At the beginning of this summer I had lots of ideas – fun activities, lots of goals, things to do to keep us busy. Then summer really started and I didn’t do any of it. Well, I did a few things. We got together with friends, I put Aria in swim lessons, the girls and I went on on vacation and we have done a couple bigger activities as a family on the weekends. But I haven’t been constantly figuring out every moment for my girls. We all seemed to prefer to be home more than not, to just be together. Don’t get me wrong, we do something fun nearly every day, but where last summer I was desperate to schedule every moment, mostly away from home, this summer I haven’t felt that way…and things haven’t exploded as they might have in the past.
My friend, Pamela, among others, told me last year that my girls were at hard ages, that things would be so much easier by this summer, that that single year would make all the difference. I had a hard time believing it then, but she and the other moms with kids just a bit older than mine were right. Eighteen months and four are tough ages, especially for spirited children. Two and a half and five, not nearly so.
The biggest difference, I realized recently, is how much these two want to be together. Their relationship seems to have grown by leaps and bounds these past weeks and though they definitely have moments of bickering and the occasional block still makes its way toward one or the other’s head, by and large they really enjoy each other’s company. Even with other children their ages around, friends they know and love, they will gravitate toward one other and play together.
Looking back on the summer I was initially frustrated with the lack of items we’ve checked off our list. But then I saw these girls playing together and realized the time they’ve had together was worth so much more than all those missed activities. Sure, lots of them would have been fun and there are some I still hope to do. But this summer, the unscheduled time in the house escaping the heat or going to a splash park with just us girls – not a playdate – has allowed these sisters to become friends.