Em got home last night from a month in New York with my family. (There's a post to be written about how much I missed her this year, and why it was different from years before, but it's not one I have the time for right now.)
This morning, my friend's two girls came over for a play/can-you-watch-our-kids-for-us date. There was much squealing when Em and G-girl saw each other. I mean, it'd been A WHOLE MONTH. That's like a lifetime...except a lot shorter. But still, it made me smile to see them so happy to be together again. And it helped me to feel a little bit better about Em's re-entry into her home-world, which has a whole lot less shopping and a whole lot less heated pools and a whole lot less central air conditioning and a wholewholewhole lot less getting to be an only child in it than does her Grandma-and-PopPop world.
In all seriousness, I was more than a little worried that it would be a tough transition, and that I'd be treated to a few days of moping and "I'm bored"s and unspoken "I wish I was still at Grandma's"s.
But that's not what I've gotten. What I've gotten was the kind of summer day that you dream about when you decide to have kids. I've had two almost-11-year-olds wrecking my kitchen in the process of baking a batch of brownies, but more-or-less putting it all back together again when they were done. I've had two 7.5-year-olds squirting each other with a garden hose, shrieking at the tops of their lungs. I've had the older girls decide to make lunch for the whole gang (taquitos and fish sticks and cucumbers and stringbeans that were picked fresh from the vine--with brownies for dessert, of course), and I've watched all of them troop up into the treehouse to have a picnic, pulling their food up to them via the bucket-and-pully system Baroy rigged up. I've had all four kids stay up in the treehouse for close to two hours, just chatting and noshing, and then come down only to change into bathing suits so all four of them could splash around in the maybe-six-foot-diameter, foot-deep blow-up wading pool. And they're all having an absolute blast, despite the complete absence of chlorine, filtration systems, or SPACE.
The "I'm bored"s and the "I wish I was still at Grandma's"s are coming. But they're not here yet. And that--as well as having both my kids at home, having them both laughing and happy--makes this the perfect summer day.