Rain is falling. Puddles are being splashed, s'mores are being eaten by fireplaces, and the rain boots that have been begging us for some use this year are having their moment.
It's a good Friday. Our schedule this week has been all over the map, which I think was a welcome change-of-pace for all of us. Maggie looked at me one day when Sophie was getting ready for ballet, and she said "Mommy? Maggie ballet school?" pointing at herself. How can I refuse those big blue eyes and sweetness in a neon pink tutu? We decided to try it for two weeks, and Maggie is in her element, so it seems we'll be at it full time for awhile. We have the girly out in full force around here, and I'm embracing it, tea parties and tutus and all. Thankfully (or not?), they know how to climb and be dangerous at any and every park... I appreciate the adventurous streaks in them too.
I've been thinking a lot about next year at this time and how different it will feel. We've chosen not to put Sophie in pre-school, but she'll be going to school every day starting in the fall, and gone will be our "take it as it comes" lifestyle. We'll have to be out of the house, dressed and ready by a certain time daily. We'll be learning, doing homework (hopefully not too much, but I've heard stories...), we'll be having to enforce strict bedtimes, and not able to just go here, there, & everywhere we want. Last fall, I felt such relief about the fact that I had another full year of nomadic day-to-days and small living. There's so much sweetness to simplicity of an un-rushed schedule.
... lately, though, I've been noticing an increasing desire for structure and education in my Sophie. She wants me to spell everything for her to write, she tries sounding her letters, she talks about school with excitement, as opposed to her apprehension of it back in September. It's a good change I'm seeing in her, but as a mother, it's pulling at my heart strings a bit. Our slow walks with her smelling- literally- every flower have become walks with her on bikes making laps around Maggie and me because we're not going quickly enough for her. Our early fears of her being slow-to-talk and perhaps far behind all the other toddlers have been squelched, and we're left with daily thoughtful and long conversations about any and everything. She imagines, she thinks, she considers others, and she is affectionate. School for my baby is appealing to me more daily, as I realize I'm ill-equipped to teach everything she wants to learn and provide the social settings she craves.
Tonight, we put the kids to bed... then the Olympic ceremony came on, and Brian took them out of bed with my full support. He made decaf and we all got a cup (yes, my children love coffee, but we stick them with decaf only for obvious reasons). I took out the kettle corn from Trader Joes (that is kind of my weakness, but also kind of leaves something to be desired in the substantial food department. I mean, it's fluffy nothingness, so it never quite "gets" the food craving). The girls were wearing their coziest sweatpants, socks, and cozy tees with their hair everywhere. It was so perfectly right. Tiny girls, excited at life handing them an opportunity to stay up later and have treats, so messy and exactly how it should be.
Even though these stages seem so quick, I know they're also exactly how they should be. The right balance of challenges and beautiful moments, and the growth comes in its proper time and we continue to move and learn and change. Doesn't always make it easy, but it does make an extra hour or two with the kids late night after a long week an incredibly appealing option... they're only this little once.