Jon was away last week, so I pulled out my kids' "Summer List" (their annual bucket list of sort) and we picked a few items to check off. It was no surprise that sleeping outside made the list again this year, so that's what we planned for. It made sense since roughing it isn't Jon's favorite thing to do when a cozy bed is just a few steps away.
I believe this was the fourth summer now that the kids and I have slept together under the stars. It has become our little summer tradition.
In the afternoon we inflated mattresses and set out layers and layers of blankets, finishing with the kids' quilts which covered their beds during the pre-school years. Nostalgic for sure.
I wanted to make our evening memorable, so we hopped on our bikes and pointed toward the coast. I'm not sure who will remember it most, but that ride seems ingrained in my mind. So lovely. We passed by a street call Lucky, and it struck me that luck has nothing to do with it. My heart thanked God for his kindness toward we. What a blessing, really. This is what I get to do, this is my job. My uniform was a pair of cut off jean shorts, a flouncy tank with crocheted straps, and flip flops. My work is real, it is significant, and it is fun.
Anyway, back to our evening... We rode down to a little taco place, then continued up the coast for some ice cream. We investigated a bike path, then detour by way of the beach. We made it home in time for the sun to set; after showers we cozied up under the stars, our heads all pointing toward the middle for nighttime conversation.
And what sort of things did we talk about? Just silly things, really. With three boys ages 7, 9, 11 you just have to roll with it (and maybe try to steer a bit). In the course of our conversation, the boys realized that peanut butter is brown. Their color blind eyes see it as green and they were appalled by the thought of poop colored spread! It turns out that some of them see chicken noodle soup as also being green. And boogers look orange. It never occurred to me to tell them that peanut butter is brown...
Um, we also looked at the starts and passing airplanes, hoping for a shooting start. One boy confessed that once he saw a shooting star, but since he couldn't think of a wish fast enough he wished for another shooting star.
Jacob and I shared a mattress, the other three slept sideways on the other mattress. Unfortunately, the night turned out to be very dewy and I would discover that my mattress had a couple holes. All night long I awoke to the feeling of deck boards under my back, and the mattress needed to be refilled every hour or so. It wasn't the most refreshing night, and my back suffered for a couple days.
The kids slept out there a second night, but I chose the comfort of my bed.
Other than that, the kids are involved in lots of projects recently. The school room is more or a project room now: Michael is building a model helicopter, Olivia and Andrew are building a popsicle stick house (complete with rooms, furniture, and soldered light fixtures, and a deck). Neighborhood fruit trees have brought in those shiny green beetles, so Andrew has been catching them and tying a string around their body (under the wings). Then he flies them like a kite, or like a flying beetle on a leash.
Also, more rocket flying.
Jacob can usually be found investigating something or other under the bushes, or playing some imaginary game. Here, a big palm pod became his toy boat.