First days of summer

In all the ways that count, summer arrived this week.

The heat is on, and school is out.

After Pops and Dads do our jogs and everyone eats breakfast, I take Miles outside to hang laundry, water the garden, harvest vegetables, or weed. Miles cycles to his sandbox and back to help me with his watering can or to munch on arugula (which is already beginning to bolt).

Lacinato kale, started from seed inside in early March

Then we take a meandering walk. He can be impatient. But his attention is generous when I direct it to the dead squirrel in the middle of the road or the epic struggle between the ant and the caterpillar on the sidewalk. He dwells in a rich, aural world. I don’t always initially notice what he does. Every part of his body stops what it’s doing and gives itself to the sound: “Papa, what’s that?” I’ve been boning up on birds with a CD and field guide so I can answer his questions. Soon I’ll have to figure out the finer points of cicada and cricket varieties.

After lunch on the porch and a little quiet time for Miles in his room, we head to the community pool. As we gather our towels and put on our suits, he’s quivering all over and says, “I’m so excited, Papa!”

At the pool, he’s in ecstatic go-mode: hurling himself from the side into my arms, climbing back out and doing it again. About 80 times probably. I can’t help but break into a grin every time. For some reason–could be the sun and splashing–I’m 100% down with this particular repetitive activity. Still, I call it quits before he does, after an hour. In the car, he’s asleep within seconds.

A hard-to-top hand-me-down from his cousins

We snack on homemade popsicles, made together the day before. First try is okay but could use some tweaks: whole milk yogurt, honey, mint from the garden, and frozen cranberries (the only fruit left in the house besides pears and apples).

I’m dreaming of the field at our local pick-your-own farm. It’s about to erupt with strawberries…and eventually blueberries and black raspberries. We’ll pick and freeze even more than last year. Soon, soon.

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