It's funny how, for some, a summer with children home is a task and for others, it's a reward. While I admit that it requires more juggling and, well, it's hotter, I've found that this summer, the time I've gotten to spend with the kids has been such a gift.
I have spent a large part of the past few weeks with the kids. They successfully finished the first in the series of Skeleton Creek books, and are on to book two. We each take a turn reading aloud, each of the kids, and me, too, and every so often, we get a link to watch a video (that goes with the book). It's a mystery, and there is a supposed ghost in the story. Personally, I think that the ghost is a man, Ranger Bonner, trying to scare the kids off. Anyhow, they are reading and loving it. Along with the book, they are each writing their own mystery in the same format as the book's, a personal journal format. I made each of them book club cards with their photos on them, and after they complete a book, I am punching a hole in it. There are four books in all, and we plan to read them. It's not a chore to get the kids to read, which is like heaven for someone like me, who loves to read.
We've also spent time swimming, barbecuing, and going for ice cream (a summer tradition). Today, however, was extra special for me. I got to take the kids to a place called Monster Mini Golf, which is an indoor mini-golf area that has fluorescent monsters and other creatures inside. Most importantly, on this 97* day, it was air-conditioned. The kids had a blast, with every white part of their clothes glowing (including some glow in the dark silly bands that we wore), making the holes in variations from one stroke to 10. Afterward, they played some video games, and then we went for lunch at the restaurant next door. It's an Italian restaurant called Cucina Calandra that has a brick oven for pizza, and the kids get to go up to the pizza man, Henry, and order fun shaped pizza. Spongebob. Mickey Mouse. There are many options. Both of the girls chose peace signs, and Johnny had a plain pie from which we all ended up stealing slices.
All throughout the day, I kept thinking about how fortunate I am to spend this kind of time with the kids. One day, when they are older, they will choose to spend their time elsewhere, with their friends or at their jobs, wherever. I feel blessed and am grateful for every moment that I have with them now.