When the stuffies borrow your jewelry.

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It’s been a blast.

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Dear Summer,

Thanks for the memories: sand between our toes, flip flops and tank tops, Coppertoned skin, wind-whipped hair, dripping ice cream cones, lazy days and late sunsets, quiet reading time, blanket forts, giggles with loved ones, hot marshmallows over the campfire, lavender breezes, warm rain and lush greens.

Oh, and one last blast of the backyard hose.

See you next year! 💗

Gratitude.

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when your daughter’s soaring on the playground swing and all the shots you’re making are botched and blurry but it’s okay because she’s laughing and her backlit curls are trailing out behind her and you suddenly feel very, very lucky and you think to yourself: remember this remember this remember this

 

Changing perspectives.

I had a photo coach today.

During our visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens, my first-grader made it a priority to identify several potential photographic subjects for me. Besides the current exhibit of giant nature-themed Lego creations by artist Sean Kenney, the gardens have no shortage of pretty blooms and sweeping lines, all of which attract the folks with cameras slung around their necks.

While sitting together in the shade on a couple of tree stumps, she looked up and pointed out the “ceiling” of this spiral metal arbour, the bars of which were gripped firmly by what I guessed was wisteria, or some other woody climbing vine that seems to have no mercy for its supports.

“Take a picture of that,” she suggested.

I did.

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I thought maybe she’d appreciate the opportunity to execute her own ideas (and, truthfully, I had reached my limit of being coached), so I handed her the camera.

This resulted in several close-up and very unflattering photos of my face, but also some very reasonable shots of the Mr. and I together (of which we have very few), a row of tomato plants, a tree branch, a lily, and a pinwheel.

Through what she chose to photograph, how she framed her shots, and her complete lack of hesitation or self-consciousness, I was reminded how compelling it is to see through the eyes of a child.

Unless what you’re seeing is a close-up of my nostrils. In my opinion, they’re not that compelling.

School’s out for summer.

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I cringe at the thought of being sprayed by ice water, but for some reason, my kids love it. Apparently other people’s kids love it, too, because we have a dozen splash pads scattered throughout town, usually crowded with soaked, screaming children, dashing through jets of frigid water. As far as I can tell, they’re screaming with joy. (I know. It’s weird. It’s fun to watch, as long as I don’t get splashed.)

To celebrate the first day of summer vacation, my kids screamed at a splash pad and then their lips turned blue while they waded in the murky, glacial waters of the nearby creek. Convincing them to eventually end this activity took a fair amount of coaxing. If not for the fact that I’m 100% sure I gave birth to them, I might wonder how they could possibly be related to me.

To top off the day, they slurped up their first ever root beer float (I had one, too. I like cold liquids, as long as my body isn’t being sprayed by or immersed in them. Also, I didn’t want the kids to think I don’t know how to have fun).

Let the adventures begin!