Sunny Days

Imagine living in the most beautiful campground that you ever went to in your childhood. It's your home. Now imagine being there year-round, walking from building to building in the rain, shivering in the dark. Imagine losing your running water for hours or days at a time, imagine poorly insulated buildings (which we are working on, hooray!) and small fires that may or may not be maintained. Imagine a lot of wetness, rain day after day, and a lot of darkness, using a flashlight to get from dinner to bed. Imagine that it is still wonderful to live in this campground, even during the long wet winter, because you get to live with your friends and play games and it is beautiful even in deep dark shades of grey.

But now imagine that it's summer again and the sun is shining and everything smells green and living. Imagine warm evenings when the kids are in bed. Feeling giddy and liberated and wearing short sleeves in the warm night air. Watching the green river and knowing that any day it will be warm enough for you to swim. Listening to music and dancing your way around the wide paths.

It's heaven. I feel like a little girl.

I love pulling out the kids' sandals, looking for shorts in second-hand stores. I love seeing more of them; their little brown feet, the little legs, their chubby knees. Today we went on a picnic and just lay around like cats in a patch of sunlight in one of the Redwood groves just up the street. We had so much fun; walking on huge fallen trees, watching a snail, trying to climb a giant boulder. Kid A was so cute and little/big boy as he confidently tried to scale it and then ran back to me, shrugging, "Nah, I don't want to," as he climbed into my lap.

YaYa's been sick and it's so sad. She's not her usually spunky self. She's been clinging pretty close to me and when we're in the cabin she follows me around whining, "Mommy" over and over again. She's getting better now and we're all glad.

I love Kid A's curiosity, the way he makes things up. I asked him about a bruise he has on his leg and he told me he got it running up a tree.

I love that YaYa has named one of her feet "Mommy" and one of them "Daddy" and that she makes them kiss and talk to each other in squeaky voices.

I love that Leaf is turning into an adorable chunky baby who drools incessantly and is what you would call jolly. He's got this big wide smile and is very "boy." (All of him, even his gigantic feet.)

Yes, I'm feeling a lot better. We're getting ready for the festivals this summer, and I've begun my painting marathon. Last night Chinua finished putting the kids to bed and I listened to music and painted and painted... and painted!