Pardon my crassness, dear readers, but summer has got me by the balls! I think I write a post around this time each summer saying what a messy, fast-paced, exhausting, hectic, whirlwind summer we’re having and summarize by saying how I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t think I’ve ever written about all the things that go on behind the scenes, though—all the prep and cleaning it takes to make the messy magic of summer happen. So I picked a random day this week, which was Wednesday, to write down not only what we officially did that day but also what it took to get us doing it. The prep for Wednesday began on Tuesday, so that’s where we’re starting.
8PM: Baked a batch of lemon shortbread bars to share with some friends on Wednesday; baked the tart base for the White Balsamic Fruit Tart for tomorrow (we’re having friends over for dinner)
9PM: Cleaned up the kitchen, started the dishwasher, threw the boys’ wet clothes from their squirt gun fight into the dryer, and went to bed.
6:30AM: Woke up, unloaded dryer and dishwasher, started packing up for our day. Watered pots on deck. Made sandwiches for the 5 boys for later (V’s friend spent the night and Fruit Bat is spending his days with us this week), cut up fruit, loaded water bottles and cups.
7:30AM: Vincenzo woke up. Helped him make waffles for the crew, who ate breakfast whenever they stumbled into the kitchen. Packed a set of dry clothes for each of the boys, made sure we had towels, goggles, sunblock, and all the beachy things in the car.
8AM: Fruit Bat arrived. The boys played while I put together a potato salad for the evening (did I mention we’re having friends over?)
9AM: Had the kids get into their swim stuff and lined them up for sunblock. Got Leo’s speech therapy binder, packed snacks for the boys to have at speech, packed lemon shortbread for the staff and my waiting room friend, and had the boys all get a book or activity to do in the waiting room.
9:30AM: Loaded everyone into the car and went to the beach with some good friends.
9:31AM: Made the mistake of asking the boys to count off. Tried to maintain sanity the whole carride as the boys yelled out random numbers. “NINE! NINE! NINE! INFINITY! INFINITY! ONE THOUSAND! TEN KAJILLION! INFINITY! ONE THOUSAND! ONE THOUSAND! FIVE! TEN KAJILLION! FIVE! FIVE!” (Imagine all those words written on top of each other though, and repeated 200-300 times.)
9:35: Arrived at the beach and spent a glorious two hours chatting with my friend while our kids dug holes and swam.
11:30AM: Ate sandy sandwiches, bought ice cream from the shop there, then cleaned up the boys as much as they cleaned up at that point.
12:30PM: Dropped V’s friend off at his house and took the remaining 4 boys to Leo’s speech appointment.
2PM: Headed back home.
2:30PM: Got Leo down for a nap. The other boys played with clay on the deck while I began the process of gathering up sandy clothes/towels and throwing them in the wash, unpacking coolers, unloading and putting away uneaten food from the beach picnic, etc.
3:30PM: Did a little party prep for Rocco’s birthday (it’s on Sunday!)
4:15PM: Delivered cookies to neighbor
4:30PM: Finished the fruit tart, cooked bacon, made crispy fried onions for the burgers
5:00PM: McStreamy picked up Fruit Bat
5:05PM: Double checked my text messages and realized I never actually sent the text to invite our friends to dinner. Cursed myself up and down, then called them and breathed a sigh of relief that they could come after all
5:15PM: Kevin came home and made hamburger patties. I set up a fruit platter and set the table, cleaned, started up dishwasher, etc.
5:30PM: Wrapped Rocco’s birthday present, finished up the favors for his party
6PM: Friends arrived for dinner. Party was on again!
8PM: Unloaded dishwasher, loaded it up again and started it, then hand washed the big dishes. Unloaded dryer and reloaded the swimming bags for the next day.
8:30PM: Put the boys to bed,
9PM: Watched TV with Kevin
9:30 PM: Went to bed myself.
I know so much of that sound mundane—the cooking, the cleaning, the packing, the loading, then doing all of that in reverse—eating, making messes, unpacking, reloading—but those happen to be some of my favorite things to do. Sometimes I still feel like I’m just playing house, only unlike my childhood, I get to be the mom instead of the baby. (I was always very small for my size.) And I really, really love being the mom.
That was one day out of the summer, and not a particularly busy one at that. And what a day it was, stuffed with friends and family, rife with with sticky hands and faces, with wet towels, sandy feet and bottoms, dirty dishes, overflowing with life and laughter, and interspersed with just enough quiet moments stuck in between the loud ones to make it all okay.
Only it was better than okay—it was perfect. Messes and all.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Nothing! Going out with the boys after their swim lessons.