One of the many things that has changed since I had Rafael is, I actually enjoy and appreciate Summer. Up until now, it has always felt too hot and sticky, and I would spend the summer months yearning for autumn. Now I am grateful for days where he can run around barefoot, and where you don't have to make any special plans in particular. You just open the back door and your son will run out into the garden, and be content for hours on end just playing outside under the blue summer sky.
Today I took Raffi down to the river that curls through our town. We found a shallow spot with lots of rocks to toss into the water. While Rafael threw stones, I snapped photos and found a little boat someone had made out of bark and leaves. There was birdsong, and the sounds of children playing and dogs barking in the distance. I was filled with a deep sense of calm and contentedness watching Rafael laugh and play with the only things a little kid really needs to be happy: sticks, water, stones, and mud.
Whenever I take photographs of Rafael, I am aware that these are time capsuls. I am capturing moments so fleeting, and so precious.
One of the things Raffi loves to do at the end of the day, when he's in the bath, is tell me what's in his belly. I'll say, "Oh my goodness, look at that big round belly! What's in it?" And then he recalls everything he ate that day. "Pancakes. And bluebellos (his word for blueberries). And...what else? Pretzels. And himbellos (his word for raspberries). And....what else? Ice cream." He has an incredible memory and gives me quite a detailed list.
Lately he plays so wonderfully on his own. Either in his room, where he looks very carefully at books or empties his basket of cars one automobile at a time; or in the garden, where he takes his tiny watering can from plant to plant, or fills his red wagon with stones. I can clean and cook in peace, and every few minutes I tiptoe to wherever he is, and check up on him, trying not to distract or disturb him. One of my favorite things is when he is completely immersed in a book, with a wrinkled brow and pouted mouth.
He has been sleeping in his own room since we returned from vacation, in his little white bed with the cowboy blanket and teddy bear. He's growing up so fast.
Wishing you cloudless, magical summer days.