Last day of summer. Too soon! Our pencils are sharpened, hearts eager and yet a little hesitant too.
We're making summer farewell cake and watching the Phantom Tollbooth.
Marley and Solo taking gymnastics is a thrill to watch.
Solo required zero instruction (aside from a little Mommy pep talk at the very beginning) to ride a two wheeler. He just CAN do it. Marley only required two sessions to get the hang of it.
Sage loves to sing "Yes, Jesus loves me."
I love them all. It hurts.
This morning the breeze coming in my windows woke me up. It was catching the curtains and they were fluttering by my bed. Bob was still home so I cuddled him for a few minutes before he went to find himself coffee.
Marley, Solo, Sage and I took a democratic vote and chose to go to the zoo instead of the museum. So did the rest of the citizens of Cincinnati. Once we managed to get through a sea of traffic we found ourselves in St. Bernard and beyond the zoo crowds.
We went to Spring Grove cemetery. It was wonderful. Perfect breezes, perfect clouds, old trees, young perspectives.
We saw carp that were longer than my armspan. A red eared slider came swimming over to us. I've never seen such a friendly turtle.
We read headstones and looked for baby girl names for my niece. Solo had me read everything with visible words on it. Including sewer grates.
After we had a picnic and looked around a mausoleum we picnicked at when Solomon was three weeks old. We got back in the car and I asked them what their favorite names were and Marley said Anna and I said Margaret and Annie and Solo said... Hooker.
Note: Hooker was a last name on a big monument that caught his eye.
... still hilarious.
Then later I got to go on a date with my darling Marley. We got fancied up and ate at Kaze OTR. We had sushi and pork belly buns and Ramen and it was awesome. She was excited and charming and we valeted and got Holtsman doughnuts.
Then up to the Incline district and enjoyed the view of the sunset on the city.
Oh and we listened to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in the car.
Then I got home and Solo, Bob, Marley and I ate doughnuts and Solo fell asleep in my arms (it took about 18 seconds).
Marley is seven. Prior to this month I didn't realize that seven is considered a milestone year. All of the mothers in my July 2008 birth club are pining for time to slow and wondering how its all gone so fast.
If I hadn't witnessed this pining over and over on Facebook every day this month, multiple times a day I would not have realized this was even a thing. Because my now seven year old is still the gentle, insightful girl she's been since the day she got over being a slightly handsy but adorable toddler who liked to pull hair. She likes magic and sparkles and showmanship. She values kindness and the difficulty that comes with being a good guy (or at least a good guy most of the time). She likes shows and books and people who make her smile. Values sentiment and familiar comfort; doesn't value market value.
She is still the best big sister I've ever seen.
She still sleeps with a snow cap of Bob's either on her head or if it's too hot laying by her head on the pillow.
Marley is very special and I am blessed to have her in my life.
Tonight I feel vulnerable and unable to compartmentalize my feelings. Rage, sadness, guilt, fear, gratitude... all at the same time and all full strength.
It occurs to me anew that this world and my God are at war and though victory will certainly be His, my children are at stake.
I must decrease and He must increase because I have no strength of my own to win this fight.