June 26, 2013
Who's ready for summer?
"Eya, please don't draw on the wall," I tell her for the 5th time. And she's gone. Marker thrown to the ground, hands over her face, tears streaming. She runs to her room and hurls herself on her toddler bed, wailing. "Mommy?" she eventually yells, frustrated after too much time passes without rescue. "You come pick me up?" Pause. Sniff. "Please?"
We are one day away from the start of another summer break. How it got to be June, never mind almost July, never mind the last day of school, is a mystery to me.
Summer feels bittersweet. We're still trudging to the end of our 8-month rainy season, but when I close my eyes I see sunshine, bbqs, evenings spent on lawn chairs instead of bundled up on the couch; I hear the girls screaming through the sprinkler in the front yard, droplets of water glistening from the ends of their hair, limbs turned honey brown from the sun. And when I open them again as the clouds start to set in, Mads will be in grade two. Eya will be starting preschool. I want it to stay summer forever.
I say Eya will be starting preschool, but she'd very loudly tell you otherwise. "I no be a preschool kid!" she reminds me every time the subject comes up. She'll love it, I hope, eventually, but she gets a kick out of being contrary.
"Good morning, Eya!"
"No good morning!"
"It's a sunny day!"
"I no like sunny days."
"Let's go to the park!"
"I no like go to the park."
Arms crossed, mouth downturned, eyes narrowed, brow furrowed.
And the second her arms wrap around my neck and her nose presses against my cheek, all is forgotten, forgiven. She's all sweetness and light again, shrieking, giggling, playing. She bounces between the height of pure joy and depth of utter misery. She drives me crazy. She inspires me.
Meanwhile, her big sister provides wise, happy, chattering commentary from her perch in the corner: "Yes, she does like the park," she tells me, rolling her eyes, shaking her head. "She's just saying she doesn't. Isn't that lying, Mom? She shouldn't lie." And when Eya sinks to the floor in an all-out screaming session, Mads grabs my hand and walks right by her out of the room. "Don't pay attention, Mom," she advises. "If we pay attention she'll just cry more."
These two girls could not be any more different. One bends, pleases, worries, comforts; the other stands firmly at the center of her own dramatic universive. They are liquid and fire, and yet they're the best of friends. "Best sister friends" is how Mads puts it. I hope they stay best sister friends forever; I hope they call each other late at night and talk about love and work and worries; about music and TV shows and maybe even motherhood.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. For now it's summer, and there are water fights to be had and sandcastles to be built. Grade two and preschool and everything to follow will just have to wait.
June 26, 2013 | Permalink
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Hi Carolyn, I love your writing and just discovered your blog, however I am unable to find an email address, hence this note! Can you contact me, I've got 2 quick questions for you before my book "En Route Baby" comes out in print next month -- thanks! Have a good day with your kiddos!
Posted by: Jennifer Slater | Aug 9, 2013 5:24:43 AM
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