The weather has turned its nose towards summer this week. The air is warm, but not quite "take your breath away" warm yet. It's the perfect in between weather when you can have all of your windows down in your car and feel perfectly peaceful - all before it becomes REAL summer and you have to turn your air conditioning on the minute you get into your car.
The days are long. The sun lights up the sky past eight o'clock and there is something about these long days that make you want to play just a little longer, get ice cream on a whim, go for walks hand in hand.
It's 7:30 and he wants to go outside. This is normally when we start our bedtime ritual but tonight, the sun is still shining and it feels warm on our faces. We put flip flops on and head out the door. He grabs his soccer ball and begins to kick it around the yard. Soon, our neighbor joins us. Her son and my son play together in the front yard, while she and I sit on the front stoop and talk. The kids are giggling hysterically. She and I are talking about weekend plans, relationships, vacations - the kind of brief conversations you have with your neighbors.
And then the sun begins to sink down just a little lower and the warmth has left us just a bit. So we gather up our kids and head inside where we give Henry a bath and then settle in to read books. Three books is our ritual, but tonight he wants four. I say yes because it feels like one of those days where you say yes to everything. After I've finished reading, he gives kisses to Daddy and then kisses to Mommy and he snuggles in against my chest.
We shut the curtains because, though it's lower, the sun is still peeking through. Shhhh, it's bedtime, I whisper. And I run my fingers along his cheek and down to his back. I rock him and stare into his eyes. I kiss his nose. I tell him I love him. And he drifts off to sleep. The excitement of the day having exhausted him, he's now snoring quietly in my arms. But I don't want to move just yet because it is one of those days that you don't want to end too quickly. You want to bask in the sun just a little longer.
Image by Kate Stutz Photography