I can't find the camera, so no pictures of these lovely times. When we first moved here I felt so anxious because I always do after having a baby. Also our downstairs neighbors complained a few times. So I felt like I had to try and stay out of the house for 4 hours a day. And that was hard.
When we bought our house I just loved being able to be home as much as I wanted. And sometimes we hardly went to parks at all. It was also hard to manage so many kids. But here we are now with 5 kids and it has gotten easier. I'm recognizing that the kids need more time to be out and running. The weather has cooled down enough to make that outside time pleasant. My oldest 2 are very able to just go and play. Even my 3rd is 5 now. So mostly I'm just managing a 2 year old and a babe in arms.
Today we went to the beach with the rocks. The 3 oldest ask the now common question "Can we run ahead?" And I said "Yes." as I more often find myself saying these days. So as B and I worked our way slowly, so slowly, down the boardwalk, the kids were already on the rocks having a great time 50 feet away.
M stayed close to lP as they navigated the giant boulders. G was wearing real shoes, not sandals, and got to really hop around on the rocks. B had wimpy flip flops on, and he's 2. So his climbing was more constrained. But he had so much fun climbing on to boulders above my head and crying out "Ahhhhhh! I'm...Big!" in his sweet slow way. Then he'd climb down and we'd walk a few feet over and climb up the next set of boulders.
We went to the pier and I was reminded of why we haven't gone there in years. It's terrifying to think, and rehears in your mind, the steps you will take if one of the children falls off into the water. Thankfully nobody fell in.
I'm so grateful to live in such a beautiful place.
G goes to school at 12:30 and I've struggled on how to feed the kids lunch. A recent epiphany is to take the kids to a park at 11 and have a picnic before we drop G off! So now we're getting even more lovely time outside and practicing the routines I loved, and miss, from our homeschool group.
Today M and P went off to the park and set up a blanket and picnic on it while I got B and L out of the car. As I came upon them, under a poplar tree, among its leaves, I was just impressed by the beauty of it.
These lucky girls. These lucky kids. We spend our days singing, working, playing... It's a beautiful time. The girls like to bully each other. But at least they always have an advocate, even if that advocate is sometimes very impatient with them. And they have their sweet brothers. I have very sweet boys.