Growing up and acting out

One of our kids is infamous for their dramatics. When they do something wrong, it’s like we are all suddenly appearing in a soap opera of epic proportions. They are loud and heard. But Dave and I have noticed lately that this larger than life persona is mellowing. We are handling scenes with caution, afraid to tip the delicate balance! Yet the screaming and flailing is becoming deep breathing and tearful, yet logical, explanations and requests. As incredible as it has been to watch our children take their first steps, hold their own bottle, and learn to write their name, nothing holds a candle to watching this fire cracker practice self-control.

To balance that incredible growth out, the three-year-olds have entered the terror years. Neither of them listens to anything any adult says at the moment, and they are beyond fascinated with all gooey, viscous substances and how quickly they can be applied to hair and carpets. As impressed as we are with the child going through an emotional growth spurt, we are tearing our hair out over the terrible twosome who think covering themselves in cocoa butter and coconut oil from head to toe is a great way to start every morning.

This is where having multiple kids in pairs gets entertaining. You see, we’ve already had this experience. And it drove us crazy the first time too. That said, we are less surprised this time around and way better at the cleanup.

Summer is coming to an end. Weeks of swimming and tennis lessons, multiple family vacations, and even camp have all come to a close. I don’t know who’s more ready for school to start – the kids or the adults! As we get all fall activities and the schoolbus details on the schedule, I can’t get over how short summer felt. We will have one last adventure before the kids go back to learning as a full-time job. Lilou will join the bigs in the school universe, which just feels weird. And I suspect Marie is looking forward to months at a time with two kids and a dog – it will feel like vacation after a summer with all five!

Predictably, we have not spent enough time in our garden or even in the backyard gazing up at the stars and listening to the waves. This is when I cling to every evening, demanding we go out for a few minutes before folding laundry and filling out permission slips. I love fall: the crisp air, fire in the fireplace and soup on the stove. But the fleeting summer is at its most meaningful at the end of August. So whether we get five minutes or a half a day in the sunshine, we will relish every minute. All of us.

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