In my book, summer has ended. School has started, the leaves have started to turn, and the days are getting shorter. It is strange because I don't even remember a transition. One day it was steaming hot outside and I was traipsing the boys over to the sprinkler park, and the next day we were in pants and jackets sitting around a bonfire. I love fall, so I'm not complaining, but it seems summer gets shorter and shorter every year.
Maybe it is because this year since the boys are a little bit more portable, and Ben is the most pleasant baby on earth, we really tried to cram a ton into Todd's vacation at the end of summer. We went up north to the cabin where the boys went fishing with sticks off the pier, went on 4-wheeler rides with dad, and ate roasted marshmallows by the bags-full. We went to Blue Harbor water park and the boys conquered their fear of going down the "big boy slide" all by themselves. It was no bigger than the slides at the park, but scary just the same. We went to the park near our house at least 50 times, and of course we went to the lake. But by far, my favorite had to be when we took the boys to the county fair. Now I've had some fun at the fair in my day, but this was by far the most fun I have ever had at the fair. The boys ran from ride to ride, and even rode the ponies. Todd and I hooted and hollered every time the boys came riding around the minuscule circle. I was so proud of my boys. They were so well behaved. No whining or crying, which is a pretty tall order on small children who are walking almost nonstop for three hours. Even baby Ben was so well behaved in his stroller. Smiling at the fun the boys were having on the rides and kicking his feet when he got up close to the goats. When we were all out of tickets for the rides the boys didn't even complain, just thanked us and then continued to run from giant tractor to giant tractor. It was like a little boy's paradise. The poor salesman didn't seem to be getting many interested buyers in the tractors, but they sure had an overload of excited boys.
I was well behaved too. I was the best version of myself. The kind of mom I always wanted to be. I held back the urge to lather the boys in antibacterial hand wash every time they touched something. I gave up on the idea of trying to find something healthy for them to eat and just let them have at it for one night. I let them sit on every tractor until their little hearts were content. I was patient, and I was fun. It was great.
It was just how I always pictured having kids would be. The excited chatter in the dark minivan on the ride home about which was their favorite part, "the helicopter ride! no the ponies! no the tractors!" Carrying sleepy, warm little bodies up the stairs to bed and setting their heavy heads on their pillows. Lots of hugs and kisses, and "thank you mommy, I love you"s. I felt like I was in a Norman Rockwell painting.
These are the things I want to lock in my heart and remember forever. I want to be the type of mom who tells my grown child, "you were such an easy kid", because that is the only part I chose to remember. Isn't that how parenting should be?