It's the first full day of summer vacation. The weather over the weekend was iffy~gray, humid, not incredibly warm, rainy at times. That weather has carried over into today as well, so the kids have pretty much been inside instead of outside playing.
Over the weekend I was kind of caught up in trying to figure out where Meg's friend O lives, so that we can send her the photo that I took of them on the last day of school (courtesy of the bus driver who let O and another friend A get off the bus at our driveway for the shot) and also so we can invite her to come over. It was a little bit obsessive on my part, and I couldn't figure out until today why I was so focused on getting these girls connected for the summer.
But while Meg and I were making oatmeal raisin cookies, it occurred to me that she spends the majority of her time at school, being a big girl, and then comes home to a 5 year old and two 3 year olds, and very rarely gets to spend down time with kids her own age. And my heart hurt for her, because when I was a kid I spent all my time with kids my own age because my neighborhood was filled with my friends. We don't live in a neighborhood. We live on a long gravel road with one neighbor who has a 9 month old, in a town where everything is very spread out. It's not the childhood of my youth, and I wish that it was, for her sake. I wish she could get on her bike and ride to a friend's house and play and be a big girl and not have her siblings be her only playmate all the time. It must be so hard for her to switch from big kid to little girl every day in order to be on the same level as Drew, Annie and Izzie.
So I'm going to endeavor to spend more time trying to focus on her and what she likes, instead of forcing the four of them to play together all the time. We spent some time this afternoon playing with her American Girl dolls, something she's never asked me to do before. We cuddled on the couch and read our book, which is something we usually save for bedtime. I'm going to try to give her space to just be herself this summer and try to get her together with some of her friends from school so that she can remember that she is a big kid all the time, not just during the school day.