And the living is easy…

Ah, summer bliss.

The frenetic pace of the last few months has melted away in the warm summer. Lazy days are here.

The kids are getting the full glory of summertime. They can sleep in every day (not that they do — Gracie refuses; she prefers to wake up with the birds). They get lots of time outside, swinging and running around the backyard and playing in the sandbox and eating popsicles and doing all those other things kids love to do in summer. They are spending tons of time together, just like siblings should.

Our new daycare is working out really well. The kids love going there. They get to play with the bunnies, play on the playground outside, and play with other kids. Yet another little girl has fallen in love with Jackson, and the two of them cuddle under T’s bemused and watchful eye. The experience of watching Gracie has been eye-opening for her; she asked Chad the other day, “how many times has she split her head open?” (The answer is none and I’d really like to keep it that way, thankyouverymuch karma gods.) In this short time T has for sure noticed how hard Gracie is on her body — how hard she bangs her head, how hard she lands on her knees or hands, how hard she bites, etc.

Seeing T’s reaction to the way Gracie treats her body reminds me how bizarre this life is. As Gracie’s mom, I am used to watching her throw her whole body weight on her knees. (Not that I like it! I flinch every time.) I am used to looking for injuries, recognizing the signs of overheating, changing soaking wet diapers, dealing with chronic diarrhea, and all the other stuff that’s part of being Gracie’s mama. It doesn’t seem unusual to me — until I look at her through someone else’s eyes. Then I see the big girl who is so smart and eloquent but can’t feel when it’s time to go potty. I see the very active child with the somewhat strange gait and terrible balance who can turn her ankle around and keep walking. I see the beautiful girl who wants to look pretty and yet bites her fingertips off.

But those things only tell part of the story. I also see the brilliant child who lights up every room she enters. I see the kid who makes everyone fall in love with her, the little girl with the twinkly eyes and the sparkling smile. I see the friendly kid who loves to play with other children. I see the amazing girl who overcomes every obstacle with grace and determination.

The living is easy.

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