I had high hopes for this summer, and boy, I've not been let down. This summer has been everything I wanted, and more.
It's my first summer not being pregnant or nursing since 2006 and I was really looking forward to wearing summer clothes without thinking about nursing bras or mammary exposure, ect. I hadn't worn a sun dress in years! I enjoy getting dressed literally every single day like never beofre!
Another very vain reason I am loving this summer, and loving getting dressed every day is that I've gotten into great shape. And enjoyed the process. In fact, I've enjoyed the process as much as I enjoy dressing the results. My body is certainly not what it was 10 or even 5 years ago, but I feel stronger than ever. Even though my tummy is not as flat as it once was, and my breasts show the signs of nursing for >2 years, I feel more confident in my body than I ever have. I love my body more than I ever have; I enjoy flirting with my husband, and trying to attract him every day. His reaction only reinforces that my attitude and my femininity are even more appealing than the smaller waist he fell in love with years ago.
Jeb's at such a great age, and his independence has given us a much higher level of freedom as a family. He no longer falls asleep on any car ride longer than 10 minutes, which means we can go on so many more family adventures without fear of messing with the nap schedule. He still naps, which is also still very convenient. We get to do stuff that delights and teaches him, which delights and teaches us as well.
Jeb also loves the occasional sleep over with Grandma or Gran or Aunt Jenny, which has allowed husband and I to go on some really fun dates. I can't even explain how awesome this has been. We both miss Jeb like crazy when we're away, but let's face it, it only helps to nurture a marriage. And Jeb has so much fun! And our family loves to take him for the night! It's win win win!
This has been the Summer of Mama and Jeb. The weather has been heaven sent. This has been the most gorgeous summer I can remember. We've gone on outings. To the park, the pool, the beach, the zoo. We've had dinner picnics in our yard. We've spent afternoons playing in the sprinkler and the sandbox. Jeb has gone days without really getting dressed, spending most of his time naked, or at the very most in a diaper. We've gone to story time at the library every Monday morning and brought home Jeb's art to hang on the fridge each week. We've taken walks, picked up sticks, and sang 'We Can Fly!' from Peter Pan while running around the yard more times than I can count. We've blown bubbles and covered the patio with sidewalk chalk over and over. We've sat out in the cool evening air with Popsicles dripping down our wrists, talking about what an awesome summer day we had. We've taken more naps together than I can count, each of us as naked as possible, with the ceiling fan humming and a light sheet draped over our cuddling bodies. We've picked strawberries, trying our best not to sample too many before we paid for our lot, giggling all the while. We've taken days "off" and hunkered down in the AC for a whole lot of nothing: no errands, no heat, no cleaning, no business, LOTS of cuddles. It's been a summer to remember, for sure.
And it's only half over.
I've also worked a lot, stressed a lot, and cleaned not as much as I should have. But I know that my memory with be of the highlights, and there have been many.
I'm hoping to add to our family some time next year, and I'm acutely aware of the luxuries of time, space, and body that I may soon forfeit for 2-3 years while I grow and nurse the next member. I'm simultaneously enjoying my freedoms and looking forward to giving them up. It's the exact assignment I gave myself for the summer: enjoy Jeb, enjoy Bennett, enjoy time and sleep and running, look forward to another baby.
I can't wait to love the 2nd half of this summer as much as I've loved the 1st half.