Is it me, or is this summer flying by? It seems like just yesterday I was anxiously awaiting April, as that was when my friends Traci and Chelle came to visit. But now it’s been four months since they were here. Where has those four months gone?
I had so many plans for this summer. I wanted to explore more of New England, maybe take an overnight trip. What with the very cool start to the summer, it felt like I had months to figure out what I wanted to do. Then slowly our weekends began filling up. And then people came to visit. And then I made plans with other friends. And sure enough, the summer is almost over already.
I don’t have the traditional end of summer to look forward to. Grace is still in preschool twice a week. During the summer, they call it “camp” instead of “school.” It’s a lot more play and a lot less structured, but it’s enough to get her out of the house and around other children. We don’t have many people to call on anymore for play dates; they’ve all moved away! We’ve still got a family with two small girls that live just behind us, but they’ve been on their own vacation for most of the summer. Once they return, I am sure we’ll get together more often.
One day in the next few weeks I’ll take Grace to school, and she’ll have a new teacher and it will magically be the start of the school year. This is her last year of preschool. I really wish she could start kindergarten, but she’s still too young. Here in Rhode Island, a child must be five years old before September 1st — NO EXCEPTIONS, and Grace’s birthday isn’t till the beginning of October. Once we move to Virginia, the restriction is that a child must be five before September 30th, so Mary Ellen might be only three grades behind Grace, though she is four years younger. I will see how she is when she is old enough for school; if she needs another year to mature, I’ll keep her out. But if she’s anything like Grace, she’ll be ready for real school by the time she’s five.
Speaking of Mary Ellen, since it’s been a while since I talked about her, she cracks me up. She took her first steps at ten months, and while she’s still not very steady on her feet, she’s been taking more and more steps before she loses her balance. Now she’s trying to walk even when we’re not encouraging her. She’s realized that if she’s already clinging to the couch, it’s easier to walk the few steps to whatever else she wants, instead of flopping down to crawl to her next destination and then hauling herself back up. What’s odd is that she isn’t standing on her own. At ten months Grace could go from a sitting position to a standing one without using anything to pull herself up, but ME hasn’t figured that out yet.
ME is also far more vocal than I remember Grace being. She’s just got so much more personality. Grace has always been a joy, full of sweetness and light. And it’s not that ME isn’t. She is! She’s sweet and loving, she loves to giggle, and she just wants to have fun. But if you cross her, well, you will hear about it. If she wants something, she will tell you at high volume. The swim director at the pool today heard ME complaining about being in her stroller and remarked upon it later — and this was at an indoor pool with lots of children making lots of noise. So yeah, she’s pretty…. umm…. LOUD. It’s a cry, you see. It’s more of an “AHHH!” It’s almost funny, and I can’t always stop myself from giggling.
I’m finally getting somewhere with cup-training Mary Ellen too. I didn’t think she would take to them, since I never could switch her to the faster-flow bottles. She just wanted nothing to do with the new shape. I think she’s finally resigned herself that the only way she’s getting a drink is through the sippy cup. I managed to lose the new sippy cups I bought a few months ago, though. I have no idea where they went! Into the black hole that is this house, I suppose.
This weekend I have my friends from northern Virginia coming for a visit. My dad’s neighbors were so good and kind to me when I was an angsty teenager, giving me excellent advice on how to deal with my parents, my friends, and my issues at school. I thought they were so wise, so brilliant! Looking back I now realize that the wife was the same age I am now — and I don’t feel wise or brilliant at all. But I guess maybe I would seem as if I were, if I needed to advise a teenager. Anyhow, I really look forward to seeing them, and this will be the first time they’ve met ME. It should be a good weekend!