Photos.

We spent five hours at the pool yesterday. The Who was in and out of his bathing suit twice, took a handful of sand to the face gracefully, and played with any kid who joined him in the sand box. I watched my shirtless boy soaking in summer and all I could do was smile.

I took The Who to my “work building” because I had to sign some papers. This, although it is a building on campus, was not our final destination, but we popped in to potty here. And I’m glad we did because the living wall (behind him) and the enormous cherry picker stationed in the middle of the rotunda captivated him and moved him to say, “Ooh, Mama. I love your work building!” Never a bad idea to instill a sense of pride in a kid about where his mama works.

An unexpectedly breezy evening brought us back outside after cooking dinner to do some rock sorting on our new steps. I have been astounded lately at his interest in and skills with counting and adding. I better start brushing up because math, well, let’s just say I’m an English teacher for a reason and leave it at that.

Moving from counting to writing. He still writes his whole name backwards and that “E” often has a zillion lines on it. I love to watch him figuring it out.

This.

Solstice.

I have a migraine, which I totally expected after a day like this (10 hours long, all but 3 of them spent in the sun in 98-degree heat.) The Who is sleeping sort of fitfully because of his allergies (despite Benadryl) and his last wake-up included a very pitiful cry of, “I have a booooogie!” Climbing the stairs three times with a migraine is not my idea of a good time.

The day, though, was delicious. Thomas the Tank Engine was shiny and blue and cheerful, just as I expected him to be and the kids lasted really well through the heat and sun and hours and hours of togetherness. Packed in like sardines, the 7 of us. Everyone was a great sport. It’s good to have friends willing to go on adventures that include water ice for dinner in our swamp of a backyard, sitting fully clothed in a $7 inflatable pool.

This is what summer’s about, y’all. Yes, I have a sunburned right cheek (what?) and sure, I now have to do dishes and pack lunches with a throbbing left temple, but there’s sweetness all around. Good-natured little boys and girls, sharing new toys, negotiating new friendships, sharing buttered hot dog rolls with licks off each others’ fingers. Rainbow ice cream. Storybooks.

Tomorrow my nephew turns twelve. In July, there will be Olympics to watch. Baby Silas calls The Who “Ah-too.” Life is good today.

Baby Got Back (Home.)

The last couple of days sort of flew by in a blur of fun. As difficult of a transition as the first two days were, that’s how smooth the last few were. After our banner day in Cambridge on Wednesday, yesterday we spent a leisurely morning at home, playing. I did our laundry, cleaned up the house a bit, and got us mostly packed up before we headed over to our friends KK and Johnny’s house. (They really are “our” friends. The Who regularly refers to Johnny as “my big friend.”) It was summertime and the living was easy over there. We all took a walk out for lunch, meandered back, stopping at the playground. Toured the garden. Ran barefoot in the yard. Stuff like that there.

KK playfully donning The Who’s lovey blankets.

Sharing a very important story on a very loud street corner.

And then, after a quick car powernap, I dropped The Who off with Grandma, scooted off for a manicure (aah) and then picked up dinner for all of us plus my brother, sister-in-law, and The Who’s cousins, whom he just adores. He kept referring to them as “my cousins” all night and asking them over and over to play. (They are 8 and 12, so I give them a lot of credit for playing with the little kid all night with very little complaint.)

And then today? Pretty much just driving. Driving, driving, and driving. Except for the part where, before the driving, we got a car wash at The Who’s request and then I sucked up his precious lovey blankets with the vacuum. (Luckily, I am far from the first person who has done this and they just unlocked the container and retrieved the filthy things for me.) (Also, KK wore them on her head before their unfortunate ride through the dusty hose.)

So, yeah. That’s it. Gone and back with very little fanfare. The re-entry wasn’t as hard as it’s been in visits past, but I am aware of being just as happy to be home as I am sad to be away from Boston. There’s very little like Boston in the spring.

Day 5

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I was cranky yesterday. Inexplicably. I just was. And The Who pushed every one of my buttons. Cranky begets cranky begets cranky, I think. But it started to look up after Johnny took The Who for a walk in the rain and I got to sit in the parked car with KK and whine.

And then today–today turned into that unexpected day of awesome. I could give some of the credit to the weather (sunny and 70) but most of it goes to the universe providing just the kind of day we needed.

We were supposed to meet a friend in Harvard Square, but most unfortunately for her, she had a back spasm and was unable to meet us. As a result, The Who and I, already having arrived by T, ended up having a delightful Mama/Boy date. We had breakfast at Starbucks together, played for over an hour at the Curious George toy store, poked into a few little shops, shared a Bertucci’s pizza outside on the stone wall, and then caught a bus over to my friend’s house. She was delayed at the doc’s, though, so The Who and I hung out and played in the yard, availing ourselves of the sandbox, swing, bubbles, and ride-on toys. We even kicked a few balls into the goal. Finally, our fiends made it back and we played for a half hour or do before heading back on the T.

So, even though it was not the day we had planned, it turned out to be just the day we needed. We reconnected in a very sweet way.

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Day Tres.

The Who is very interested in counting in Spanish lately. “Uno, dos, trehz, quatno, cinco!” (Along with the appropriate number of fingers.) Sometimes he makes it all the way up to ocho. He also likes to use the musical terms he has learned on Little Einsteins. “Mama, you need to talk piano and I can talk FORTE!” He’s picking up words like the best, most useful Swiffer ever and using them appropriately. After one explanation of “perpendicular” and “parallel” he has now incorporated those into his daily discussion, too. It’s a good thing he’s got some interesting things to say because the kid talks all. day. long.

Anyway, so yes. Day Three of our vacation was a good one — chock full of history and sunshine and photo opps. We have been reading Make Way for Ducklings lately, so we planned a trip to the Public Garden to see them. We took the T, walked through the Garden, fed the ducks, rode the Swan Boats, climbed on the bronze statues, walked up Charles Street, had some ice cream, detoured through the Common, rode the Frog Pond carousel, picked up a duckling t-shirt, and got back on the T to go home.

I don’t have many photos available for posting because I turned off my phone as an experiment. The Who was a lot happier and so was I. I took lots and lots of “real” photos, but they’re yet to be uploaded. Stay tuned, though, for some extreme close-ups of the Seussish flowers planted in random plots all over the Public Garden.

After a day of hoofing it all over Beacon Hill, this sleepy boy took an hourlong car nap.

Last night, we went to my aunt’s for dinner, where The Who’s great uncles got on the floor and played, big kids themselves.

Day Two.

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So, Day Two’s in the can. It involved a terrible motel breakfast (that still utterly delighted The Who — ah, to be 3 years old not give a hoot about microwaved powdered eggs) and three more hours of driving. Plus a bonus gender-stereotyping lesson for the sunglasses-seller, who tried to dissuade my boy from choosing pink sunglasses (he was not dissuaded, by the way, and I left her with some educational parting words.)

Tonight I got to go be a grown-up and see a show while The Who carried out his end-of-the-day shenanigans with his grandparents. He is now completely sacked out in the bed next to me and my mother reports that he is in the exact same position in which he fell asleep 5 hours ago. That’s right. Giving up the nap has made bedtime a cinch (not that it was ever that hard to begin with.)

Tomorrow, we are off to see Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their ducklings at the Public Garden. I am also calling tomorrow “Focus on the Moment” day and I am leaving my phone behind. I will bring my real camera because — hello? Ducklings! — but I won’t be texting or checking Facebook or Instagramming. I am still working on finding the balance, but tomorrow’s outing seems like a good place to start.

Awake.

Day one on the road was largely uneventful, but overstimulated boy is still awake in the next bed, trying to lure me into a conversation. I suppose this is the fallout from deciding to have lunch in Philly after the pride parade instead of just hitting the road. We didn’t end up here in CT until 8. Then there was the excitement of two giant beds to jump on and pizza to order and eat. Thomas to watch. Not to mention our regular evening routine of pottying after dinner, which can be a pretty long affair. (I would like to take this opportunity to pat myself on the back for remembering to bring the potty converter seat.)

Tomorrow, we will be up bright and early (because isn’t that the preschooler rule? 6am wake up no matter what time you eventually drop off?) and then we are on the road again for the final leg. Maybe that will be uneventful too. Fingers crossed.

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