If you can't tell, I've taken a little break from blogging this summer. I didn't even do a Father's Day tribute to my awesome husband to tell him how much I love him, and what a wonderful husband and father he is, and to assure him that no, I don't just use this blog to publicly mock him on the internet.
Sidebar: How can you not laugh at a guy who doesn't notice THIS going on beside him at his desk:
Yes. That is exactly what you think it is.
Anyway, my blogging break's been due to multiple really boring factors you don't care about like: going out of town, organizing our closets, cleaning the carpets (reference above photo), doing some continuing education, reading this awesome book by Ann Patchett, blah, blah, blah. Really exciting stuff. But pretty much the main reason is that my four-going-on-sixteen-year-old has decided she's too old for naps, thereby limiting my computer time to late at night, which is the time I've unspokenly devoted to Chris - i.e., watching reality TV, online shopping, and swilling Sauvignon Blanc as we recover from our day.
Ergo, my creative juices have dried up just a bit.
Be honest, though, what wouldn't dry up in this heat? I mean! I just want to pass out when I step outside my door in the morning, and I have to remind myself it's only July and I still have another two months of this suffering to go. (Liechtenstein, anyone?)
In a valiant effort to distract myself and my children from the raging inferno that is our backyard right now, we (me) have been trying to entertain (exhaust) ourselves (them) with various activities, which usually goes something like this:
Me: Let's jump on the trampoline.
Aria: No, Mommy, it's too hot!
CC: Hot feet, Mama, hottttt feetttttttt!
Me: Okay, let's go on a walk.
Aria: No, Mommy, it's too hot!
CC: Hot hair, Mama, hottttt hairrrrrr!
Me: Alrighty, how about a bike ride?
Aria: Mommy, I'm done with my bike. It's too hot. I'm soaking sweaty!
CC: Hot ride, Mama, hottttt riiiiiiiiiiide!
Me: Well, let's try the park.
Aria: Mommy, it's so hot I can't breathe! Can you turn off the sun?
CC: Hot slide, Mama, hottttt sliiiiiiiiiiide!
Now, here is the point in the story where several of you crafty, creative, earth-mom types may feel the need to critique me for trying to wear the tar out of my children so they'll take a nap. You're probably the same people who make your own baby food and don't like strollers because you don't want your child to feel it's being "pushed away". You might even be the same people who frown on apple juice. Or disposable diapers. You probably think pacifiers were invented by Satan.
And you know what? It's all good. I have nothing against you and I hope you have nothing against me. Because if there's one thing I've learned in this whole motherhood journey, it's that... please, for the love of all things holy, JUST DO WHAT WORKS for your kid. Don't preach it to other moms. Just do it. So say, for instance, if your year-and-a-half-year-old weighs twenty pounds and refuses to eat anything but Cap'n Crunch or - gasp - Kraft Mac-n-Cheese - well, just DO WHAT WORKS and give her the blooming processed cheese and quit stressing yourself out about it (unless your husband surreptitiously consumes all the breakfast cereal in your pantry one day because he "was thirsty" - then that's another story).
So, my message about the mom-judging here is this: Yes, I read my kids books. Lots of books. I read them books to the point my jaw hurts. Yes, we do crafts. We make pictures and puppets and clay animals and Play-Doh people. Yes, we bake. We make brownies and cookies and pumpkin bread.
But sometimes Mommy needs a break. I just need to get out of the house. My kids - and I - just need some good old-fashioned exercise.
So invariably, we come back to the one thing that makes everyone happy...
All winter, I glared at that pool like it was my mortal enemy, waiting for the first opportunity to swallow my children whole and suck them down into its cold clammy depths. I badmouthed the pool. I gossipped about the pool. I slandered the pool. I told Chris that we will never live in or near a house with a pool again. I laid awake at night and perseverated about how much I hated the pool.
The Pool has every reason to never speak to me again.
Summer came along, the Texas mercury crept into triple digits and got stuck there, and Pool started giving me her come-hither looks, beckoning to us with her sparkly coolness. And I did something that has become quite commonplace in my world lately: ate my words. All those bad things I said about Pool? I take it all back. Yep, here it is, my Pool mea culpa. My spa-pology if you will.
I've been doing little other these days than raising my hands to the heavens, praising God and Jesus for blessing man with the foresight to dig a big ol' cement hole in my backyard and fill it with sparkling, cool, refreshing water, in which to dip the bodies of my sweaty, sweltering children when they are unwilling to be
Dearest Pool, accept my sincere apologies. My kids can play with you to the point of exhaustion. My year-and-a-half-year-old runs for her floaty suit at the mere mention of your name. My four-year-old-going-on-sixteen-year-old takes two hour naps after spending time in your blue waters. I'm sorry I ever doubted you, Pool. Forgive me.
Stay cool out there, ya'll!