Friday, August 14, 2015

I'll see you in September, see you when the summer's through

Yesterday morning the kids and I were riding the number 10 bus into town, on the way to camp and work.  Zeke was sitting in the back row playing on his Kindle and Josie and I were sitting next to each other on one of the sideways-facing seats.  I had my arm resting over the back of the seat, and she was snuggled up next to me, so her face was basically in my armpit.

She thinks armpits are hilarious, especially mine.  God forbid I have a day's worth of stubble under there - she'll tickle it with her fingers and announce to the whole bus that my pits are fuzzy.

Today there was no fuzz, just deodorant.  She still stuck her finger in it.

"Mama, why do you have salt in your pits?" she giggled.

"It's not salt, goofball, it's deodorant."  I gave her a squeeze and kissed the top of her head.

"What's deodorant?"

"It's stuff to keep my pits from getting stinky."

She cackled.  "I hope I don't have stinky pits.  I don't want to have salt in my pits."

We laughed and laughed.

As I sat there having fun with her, I realized it was the last day we would be doing this.  Their dad would be picking them up that afternoon, and they're with him for the weekend, and there's no camp next week.  The week after that, school starts.

We've had a lovely little routine for the summer - I get up and exercise, then I get them up and dressed, and we have some breakfast.  I make their lunches and fill their water bottles, get their backpacks ready, and then we walk across the street to catch the bus.

They're always cheerful and saying hello, so the people on the bus are charmed and smiling at them.  During the ride, we chat and laugh and look out the window. After the penultimate stop, Josie pulls the cord, and we pile off the bus at the stop in front of my office building.  The buses have an automated announcement system for each stop, and when you get off a female robotic voice says, "watch your step - thank you."

And the kids always say, "YOU'RE WELCOME!" and then laugh hysterically.

We walk the two blocks to the YMCA, I give them hugs and kisses goodbye, they run off to play with their friends, and then I walk across the street to go to work.

With all of the turmoil in my life this summer, those mornings have been a respite.  Even though it seems mundane, I will miss that routine.  We're all morning people, so it's been a time of morning snuggles and kisses and excitement over whatever that day's field trip would be and fart jokes.  (The fart jokes are a constant.)

With the start of school, I'll be able to resume my walks to work in the morning.  And I started this morning, in fact.  I took a route that I don't usually take, heading west up 16th street rather than on Colfax.  This route takes me past an elementary school that has a great playground.

It made me think of the kids and how big they're getting.  Zeke is going into second grade, Josie into first.  I find myself looking at old pictures and videos of them when they were babies and toddlers, and going over old blog posts from those times.  It makes me wistful, even though they are unquestionably so much more fun and interesting the older they get.

As a last hurrah before school starts, the three of us are going camping in Steamboat (the real one) next weekend. It's a place we love, and it will cap off a summer that has been difficult but also beautiful, largely because of them.

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