Monday, July 10, 2006

Summer’s Twilight Dance

Wolfie and Mattie’s excitement over lightening bugs is fresh and fevered – my heart swells with pride as I watch them with Papa from the kitchen window in the darkening grass carpet of our yard. The first few nights, every tiny glowing ember they catch sight of fascinates them and they run arms outstretched to be near it, but catch it, no too wriggly – that’s Papa’s job. I totally agree, IMHO allowing a bug to sit on your hand is well, don’t tell Wolfie, unthinkable! And each night, EVERY NIGHT for the past week, they hurry outside thrilled with the opportunity to try again. Last night they each caught several; carefully stalking forward arms bravely outstretched then with prey in sight pulling back with timid hesitation. Wolf tries very carefully to hold what he seems to not want to touch. Mattie’s strategy is to grab with abandon, but eject with glee the moment she feels the creature’s slightest movement. Luckily before bug catching got left off my parental resume altogether, I discovered my garden kneeling pad is a great tool. You simply raise it up under a flying glow and the bug sits right down on it for you – no touching required. This also works with a sleeve pulled over your hand.

Our raspberries are ripening every day this week too and we have yet to bring a single one inside – all berries get eaten right in the patch. The first day we picked any, Mattie liked them so much she almost had a tantrum right in the garden. Instead of flailing around on the rock path though, she slapped her thighs with both hands and repeated, “I - want - more - raspberries!” I finally had to feed her an unripe one to get her to understand there really weren’t any more! Picking edibles from the yard seems to carry its own special thrill. The kids have also been busy with gooseberries and currants. A few days into the currant’s ‘season’ Wolf got a bit tired and sat on the bench while Mattie kept picking gooseberries. I guess he felt like his productivity was down, because (from the bench) he kept telling her to pick ‘my currants’ too.

We’ve begun our summer routine of swimming as much as possible now that our pool is up. Playing lifeguard gets easier each day as Wolfie and Mattie take to the water. I didn’t think 2 ½ feet of water could help them learn to swim but they’re both developing swimming skills like holding their breath, floating and moving. They love to jump off the side of bigger pools we visit – even without water wings at the Bensenville (public) pool. The application of sunscreen is always challenging, but we slather on SPF 50 and they STILL get tan! Mattie has tan lines on her feet from her surf shoes even!

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