There are things that I like better about children who are eight and not three. We do not have to assess their level of exhaustion before deciding to eat in a restaurant. Unless it's way, way past bedtime, they can swing it. We can stay up to watch fireworks, catch fireflies, and eat s'mores. They sleep in, current wake up time is between 9:30 and 10:00 (which is going to be a bear of a reversal once this summer door closes). They can pour themselves a glass of lemonade, after, of course, asking if they may. We can take a two hour car trip without an arsenal of activities; for two glorious hours they are actually somewhat happy talking to me (recent topics of conversation include: what exactly is in strawberry jam? and why is it called jam? what does it mean to sue someone and why does everyone sue McDonalds? is it because they have bad food? why don't boys have boobies? how long until the new prince will be king? and why isn't the queen's husband a king?). Distinct advantages to being eight, and I appreciate every one of them. However, eight is just a stop on the road to summers spent working and sweating and cursing the humidity for creating a droopy mess out of a once crisp linen blouse, and that I'm not ready to accept.
As much as she hates it, Mary's somewhat diminutive size means that I can still scoop her up and carry her when one of her summer battle wounds is proving too much for the last block on a long walk home. She fits quite nicely on my back, at least for one block, and I love that she still finds that space a safe spot to shrug off the responsibilities that come with her eight years. Her sister, now much too tall for me to carry, is perfectly content climbing into our bed and reading with me for hours. She brings her bear and senator and rainy Sunday mornings are the best part of my week. Because even though they are eight and much too rapidly picking up the this and that's which will lead us to the teen years, they still fit snuggly in my world, and they still like it here.
We have three days before we return to a schedule that requires an alarm clock and a strict adherence to bed times. A Monday to Friday gig that means less spontaneity, more responsibility and quite often a scramble for clean clothes. We're going to make the most of these three days, I'm watching, I see the time flying by but we are loving every bit of it. It's been a glorious summer, don't let the door hit you as it closes.