Julia and Lucy attended the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Performing Arts Chorus Camp in June.
Their capstone performance was on my birthday, which we got to enjoy with our very best friends.
Look at all our kids together! They could grow up to be the next Arcade Fire or something.
Summer means marching band for Julia and it gets intense in July. That’s when Lucy took some art classes.
She learned to make amazingly useful things from t-shirts and a whole lot of art from recycled items in a Trash to Treasure class. And she took a Create Your Own Character class where she made an incredible Dipper puppet.
Julia and Lucy are both very creative kids. When they aren’t making music, they’re making art and I was so glad they got to explore those things a little more this summer.
We took the requisite picture in the usual spot.
It was dark and rainy, but he was bright. Just before this, he’d been sitting on the stairs wearing his backpack and waiting patiently for his sisters to be ready to go. We dropped Julia off first, then Phoebe, Lucy, and finally, it was his turn. He did not hesitate. He marched right in and got straight to work. He didn’t give me a second glance and I’ve finally learned that no one gains anything from me hovering around, so I left. I thought I’d cry. I didn’t, really. He was ready to go to school. I was ready, too. There’s a part of me that believes I should feel guilty for feeling that way. That part of me is silly. My kids aren’t babies anymore. I don’t need to grieve it as though it’s a loss to prove to myself that it was special. I cherished the baby years. I’ll cherish the school years, too.
My mom had the day off and went along to take Jack to school and pick him up and she took some pictures. I AM IN THEM. I’m not in many photos with the kids because I am usually the one taking them. Also, I’ve hated my body and did not want to be photographed. Still! Here I am with Jack after his first day of school.
He’s looking at his very first Scholastic book flyer. Look at his happy face! He’s going to have a great year.
We went to a meet and greet at Jack’s preschool yesterday.
(He picked the shirt he wore.)
We went for lunch after.
He loves to make me laugh. He’s good at it, too.
We were having a great time until a couple sat down near us and the man suddenly stood up and started yelling down at the woman. “I told you! I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU!!!” It scared me. It lasted less than a minute, but I noticed the way the woman moved her hand to shield her face and looked down as the man glowered over her. It made me so sad and uncomfortable and angry. I hate that my son saw it, that now he knows this is a way people can choose to behave.
We took our desserts to go. On the way out, Jack held the door open and said, “After you, Mommy!” It was such a contrast from what we had just seen. I felt so grateful for that sweet, gentle boy. I will do all I can to help him stay that way.
Look at this beautiful girl.
She’s officially a teenager now.
I was not nearly this gorgeous at 13. I was the most awkward thing you’ve ever seen.
It’s incredible all I see when I look at this child. (Can I still call her that? A child?) I see Dave and I see me. I see her tiny baby face grow up in seconds to the kid she is right now. And she’s this amazing kid. She’s creative and funny and full of life and love and ideas. She’s caring and conscientious.
She’s a great big sister.
We all love her so, so much.
Dave loves sports and baseball is his absolute favorite. He watches it. He plays it. He has a secret blog where he writes an alternate version of baseball history, recreating old seasons with some kind of twist. For example, what if Thurman Munson hadn’t died in 1979? Baseball is his thing and the Cleveland Indians are his team. We’re just far enough from Cleveland that heading up there feels like a big deal. So, for Christmas I bought him two tickets to six different Indians games this summer.
I thought he might like to take each of the kids to a game, get some one-on-one time with them, make some memories, and maybe pass on his passion for baseball. This may have been the best Christmas present I ever gave him. He had so much fun!
All the games were on Sundays, which are Kids Fun Days at Progressive Field. The kids get to run the bases at the end of the game.
And there are cool activities if you come early.
His seats were in the family deck.
That’s also where the Kid’s Clubhouse is. It includes a play area with a two story slide and all kinds of interactive games to try.
He took me to a game, too.
We all enjoyed it so much. I hope we can make it a tradition to do this every year.
So, the piano recital wasn’t officially a summer thing. It was on May 20th. But school was nearly out and in my mind, I was already on summer vacation, so I’m including it here, too. Julia, Lucy, and Phoebe performed. I made a highlight video.
It was the first time for us that the recital wasn’t on a Sunday, which was fine, but weird. The girls were great and Jack fell asleep.
The dance recital happened after school was out on June 6.
All four kids were in it for a total of eight performances and I made a highlight video of that, too.
Julia received her ten year award. That’s TEN YEARS of dance! (Remember the first one?)
She got to take a limo to the recital and at the end, she received a trophy.
That’s a whole lot to be proud of.
I didn’t write here over the summer. I wish I had, so I’m going to play a little catch-up in the form of some lateblogs. (I’m not sure that’s a real word, but you know what I mean.)
Phoebe played tee ball this year. While softball starts in the spring and goes through the end of June, tee ball doesn’t begin until school is out. She was more than ready to play when the time came. I love these pictures of her playing catch with her dad before her first game.
Next year, she’ll play coach pitch softball and Jack will be the tee ball player.
Jack and Phoebe both took dance over the summer. Jack did a six week predance session and Phoebe did ballet twice a week all summer, which she loved.
Phoebe also went to College for Kids at Kent State at Tuscarawas for a week.
She took a Super Scientists class where she learned this cool trick.
And she took care of her doll Camille in a Teddy Bear ER class.
She had so much fun. She can’t wait to “go back to college.”
It’s time for school again!
Today is the first day of first grade for Bee.
It’s the first day of fourth grade for Lu, which is also the first day of middle school.
And it is the first day of eighth grade for Julia. Around here, that’s high school, friends.
Jack doesn’t start preschool for two weeks, so he is exercising his right to wear pajamas all day.
We’ve made an after-school treat. Dirt. With worms.
And until we go and pick our students up, we’re playing with the newest Grimmett. Her name is Nala.
She was born the day my beloved Mabel somehow escaped the house and disappeared. I still have hope in my heart that Mabel will return, but for now, we’re back to an even number of cats which we all know is better than an odd number.
how long has it been
since we didn’t have to rush
to get everywhere
how long has it been
since I listened to you talk
and did nothing else
how long has it been
since I held you in my arms
til you fell asleep
We did as little as possible the first few days after school was out. Now, we’re starting to shift into our summer schedule. We’re staying up later and sleeping in a little. Sometimes a lot. Each day, I put a to-do list in a clear pocket folder for each of the kids. It usually includes some school work, piano practice, and a few chores.
It doesn’t take long for them to get it all done. I do my part along with them, so then we’re free for laid-back summer fun until softball or dance class.
We have some busy weeks ahead, but I’m hoping a lot of the summer is just like this.
We may never pass this way again! Seals and Croft sang that in 1973. And if you graduated in ’73, there is no way that wasn’t your class song. I was born in the 70’s and am soothed by that music. It makes me think of a golden-haired girl walking in a meadow at sunset. That may have been in the commercial for Sounds of the 70’s from Time Life. Still, it’s a nice feeling. I’m listening to it today because I am completely aware that a phase in our family life is ending.
Today was Julia’s last day of middle school.
It was Lucy’s last day of elementary school.
It was Phoebe’s last day of Kindergarten.
And it was Jack’s last school day at home as he’ll be heading to preschool in the fall.
We may never pass this way again!
The great thing about an ending is that something else can now begin. I’m looking forward to what will take us up. Always up.