There's sand in the bathtub and the hamper and little boys' pockets. I pour it out of their boots, shake it out of their socks, and sweep it off the floor only to sweep it again. On particularly good days, I even help them rinse it out of their mouths. It sounds like pop rocks candy as it crunches between their teeth.
There are pill bugs in leaf-filled jar homes, fruit flies dancing around my compost bucket, and beetles crawling across my computer screen. I'm just waiting for the day I wake up to a line of mocking ants marching across my kitchen floor. I hate those ants. And then I'll line the doorways and baseboards with cinnamon and try to ignore the twinges of guilt as we mash the remaining ants beneath our fingers. So much for my pacifist leanings. I offer my sincere apologies to our Aunt Jo, who would be absolutely horrified to hear about the mass ant murders that take place here on occasion.
There is the heady smell of flowers in the morning, sunshine in the afternoon, and barbecued dinners in the evening. The cherry blossoms have already fallen into pink carpets and turned brown under passing feet and strollers and wagons. Everything is bright and colourful, backed by a hundred shades of green. Every breath feels like praise - thank you, thank you, thank you.
There are picnics at parks and visits to the farm and the zoo. Bare feet delight in the cool grass and the warm pavement. There are squeals as tiny toes test cold ocean waters at the beach. The sun comes out and a whole new world of possibilities seems to open up for us.
The door opens after lunch and doesn't close again until bedtime. We've fallen into a nice routine. The babies - mine and the daycare child - lay down for their first nap mid-morning while the rest of us have a bit of quiet. The babies wake up just in time to join us for lunch, then there's a quick tidy and we all head out into the yard. It's early afternoon by then, so the baby sits in the only bit of shade there is, right in front of the Japanese maple tree and rhododendron shrubs. The boys roll down the sloped yard in oversized toy dump trucks for as long as my nerves can stand it, and then out come bubbles, sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, whatever catches their fancy that particular day. We all enjoy the sun until it's time for the sweet girl's afternoon nap. The rest of the afternoon is filled with books, crafts, and the continual coming and going of boys (and their accompanying dirt) through that ever-open door.
There are early suppers and evening walks, nightly baths to wash off the day's activities, and more laundry than seems possible. Such is almost-summer, and an easy trade-off it is for all this warm sunshine.