Playing Together

When we got home from our vacation, Porter sighed: “Our house is beautiful!” He was so happy to be home. Harlan was just happy to be out of the car. He kept calling for bathroom breaks on the last day of travel, and I finally asked him, “Do you need to go, or do you just want out of your carseat?” OUT OF MY CARSEAT! He demanded. Gilbert and Seamus headed to the back yard to play, but after 10 minutes, Seamus came back in and said he wished we were still on vacation in the North. “It’s cooler there, and there aren’t any gnatty bugs!” And that sums up our return.

Now that we’ve been home, we had the girl next door baby sit a few days, and Harlan cried every day when we left, but finally on the last day, he cried when she left, so, progress? I suppose. A few of the days we had a sitter we took Seamus and Gilbert out to do something fun–a spray park and lunch, but mostly we enjoyed some time just the two of us. One morning, we went for a hike along the Potomac, and we said, “Isn’t it nice to hike without anyone complaining?” And then we saw a snake on the riverbank eating a fish! At that point, we missed the kids, and wished we could have shown it to them. Then we realized we might not have seen it at all if they’d been along, because we don’t pay much attention to nature when hiking with them. We had dinner with friends this week (who are about to embark on their own family Vacation to Nova Scotia), and we were all kind of laughing about the way kids turn into people. Our friend was laughing about how she loves to hike, but when she was a kid, she complained about it all the time, but if she hadn’t done it as a kid, would she like it now? It’s a real puzzler.

One thing has sort of turned a corner, and it’s that all four kids have started playing together. It kind of started in Nova Scotia, and they played Paw Patrol together, but it’s happening more and more frequently at home as well. It means that it’s louder around here, for one thing, but for another, it means that we have to do less intervention. They all seem invested in the game. Before, the youngest kid was always too little for this to work, but now it seems that Harlan is finally big enough and understands enough to be a playmate. That’s pretty cool.

My garden was dry when we got back, but nothing was too worse for the wear, and I’m starting to see some produce. We’ve got cukes, squash, some little okra starting, basil, and some oregano coming along. I’m excited! My neighbor encouraged me to pick some of the squash blossoms, so I did and put them on top of a quiche. Yum!

Decorative, but I’m not sure they made a difference in taste!

We’re glad to be home for a couple of weeks. Seamus and Gilbert are in camp (soccer for S, basketball for G) and the time apart is doing them a world of good. Porter’s birthday is coming up this weekend, and we’re starting to imagine school for Harlan in the fall. Patrick had a birthday, and his dad gave us a night out at a great place to celebrate. It was not something we would have thought we needed, but it recharged our batteries–delicious food, fine dining, good service, creative cocktails, and just a clear mental space to enjoy summer and a new year of life for Patrick!


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