Halcyon Days

Halcyon Days

After a late night out—dinner with good friends, Bella had a blast playing with their almost three year old—the girls and I slept in until 8:30 this morning. Bliss.

After breakfast and morning prayers and getting everyone dressed, Sophia went back down for a three hour morning nap.

Bella and I spread a blanket under the magnolia and maple trees outside and spent the morning enjoying the cool breeze and green grass and delicious shade. I popped inside every once in a while to check on Sophia and refresh our snacks and drinks. We even had a picnic lunch. Bella played in the dirt, threw her ball, picked blades of grass, watched cars and people and a firetruck that stopped to check the hydrant across the street. I watched her and read and picked blades of grass and watched people and read some more.

Then she discovered piggy back rides and I had to trot her up and down the yard a few times. Then she discovered sitting on mama’s back while mama lies on her belly to read (Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome, by the way, my idea of a great summer read) and the great fun it is when mama rolls over and Bella tumbles onto the grass. Repeat at least two or three dozen times.

Finally, I warned her we’d have to go in for her nap in fifteen minutes and I set the alarm on my cell phone. Long before it rang she declared that she was ready to go take her nap so I piggy backed her into the house. I got her face and hands wiped, diaper changed and read a whole Pooh story and she was out before Tigger and Roo were down from the tree but I finished reading the story anyway because I hate to stop in the middle.

When I’d quietly closed the door on my sleeping toddler, I discovered Sophia quietly playing with her toes. So more cuddling and one-on-one bonding, this time with second daughter.

These are the summer days I love. Cool enough to linger long under the trees, warm enough not to want anything more than a cool drink of water. Perfect. I’ve been fretting and remembering last summer and all the time Bella and I spent outside and wondering why I’ve been unable to manage the same so far. But really, now that I think on it, what I’m remembering wasn’t June but July and August and September. We’ve still got more of these days ahead of us. And I’m going to drink them to the lees.

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  • My girls (now 22 & 20) loved these books when they were younger, especially “Winter Holiday” and “We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea.” For several summers, we went canoe camping at a small lake with a primitive Forest Service campground at one end, and these books played a big role in the girls’ imaginations there. Swallows & Amazons forever!