My poor neglected blog. I think all the time about writing, but there just are not enough hours in the day. I've thought about just giving up on it altogether, but I think about how much I love having all of this written down (and printed and bound into books every year) as an account that hopefully the boys will read someday, and be reminded of all the things that they (and we) have lost track of with the passage of time.
So I won't give up on it, but I have accepted that it's going to be something I do pretty infrequently, and that just has to be ok. As much as I love writing about all our adventures, it's more important that I'm out there living them, and whatever time is left over, I'll do my best to maintain some sort of record of them here.
Carmine is the first subject that comes to mind, because he is really, really coming into his own. He's forceful, rather loud, hilarious, sweet, curious, and completely over the top in every way. He is going to make his mark on this world, and he's already off to a good start. When I meet other parents from his preschool class, they all say "Oh, you're Carmine's mom? I hear all about Carmine all the time." (and it's not because he's getting in trouble - he just has a way of making himself known).
Due to being sick, he missed a big report presentation one day at school, and missed a field trip another day, and I think he was feeling kind of down about it, so last month, I surprised him and picked him up from school mid-morning and he and I and Carmine spent the day at the zoo. It was one of the most fun days I've had in a long time, and they seemed to have a blast, too.
I continue to be astounded every day at how grown up Gabe is becoming. He's had a big year, with lots more homework, and lots more reports, and many more challenges, and he's met every one of them. It hasn't always been pretty - we had a few battles over projects and book reports and how to schedule work appropriately (he is completely incapable of admitting that anyone else is right) - but he's getting the hang of it, and I'm proud of all he's accomplished this year. And I'm also incredibly grateful to his teachers and his amazing school for doing such a great job getting him ready for 5th grade.
They had a small 'moving on' ceremony for all the 4th graders who are leaving his school at the end of this year (they do have the option to stay there for 5th grade), and it was really nice. I nearly cried, but I held it together. I didn't want to embarass him.
I know we still have many more years at this school - 2 more for Dante, and 5 for Carmine - but Gabe moving on from there is a huge milestone, and it's definitely hitting me hard. It still seems like just yesterday we were there for his Kindergarten orientation.
Last week, though, it was middle school orientation - and although he's sad about leaving KHA, he came home from the middle school program completely excited and enthusiastic, and telling me that he wants to go to middle school "RIGHT NOW!" So, some sad times, but some very exciting times, too.
And in between are the glorious weeks of summer vacation, and after the winter we had, we are ALL very much looking forward to spending lots of time outside in the sun and on the sand and in the ocean.
We've only made it to the beach a handful of times, but now that school is winding down, we'll soon be regulars. Thanks to a friend, we are lucky enough to have a closet at the beach pavilion where we can store all our stuff, which has made our beach trips so much less complicated. No need to pack all the chairs and toys and boogie boards and beach cart in the car every time. All we need to get ready is our cooler and backpacks, and we pick the rest of the stuff up when we get to the beach. So much easier in every way!
Carmine even has his own regular-sized boogie board this year, and he doesn't go out farther than ankle deep, but that's far enough for him to float around a tiny bit, and I have a feeling it won't be long before he's actually out there catching waves with his brothers. He came running up to us at the beach the other day with a cup full of water he had scooped out of the ocean, yelling "Look, I found water!!!" And two minutes later he was back with another cup, yelling "Look, MORE water!" Ah, to be four.....
And even though we had agreed we weren't going to buy Dante a surfboard this year, Scott found a used one that's the perfect size for him, and surprised it with him two weeks ago. He was, of course, thrilled, and told just about everyone he saw for the next two days about how he has a surfboard now. It wasn't a purchase I was planning on making, but it was a good purchase, and I'm glad Scott got it.
And with that, we are officially completely ready for summer. The boys came home today with backpacks jammed full of papers and markers and pencils and books and stray gloves, so I know their desks are cleaned out, and all there is to do tomorrow is enjoy their ice cream party and say goodbye to their friends.
I wait all year for the months of June, July, and August, and I'm beyond happy that they're finally here, and I can't wait to get out there and make the most of them.