I took the kids to the pool for 4.5 hours today. I didn't plan to stay that long, but it turned out that a couple of the kids' favorite friends showed up while we were there and everyone was having such a nice time that we just never got around to leaving.
At one point, Owen was sprawled on a towel playing Legos with his friend and Mia was sprawled on her own towel across the pool trading snacks with her friend and I was just sitting under an umbrella watching them (like I hawk, I assure you. Chris thinks I am desperately uptight but I have a deep and knee-quaking fear of what could happen to my children in the pool and I think I have learned how to make my eyes operate independently so I can watch them both), and there it was, the exact summer I was hoping to have. Neither of them wanted a damned thing to do with me right then, but it was peaceful and fun and unscheduled and all about kids being kids and nobody was yelling at anybody else. It was perfect, and I hope that if I don't work too hard at it, we can have lots more of those moment before fall.