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Posted Jun 01 2011 12:00am

For the first time since I was a young child I am, I think, looking forward to summer. Sure, there's always part of me looking forward to whatever season is on the horizon, but summer, historically, has been my least favorite of the four. I think that's changing! I think winter is fast becoming my least fave (though I definitely love snow regardless of the ranking). We've already had several triple digit days and Georgia hasn't been in school since Tuesday (nor will she go tomorrow) because the schools are all closing early because of the heat, and yet, I am not feeling disgusting and generally peeved as I have felt summers of yore. Not sure what it means, and I am sure it is not nearly as interesting to anyone else, but I note it and it feels significant to me because I REALLY have had difficulty with summers in the past. Like an inner shift.

We'll see if I still feel so blase about it after a few more days like this when the kids and I are all going a tad loco and running errands becomes solely a lesson in sweating buckets!

My general calm about this summer may have somethingi n part to do with our pool access, but it feels bigger than that. Speaking of the pool though, it's neat to watch how the kids progress in their comfortableness with the water. Neither kid seems to want to spend too much time in the kiddie pool when we are on that side of the fence. They tend to want to play with the other kids and toys instead. Georgia is BIG people watcher. It's so neat to watch her open up socially. It's difficult for her because she can't keep up in regards to communication (either talking TO other kids or catching their drift when they chitter chatter like!), but she stays right in the thick of it. Often she is right inside the playhouse with some of the big kids and she's got a big old grin on her face.

Today an older boy (maybe age 8) was in there with her and I was sitting to the side making sure all remained copecetic (G tends to grab when she wants someone's attention and other kids don't always like it). Anyway, he shouted something like "Let's make lots of noise!!!" while jumping up and down and flapping his arms. G thought this was HIGH-sterical and copied his movements. That brought other kids over and they all started acting silly.

G generally doesn't give a hoot about any of the kids saying anything like "No!" or "You can't do this or that." I don't mean to imply that they are saying that to her specifically/only, but you know how kids can be with one another. She'll just DO whatever it is she wants to do. Sort of like, "Um. Your silly rules don't apply to me." I can imagine it being flabbergasting (and probably annoying) to some kids at some point, but I am not going to worry about it right now. All the kids are just trying to figure out their footing in the social arena, G just does it a little differently. I can see the thoughts running through some of the other kids' minds while they try to "figure" G "out."

I wish I could describe the broadness of her smile when she is in there goofing around with the other kids, though. She's such a different kid from one moment to the next sometimes. No trace of the anxiety that can rear it's ugly head at the strangest times, when she is amidst a group of kids. She is an enigma, that girl!

Rainer is learning, too! Today he figured out that if he keeps his face pointing upwards he can reach the bottom of the side of the pool and sort of hover/bounce on the bottom. Sort of treading water, sort of floating. Unfortunately he figured it out about five minutes before the whistle was blown for the end of the pool tonight and he did NOT want to get out! Hopefully he'll be willing to try it again when we go back this weekend (if the weather cooperates), but I think he will. He's definitely not totally gung-ho about the water like some of the little fishie children you see, but he's gaining confidence and I hope that with little steps where he has success by the end of the summer he will take to it much more naturally.

G is doing great, too, but she doesn't quite have that self-preservation thing one needs in the water. She's close, I think, maybe if we can finagle something to bolster her confidence.

Oh, and another fun thing that has been happening more and more lately is R's imaginative play. Suddenly, over the past few weeks everything is a representation of something else, or has a voice, or he becomes these things, or feeds them, or bakes them, or plays them, or drives them! It's SO much fun. He's been "baking" cookies in his oven and he brings them over to be delicately and warns me they are hot. After breakfast this morning he brought me a cup full of drumsticks and told me they were plants and "Don't they smell good, Mommy?"

Maybe that's part of it. The summer this year. The kids are so much more interactive and fun and willing to do things like run around in the sprinkler and the kiddie pool like we did this morning. I like being with them. That doesn't answer the question as to why I have disliked summers for the last 20 years, but whatever it is, I'll take it. And I hope it lasts!

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