It is hot outside. Dreadfully hot. The past few days I've had it in my head that we can grin and bear it through the sweltering heat to spend an afternoon at the park. The park. You know, the place with the swings and slides where we used to spend every afternoon running around before we ran the risk of heat stroke. The playground and skate park were once our afternoon staples, just myself and Ethan, enjoying the magical time where it's no longer day but isn't yet quite night either. The past few days, though, I've made an attempt to win back our nightly traditions if not only because I miss them. If not only because as Ethan is talking off my ear in the car all I can think about is how big he's getting and how he's no longer a baby. When someone asks me "how old is he now?" I feel the burn of salt being rubbed on a wound, the lump in my throat growing when I have to say he's two. Two.
We never made it to the park any of these attempts. The backseat grows silent; that tiny, sweet voice stops singing along to Taking Back Sunday. Asleep. My child who I didn't believe knew how to sleep at all, let alone nap, has fallen asleep the past three days in the car for two hours. When he wakes up there is the sound of stirring and that tiny voice starts singing along to the music again, quieter and softer than before. One day he won't want to do that either, I always think. One day he'll roll his eyes and say "mom, Taking Back Sunday are so old and no one listens to them anymore." One day he won't whine at whatever song I dare put on without his input, insisting instead we listen to The Shins. "Ethan listen to The Nins," he whines from the backseat.
I long for cooler weather, or at the very least an afternoon without a thunderstorm. I long for the freedom of fall, or whatever bit of fall we get here in Florida, fields of pumpkins and Halloween parties and more memories. More traditions. As many memories and traditions as I can possibly cram into our typically napless days. The last of the baby stage, it's fleeting and I can't figure out how to hold on.
The painters finished their work at our house yesterday. My husband let me know this through a phone call that began with "I personally don't think the kitchen looks purple, but..." If I wasn't so exhausted, I might be a little panicked. Visions of eggplant walls are dancing through my head in between sputters and sparks from my brain indicating my body is running on empty. Tonight we will move back the furniture, hang the pictures back on the walls. Tomorrow we will be home again, back in our own beds and our regular routine. I'm ready to move forward from this whole thing.