We are officially in August. The days are still warm and humid, but the nights are a touch longer and cooler. Everyone is still in summer play mode, yet back to school advertisements are beginning to crop up everywhere. All of Boston is on vacation, but I’m beginning to think of Labor Day weekend just around the corner.
This summer has been a bit of a relief. Last summer we were in full newborn mode. After little miss was born, the months of June, July, and August were spent navigating breastfeeding, sleepless nights, and the intensity of new sibling rivalry. It was like one big, long exhausting day smooshed together. I always joke that I can’t remember clearly that time period (except through looking back at pictures, and then still my memory escapes me) for either little miss or the dude; I was so sleep-deprived and tired that my brain was not capable of laying down new memories. The dude was born in June '09, little miss two years later in May—those two newborn summers are just one big blur.
Some snippets I am able to piece together of last summer: every morning our nanny would arrive bright and early at 7am to take the dude out so I could catch up on sleep during the day while little miss napped between feedings. We treated ourselves to a weekly locavore food delivery service to maintain our sanity (highly recommended). Every evening when little miss was fussy before her bedtime, my husband and I would crank up the white noise (“Ocean Waves” was the #1 on our family playlist) on the iPod speakers and take turns walking her around the house. To cope with our daily grind, we would share a g-rated nightcap: chocolate chip cookies and milk. We were just getting by.
Fast-forward through the little miss’ first year—ups and downs of infanthood, but easier and easier as her routine has become more predictable. She’s now officially a toddler, walking, “talking” (sign language and some first words too), and even using a fork and spoon. Our son has graduated to “big boy” preschool-hood. Slowly, the burdens of caring for two young children have lightened. It’s not perfect, and we still have our challenging moments, hours, and days even—but compared to last August, this one is positively a walk in the park.
I’ve been slowly ramping up my work responsibilities this year, but I am taking it easy this month on purpose to savor the summer. It’s a rare privilege to have more time in my day than work I have to do for a change. I’m enjoying the time—to myself and with my kids. Something about the sultry August air reminds me of the lazy slowness of my childhood summers in New Orleans. This year, I want to remember every wonderful moment of these dog days.