“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”
Anticipation built as the "lasts" of the year were checked off and the school year wound down. Ahston graduated preschool with the cutest program that left me grinning and a bit teary. He's off to kindergarten in the fall and I'm not too sure I'm quite ready for that just yet. As Spencer ended his first grade year, my fondness and gratitude for the educational staff grew tenfold. We never plan for our kids to struggle, but we can't choose their path, just help them and guide them and fight for them. And, above all, believe in them.
So now the school year is behind us and the summer is beginning to unfold. We're checking things off our checklist, like backyard pool parties and park picnics. Lazy days interspersed with planned activities. Ashton is finally old enough for the summer rec programs. He started t-ball and he surprised me by loving it. He teetered all spring on whether he wanted to sign up, and I waited till the last minute to register because organized sports have not gone well for him in the past. But he stood out on the baseball field, holding the little glove and lobbing the balls at his partner and running the bases, proving to me that his maturity level has skyrocketed sometime when I wasn't paying attention. Spencer started baseball, the kind with an intense schedule and real games, something we weren't quite prepared for. But he loves it. And I love seeing how little he really still is, even when he insists he's so freaking big.
Even with school over, we are studying over the summer. Spelling tests, math worksheets, reading comprehension and book reports for Spencer. Scissor practice, handwriting, letter recognition and phonics for Ashton. We're also carrying on our tradition of reading chapter books while congregated at the table with a busy activity of coloring or painting or playdoh or money sorting. We're continuing with the Judy Blume Fudge series as our first summer book. They were a big hit last year.
As for the littlest Mahlke, Jillian is enjoying having her brothers home all day. Except when they're up in her business, which is pretty much always. She's reached an age (or a stage--please, Lord, let it be a stage!) where she isn't afraid to voice her opinions with loud, dramatic flair. I fear the Terrible Twos have come early for her, which is something entirely foreign to me since the boys skipped that stage. Their challenging age was three (and bleeding into four).
We have a busy summer ahead of us, not a single free weekend until September. I know it's going to fly on by and soon we will be waving good-bye to summer and welcoming in the new school year. But, until then, we will be busy checking the items off our bucket list and savoring our favorite season.
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