Today I smelled the end of summer approaching. I know that sounds so strange, but these things have a particular fragrance. Maybe it is the vegetation, though still green, that is trying to say, "Hey, I'm about done here."
It is exciting to be back in Kansas City for fall and winter. (Although I'll keep eating watermelon as long as I can) Being home sure feels good. The seasons, the weather...I feel so comfortable and familiar with the patterns here.
We spent all morning at my favorite park. It is such a beautiful place with towering trees that's nestled right along the Missouri River. There are creeks and bridges and trails and benches in case you just want to sit and watch the magnificent river. There are tracks where a train steams by a few times an hour. There is a Bell Tower that plays it's melody and keeps the time at the college across the way. I taught my kids to listen to the loud deep bell and count to know what the time is. Of course we played on the equipment, but my favorite part was walking around. Picking up sticks, throwing rocks, that kind of stuff. We passed by the little practice fields and I told them that when I was young I used to play softball there. Unimpressed, Zach said, "What's softball!?" I explained it was like baseball but with a larger ball. That helped my coolness factor a bit. I just stared at the fields for a while, remembering how big time I felt with my uniform, cleats, and pink glove. I remember catching my first pop fly out in center field. The memory of that ball falling, falling, falling in slow motion (and being SO scared I would drop it) might have a permanent spot in my brain. I caught it. I felt awesome. So today it was kind of funny to me how rinky-dink the field looked to my adult eyes. Everything is so BIG-TIME when you're little. That is a wonderful aspect of childhood.
Three times in the last two days people have told me that my children are happy. One person said she couldn't imagine more happy children. Another said that she couldn't believe how friendly and social they were. And another remarked that they seemed so kind to each other and had great imaginations. And while none of those people were in the restaurant last night when two of my kids let out ear piercing screams and then proceeded to melt down...hearing those compliments delivered the same feelings I imagine the Nobel Prize might. Inner peace and satisfaction.
Their favorite thing to help me with...getting the mail. Of course they put their own spin on it.