While of course you are always my boys, I like to think of you as my summer boys. Summer is where, no matter my work schedule, we seem to have plenty of time to spend together. There is no school to distract our attention away from just being a mother and her boys. Our adventures are never ending. Both of your birthdays are in the summer. Summer is truly our season. Now that it's over, now the school and orchestra and homework and bedtime schedules are back to demanding all the attention, I can't help feel a little sense of loss.
I know there will be next summer. But next summer, there will be three of you, instead of just two. Next summer, you will both be older. Next summer, I'll be older. This was the very last summer of its kind, the one where, Bug, you turned 10, and Monkey, you turned 6. The last summer where there were just the perfect number for every small boy to have a piggy back ride.
Don't get me wrong. I'm so excited for the changes that are happening with our family. This is new and exciting and happy. I just wanted to make sure you know that, even before this, you two were enough, enough to make my heart overflow with love, enough to occupy my every thought.
I've watched the two of you develop a new, closer bond. This may partially by due to the fact that Monkey has stopped chewing on all of Bug's toys and can understand the rules of board games. I also think that the thought of a new little boy in the house has united you with the attitude of "it's us against that."
You have taken to sleeping together, usually in Bug's top bunk. At first I was worried that this would bother Bug, having Monkey always being the clingy little brother, asking to sleep with his big brother. But you, Bug, reassured me that it didn't. In fact, it was completely the opposite of bothering you. Your response...
"You know how sometimes, you wake up in the middle of the night, and it's all dark and you can't see anything? Well, sometimes it's nice to know someone's there with you."
Granted, the sleeping in the same bed has delayed the actual sleeping, as I hear you two giggling well past when you were tucked in.
Most non-school mornings, you both wake up and play games together in your room. Your game of choice? Chess.
One morning, about a month after we had told the boys we were expecting another baby, I was up early getting ready for work, when I overheard talking coming from the top bunk. I listened from behind the partially opened bedroom door to overhear Bug talking to Monkey about the new baby.
"So, Mom's tummy is going to get really big. I remember that. And she won't be able to play as much. But that's okay. When the baby gets bigger, we'll be able to feel the baby kick, while it's still inside her tummy. And when the baby gets here, it will cry a lot. That's what you did. But that's okay. That's just what babies do. They cry, and eat, and sleep, and then cry some more. But it will be a lot of fun."
Listening to this little pep talk from big brother to little brother melted my heart.
How can I not wish to pause time and soak up more of these sun-bleached blonde headed, tanned, little ones? You two are every blue sky, humid afternoon, and firefly specked twilight rolled into the form of childhood. You are truly my boys of summer.