< Insert long, drawn-out, trite paragraph about how I haven’t been writing because I’m too busy Enjoying My Summer With My Family here. >

That’s not quite how not writing here for two months happened, but at least that’s out of the way now.

This time of year feels filled with promise but I still end up with a case of the sads. I love summer and the end of Labour Day always feels like such a buzzkill. I’m the one reminding everyone that summer isn’t actually over yet, but everyone else is too excited about their new school supplies and sweaters to really listen.

My end-of-summer melancholy comes with a side of guilt too. My birthday was on Saturday  and Flora’s is on Wednesday. Hello thirty-five and five. I shouldn’t be sad around my birthday! And I really shouldn’t be sad around Flora’s birthday either. I like birthdays and getting older doesn’t trouble me much (yet – let’s be honest here). Because this year’s birthdays are significant (in that they’re easily divisible by five), I keep looking at the two of us and wondering “When did it all happen? Am I a good enough mum? Do I do enough for my family?” Then I wish for the proverbial Room of My Own so I can just sit down and create something without everyone hanging off of me and listening to the soundtrack of my choosing. I need to toughen up on that stuff. If I wait for the time to be right, I will never make the time to write.

/end tangent here.

It’s been a good summer. My tomato plants grew taller than Flora and are now drooping over their cages. I’ve harvested the yummiest cherry tomatoes ever for a couple of weeks. I will probably have tomatoes of various types well into September if not longer (weather-dependent of course). We spent lots of time outside. We barbecued. We were just another Ontario family enjoying their summer. And I’m not ready for that summer to be over yet.

May they always look at each other like this

The crowd I spent my vacation with.

Team Mitchell was on vacation last week. We laid low at home and it was wonderful.

Highlights of the week include:

Sean’s birthday. We picked up dinner and had our neighbours over for dinner. I made a cherry cheesecake and it was pretty good for someone who doesn’t bake. I made it from a box, but still, I made cake! I should have made him wear the Dora party hat we have in the cupboard from Flora’s 2nd birthday.

Our ninth wedding anniversary. We didn’t do much to celebrate it, but we did acknowledge it.

I read six novels.  I have completed my challenge for 2013 to read 35 books. Now I need to up the number since there’s a lot of 2013 left. Some novels were trashy, but that’s what summer reading is all about.

I played with Instagram video. I’m not sure if I love it yet, but it is fun.

Embedly Powered

Embedly Powered

I took Flora to the ROM. The train trips to and from were big adventures, but an unexpected highlight of our trip was the bat cave. I was convinced she would be terrified of it, but we walked through that thing at least six times in a row.

Train ride

Pink Teddy enjoyed the trip too.

Lots of time spent outside. We went to the park, the splash pad and spent lots of time in the backyard. My favourite afternoon was spent in the backyard just enjoying my family, talking, hanging out and playing.

We’re back to our regular routine today – Sean and I at work and Flora at her school for summer camp. I think our return to routine was almost welcome, but I’ll still look forward to the next backyard party this weekend.

I love this time of year. The weather is finally starting to warm up and there’s been enough rain for the lawn to be lush and green. Flora and I went outside after supper tonight so she could play and I could watch and take pictures and just hang out. The air was warm and it just felt so good to be outside on a sunny evening.

“Mama, I want Bunny to watch me play soccer.”

I had the best seat in the backyard so Bunny sat on my lap. I held Bunny up so she could see Flora’s kicks and runs and shouts of “GOOOAAALLL!”

Flora shows Bunny her soccer moves by MPriceMitchell
Flora shows Bunny her soccer moves, a photo by MPriceMitchell on Flickr.

Flora got Bunny when she was a baby and she is now a cherished member of our family. I check Bunny for loose threads and I pray her head doesn’t come off in the wash. I wash her in a lingerie bag to be safe.

At four-and-a-half (well, really, almost three-quarters but who’s counting), Flora is obviously not a baby. I am astounded at what a big kid she’s become over the last year. But when she’s at home, she likes Bunny to be nearby. Even when she’s doing big kid things.

Flora tells me regularly that she wants to keep Bunny forever. I always tell her “I hope you do”.

Then when she’s out of earshot, I murmur to whoever is with me about my worries that Bunny won’t make it that long. Most childhood toys don’t.

I hope Flora does keep Bunny forever. I love her too.

Why it’s probably a good thing we don’t go out on New Year’s Eve:

What can I say? Loud noises scare me.

We spent our evening flipping between college football, kid’s TV and old music videos. I didn’t have remote privileges or much veto power so I worked on (and finished) the book I was reading. When Flora went to bed, Sean and I poured ourselves a few drinks and had a few laughs while watching more old music videos.

Today has been lazy, but not a complete write-off. We took down the Christmas tree and decorations earlier this afternoon. I made beef stew in the slow cooker knowing I wouldn’t want to come up with dinner after a long day at home. Flora spent most of the day in her new ballerina outfit and I spent most of my day in my jammies. We’re both dressed now, but she is wearing a summer dress that is much shorter than it was last summer.

A perfect illustration of time moving forward.

I feel like I should have all these grand plans for 2013. I’m not ready to make any big commitments yet, but I’m thinking about stuff. I want to succeed with small changes – and honour those successes – before I proceed  to any major overhauls.

For now, I’ll go with this:

#photos12 artwork on my desk at work by MPriceMitchell, on Flickr" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mpricemitchell/8269229265/">8am <a href=#photos12 artwork on my desk at work" src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8481/8269229265_b5210ec2b4.jpg" width="500" height="500" />

This is author Ami McKay’s Pledge for Digital Humanity. I printed this image out from her blog post “I’m Nobody! Who are you?”. It’s on my desk at work. I find it inspiring there, but probably need to apply the pledge outside of work too.

That’s a start. Happy New Year.

When I picked Flora up from school today, I had to sit in my car for an extra minute or two to pull myself together. I’ve got a serious case of the November blahs. Add an exhausting day at work, a busy commute and I had a small case of the sads by the time I hit the school.

I peeked in the window where the kids were playing. I love watching Flora when she doesn’t know I’m watching her. It gives me insight into how she sees the world.

I waited at the door and she soon came running to give me the biggest hug.

I really needed that.

As she was getting her stuff on, she handed me a piece of paper.

20121115-210636.jpg

I made this for you mama.

For those who don’t have kids learning to write and draw right now, it’s a card with lots of hearts. It says “Mom” on the front and the back.

I almost teared up in the hallway of the school.

I thanked Flora for her card. I told her it was just what I needed. And it really was.

I have an awesome kid. I want to be like her when I grow up.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by melissa price-mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.