It all happened at once, all the end of term stuff plus everything else. Sports days, trips to the safari park and monkey forest, receiving football trophies and would you know, that crazy hectic distracted little one of mine received a 'goalkeeper trophy' too and yes, we were super proud ... especially his older brother for whom I thought it might sting a little but no, he gave his little brother the glory! Longer days were spent outside in the sunshine, extra long play dates to make up for the absence of friends over the summer holidays and for my two boys amidst all of that, two birthdays to celebrate two days apart.
There was the traditional opening of presents in mum and dad's bed, meeting up with grandma for lunch, a trip to the cinema on the eldest's special day to see despicable me 2. Family came and celebrated with us, cousins brought big, big smiles and a special Aunty Eli found time in her crazily busy schedule to bake two chocolate cakes for her nephews! I love it when the family all gets together and it's wonderfully hectic and you try and get a picture of everyone but you somehow miss capturing your beautiful niece Jessica as she lay reading on the floor next to the bookshelf, you also miss your eldest boy blowing his number eight candle out too but it's all ok because some things leave you glowing, the sentiments captured in your heart forever or so you hope.
At even the busiest of times you try and catch the smiles of the littlest ones present, those just starting to roll and crawl and those newly walking and when they allow you to sit them on your hip and you feel their arm hook around the back of yours and they lean in, there are no words to quite describe that comfort. You glance over to an older niece and nephew and morph into that generic Aunt, when did they grow this big? When did they learn all of these ways to express themselves? You quietly hope that someday soon, you'll find time to connect with that nephew who just turned eleven and you whisper a reminder to yourself to not become that out of touch Aunty that has no clue what goes on in her nephews life, what he likes, what he hates, what he gets up to. You smile that for now it's easy to please some and the smile I'm flashed when the play dough comes out by a girl with the loveliest of smiles is sheer joy. Then, there are days out along canals, walks amongst trees, fresh air and long drives and picnics and late starts and breaking out of routine and long days and no time to blog, to think or to be and for summer this is perfect and just as it should be.