1. In the “It Takes a Village” category, I took most of the Little Explorers to the dentist today. The three older ones were due for a cleaning and I was well past due. I dropped Laura Ingalls Wilder off with a friend and picked up Mrs. British Neighbor to help supervise kids in the waiting area when it wasn’t their turn. It went amazingly. Each Little Explorer did great getting their cleaning and x rays, and there were no cavities for anyone but me. In my defense, it’s a cavity under the edge of a crown that was poorly installed about four years ago. The tooth has already had a root canal and now I’ll have to have the crown replaced. I wish dental insurance covered actual dentistry. It seems like it mostly covers cleanings and just enough of actual dental work to make you keep paying for it, but not enough to actually help much with the cost.
2. Last night, Arthur Dent seemed to have a bit of a fever when I went to kiss him goodnight before I crawled in bed. He is my kid that spikes very high fevers very quickly, so, since The International Man of Intrigue was on a quick work trip, I scooped Arthur Dent up and put him in bed with me. There’s something about having one of my children next to me in bed that makes me nostalgic for every moment of their childhood and for just how little they still are. Arthur Dent’s body, heavy with sleep, his back pressed into mine, his breathing soft and deep, reminded me of how, somehow, he became the one kid out of the four Little Explorers who co-slept. Gertrude Bell would occasionally wander in to sleep with us, but from almost day one, Arthur Dent would end up in our bed at some point in the night. We called him “The Minus Sign” because he always slept with his head in my back and his feet in The International Man of Intrigue’s back. We looked something like this: 1-1. It’s no coincidence that the answer to that little math fact is zero. As in zero sleep. Sometime, a few months after his first birthday, he started sleeping all night most nights and stayed in his crib. He still came into our room with some frequency, though. In the past year, his night time relocation has almost completely stopped. Laura Ingalls Wilder, like Amelia Earhart, has never wanted to sleep in our bed and is much happier in her crib, so The International Man of Intrigue and I have gotten used to having our uninterrupted sleep back. Even though I enjoy having our space back, I do sometimes get nostalgic for the tiny voice in the night, calling out, “Mama, can I sleep with you?”
3. It’s day two of summer break and I’m already contemplating just how often a trip to the pool can be substituted for bathtime.
4. There is one thing I love doing in summer. It goes back to those long hot prairie days of childhood. Every week on Wednesday, my mom would load us up in the car and drive us to town. We’d go to my small town’s tiny library and check out books and participate in the summer reading program. I think I read every book in that little library. I can still close my eyes and hear the door open and feel the rush of cold air on my hot face. I can smell the smell of books and cool air and clean floors. From a young age, I was a voracious reader. I outgrew my tiny Catholic grade school library by the time I was in late grade school. I looked forward to summer because the librarian would let me check out books from the high school and adult books in the back of the library and didn’t make me stick with “grade level” books. There wasn’t a book that was safe. One summer I read the entire Alfred Hitchcock Three Investigators series. One summer I moved on to the Westerns, and then SciFi. After we loaded up our library bag with books, it was off to the city pool to swim for a few hours. I had fun at the pool, but I loved crawling back into the steaming hot car, still dripping in my bathing suit, and reaching in the bag for my first book. I read all summer long. My mom would force us outside. Sometimes I’d play, sometimes I’d stand up, never looking up from the book, and walk out of the house directly to the first step on the front porch, where I’d plant myself and continue reading. That, my friends, is summer.
5. I’m still a voracious reader. I’d read all day if I could. When I was sitting in the NICU with little Laura Ingalls Wilder, I read about a book a day. I was so thankful for my Kindle. Being able to haul an entire stack of books halfway across the country in the form of a little electronic device was a sanity saver. Now that summer is here, I have to fight the urge to curl up on the couch and do nothing but read. The International Man of Intrigue had an unusually quick work trip this week. When he’s gone, I often spend most of the evening reading. This time, I read the first book in the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs. It’s the book series that the TV show “Bones” is based on. “Bones” is one of my favorite shows, but even I have to finally admit the show has jumped the shark the last couple of seasons. The books actually take place at a much different time in the main character’s life, which allows me to enjoy them without comparing them to their tv counterparts. I'm not going to binge read the series, but they are a fun read. What are you reading?