that they’re dressed in red and white. That’s because after the birthday party, we go on Metro and went to a Nats game. It was hot but not too bad, and the boys really enjoyed the game. Gilbert got a ball, but after Patrick caught it and handed it to him, he THREW IT BACK over the dugout! The catcher came back out after a minute and tossed it back to him. We metroed home for baths, dinner, and winding down from a very exciting day.

Monday was hot, so we hit up Grandma and Grandude’s pool. Both boys used their noodles and arm floaties to practice. Seamus kicked himself in circles with just his floaties on, and jumped from the edge onto his noodle with me not catching him. Gilbert practiced kicking and floating. We were in for an hour and it felt like 10 minutes. Such a change from last year, when we’d be in for 10 minutes, but it felt like an hour.

Summer is too much fun. We have days of pool, skatepark, friends, and special events. We haven’t started traveling yet, but now I just hope traveling and the beach, Boston, and KY are half as fun as a day at home!


One Response to “A Few Perfect Days of Summer”

  1. Heather Pease Says:

    Glad you are enjoying your Summer! Sounds sublime.

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