Countdown

We’re in the home stretch of summer around here. I ceased being able to form a cogent sentence sometime around August 9.

This summer has been different in many ways from the ones that came before it. Most notably, because Bob has had very little time off from work. We usually pack our summers with trips to the Midwest and trips to the Northeast but this summer, with vacation time devoured by stroke recovery, we’ve had to stick close to home or face traveling without Bob.

(As an aside, can I just complain about health insurance for a minute? We have excellent health insurance that I adore, HOWEVER, we keep getting random bills from the hospital, piecemeal-style, invoicing us line item by line item for instruments and equipment used during Bob’s cardiac procedure. It’s a lot of money, sure, but that’s not my big issue. My issue is that if we’re paying $1,400 for ONE piece of equipment, I’d kind of like to take it home with us, right? I mean, in any other part of our lives, $1,400 would buy us something tangible. Not something that gets discarded in the operating theatre. What if it’s something really cool? Like a tiny little camera on one of those catheters? We could GoPro that sucker in a hundred different applications. Sure, his repaired heart is the big takeaway here but wouldn’t it be amazing if, upon discharge, we got a little to-go bag of all of the items we’ve actually paid real dollars for? Just a thought, medical establishment.)

So, anyway, back to my point. I don’t begrudge any of our situation this summer since Bob’s recovery has gone so well and, as a single-income household, his return to work was so speedy. It’s just meant I’ve had some SUPER concentrated time with the kids for many, many, many days that are endless. The endless days. That are endless.

This summer has been long and different but not necessarily in a bad way because, thanks to some unusually mild weather, the kids have spent most of it out of doors. It has delighted me to no end to see our three children relishing in their new surroundings; Henry on his bike, Charlie on his Gator, Millie on her scooter. This has officially been The Summer of Fresh Air. The kids have had fun. Of that, I’m certain.

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Adult-sized hand-me-down snowmobile helmet? Check. Hand-me-down too-small farm boots? Check. Nerf gun? Check. Shirt on backwards? Check. Neighborhood safe? Check. Check. Check.

Despite our rough summer start, we’ve managed to accomplish quite a bit! We’ve read a ton of books, learned how to tie our shoes, built some quality indoor forts, cooked in the kitchen, spent time with lots of family and friends, discovered new playgrounds, colored more artwork than I have walls to hang it on, avoided napping most days, watched WAY too much television, battled a stomach bug that threatened to take us all down and, most importantly, enjoyed the view.

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Henry looks contemplative here but he’s probably just contemplating whether or not he can recreate this scene out of Lego bricks.

However, do not be mistaken, I will still load two of my three children on to a school bus exactly two weeks from today and DELIGHT in the relative peace and quiet of our home every morning. For a few hours each day, there will be no arguing over Lego pieces, no complaining about lunch selections, no declarations of boredom. If Millie wants to fight with someone, she’ll have to fight with herself. (Which, I’m sure she’ll find a way to actually do.)

Fall better be filled with more naps from this one.

September better be filled with more naps from this one.

Bob and I have talked about working in a family trip later this fall as a kind of do-over for our botched summer plans. A way to recapture some of the time away together that we didn’t have over the past three months. It sounds like fun but, we’ll see. I’m not so sure this summer was botched after all.

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