I have really enjoyed this summer. Last summer I tried reallyreally hard to enjoy summer, but I was trying because we knew that two of our four kids were having major heart surgery at the end of the summer. So we were playing like our lives depended on it.

I’m very thankful we spent our summer as if it was our last, because for Elli, it was.

This summer has been full of memories from last. But they are turning from bitter to sweet:

…pushing three kids as high as possible in their swings.

…lounging in the hammock with Elli, making up silly songs.

…swimming at the community pool with all four kids and Elli’s aide.

…eating popcorn while watching movies on too-steamy-to-be-outside days.

We have done all these things this summer, except that I only need to push one child, the kids make up the silly songs, it’s been rather cool to swim much, and because it’s been cooler than normal, we’ve played outside more and watched movies less. (Well, we’ve played outside more.)

The kids have spent their summer being kids. That’s how I like it. I’m postponing packing the kids’ calendar with this lesson and that club and the other sports practice as long as I can.

Instead, we’ve dragged every Barbie and superhero and Star Wars figure and car outside, we’ve splashed in our wading pool and then turned it into mulch-leaf-glitter soup, we’ve ridden bikes (Big Boy is riding without training wheels!), we’ve climbed trees (and I’ve tried to clutch my camera shutter and not my heart at the dizzying heights the boys attain), we’ve dueled with light sabers and water guns, and we’ve planted and watered and tended to the flowers at Elli’s grave.

It has been very good.