School is out, and we’ve spent the last week at the shore. And by “we” I mean just the boys and I. That first week is usually pretty empty. Mike has to work, as do our friends we rent the shore house with, so it’s just us. Admittedly, early June is tricky, from a shore perspective. There’s often a chill in the air, the ocean is freezing, and the mornings and evenings can be downright cold. It will likely rain more than once, and this early in June some of the shops haven’t yet opened (or have really reduced hours). It’s something of a ghost town — most of the people we see are the landscapers and contractors trying to get everyone else’s beach houses ready for the season. It can be lonely, and cold, and not very beachy.
And yet: I look forward to this particular week all year long.
The boys have come to understand that this first week at the shore means naps. Daily. And after a long, busy school year, it serves as a reset. This is the first year that Raines, acting more and more like a teenager, hasn’t fought me on the nap. We just snuggle in the big king-size bed in my room, I read something nostalgic (like Beatrix Potter or Peter Pan because they are ageless) and both boys eventually drift off. That first day? They both napped for five hours, and still were soundly asleep by 11PM.
The theory is that I can work in the early hours of the morning (I’m always up at 6AM) and I can work during their naptime, but it’s really hard not to fall asleep too. We all need a reset.
The rest of our time is spent at the beach (there’s no ocean water cold enough to keep the boys out), or playing a round of mini-golf before the crowds hit, reading books, and doing art projects at home. I have a strict no-screen time policy for this week (except for late-night movies watched together.) So this past week we made slime. Batch after batch after batch of all of the various slime recipes we could get our hands on, for comparison purposes. I made real lunches that require stoves and baked things like cobbler, and it feels — almost — like this week allows me to stop time. Or slow it down. For just a moment.
Raines remembers, bless him. “Mom?” he asked. “Remember when we used to do stuff like this all the time??” Little Pax, however, is agog. “NO WE DIDN’T,” he counters. Raines is undeterred. “Yeah we did, Pax, but it was a long time ago.” Then he smirks and mercilessly adds, “Probably when you were napping.” Cue instant Pax Detonation. There’s nothing Pax hates more than Missing Out.
Fortunately, we have more than a few old photos proving that Pax had plenty of art-project-time-with-mom-at-home, and everyone moved on, but there’s something about this slowing down that I find so necessary. I often feel…I don’t know, put back to rights or something after this week. I’m reminded that I felt like the best possible version of myself when my boys were small and I wasn’t working — not really working anyway — and just spending time at home with them. Baking cobbler. Doing art projects. A sense of nostalgia threatens to overwhelm. It’s bittersweet though, because I know that the boys and I are no longer in that place. The boys likely do need me more than my job allows….but they don’t need me nearly as much as they once did. And if I’m being brutally honest with myself…I, too, need something else to focus on, something other than cobbler and finger paints and snuggles in bed. But that’s a really hard balance to find (I love snuggles! And finger paints! And cobbler!!), and this year in particular I don’t think I’ve balanced anything well.
So this week in early June, spent alone with my boys, with the associated snuggles and reading and baking and creating and nostalgia…it’s a gift. The three of us are not fooled — we know this is not our real life. And yet: For one week a year, it is.
Screw those contributors. The Voloshin X TME navy dress sold out so quickly that….we ordered more. Luckily, there was juuuuuust enough of that soft navy cloud fabric left for a re-stock. The new batch will ship later in July, HOWEVER, this new shipment allowed us to release a few more sizes from the first shipment, originally reserved for both a launch party (next week?) and the TME contributors. Laura can wait you guys. (Haha just kidding — have we ever seen Laura in a dress??) In any case, if you still wanted a navy dress (and want it SOON), then check sizes. There are just one or two left in each size.
Are you a longtime reader? This is a test. Anyone remember my white Makr rucksack? I had bought it before Pax was born and anyway, back in the early days of this blog, it was a thing. We were all loving the backpack paired with….if I remember correctly….these Minnetonka booties? Right? Well, the backpack is irrevocably stained. I had successfully spot-cleaned for years, and then finally threw it into the washing machine. And, just like the guys at Makr warned me, the leather parts bled all over the backpack and it’s no bueno. And Makr no longer makes it in white (probably for that very reason). So I’ve been looking all over Etsy for something with a similar vibe, but in a washable white canvas and I think I found it. It’s gorgeous and slouchy and nonchalant summer perfection.
It’s so annoying when Linzi is right. I ordered a bunch of shoes from Linz’s comfort shoe article and these Kenneth Cole sandals (in black, Nordstrom) are SO GOOD. And then I found them on Zappos in four other colors (tan! cork!) and now I don’t know what to do. Also, Linzi was wearing these slip-on sneakers last week and they are insanely chic in person (even though they look meh — at best — on the website). I’ll throw something up on IG (@themomedit) so we can discuss.
We’re getting ALL the string things. One of the learning toys our friends brought to the shore house is this Learning Wrap-Ups Intro Key Kit With Self-Correcting Math Problems (from Linz’s summer learning post here) and Pax is obsessed. Sometimes these learning toys never quite take off, or sometimes they require too much parent involvement, but these are just pure genius. He will literally play with them everyday, for a really long period of time. (Not as long as he’ll make slime, but pretty close.) There are a ton of different sets, and I plan to get them ALL MWAH HA HA HA.
Linzi, Linzi, Linzi. The other bit of summer learning that has been a raging success this week are these perplexor books. My boys did need my help to get started, but once we did a few together, they were off and running. Perfect for restaurants, too. And yup: these were from another Linzi toy post, here.
Like Turkish towels, but thicker. My friend Christine always find the best beach towels. This year’s find are like Turkish beach towels, but thicker and more absorbent. They’re Layday beach towels and they come in really pretty colors, too.
Yup, that Christine. We’re going to be making the best-ever crabcakes this weekend, thanks to Christine. (And I’ve gotta get her recipe for steamed clams — she’s been perfecting it over the years and NAILED IT at the end of last summer.)
31 new ones. NASA recently discovered an additional 31 planets beyond our solar system….bringing the total planet count to more than 4000. You can read more about it, here.
Oh and Happy Father’s Day, you guys. (I always forget, haha.)