Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Summer Days and Laundry...

Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.
~Garrison Keillor
Last Saturday was the August iteration of our summer monthly pool party tradition.  I think they get easier and more fun each time - probably because we have sorted out a routine that works for everyone, and that everyone knows. 

What do I mean about having our routine down?  Well, on my part, for example, I used to put a lot of energy into planning and preparing the menu each time - trying to make something special, like homemade mac & cheese and trying to balance kid-friendly with healthy. 

Now I just stick to grilling burgers & hot dogs, potato chips, cup cakes and some fresh fruit - with soda and fruit juice to drink.  Not particularly healthy, but it's easy for me, everything gets eaten and all of the kids are satisfied. 

For their part, the kids know to throw on their life jackets and spend the next 4 hours or so playing in the pool.  They keep themselves happy and busy all afternoon and into the evening.  They climb out when they want a bite to eat - but we don't try to have a formal meal time.  I probably join them in the pool every other time - it's fun, but exhausting!  ;)

I can't explain how good it feels to sit back in a lawn chair and watch 10 or 12 kids play happily in the pool for hours - laughing, splashing, swimming, showing off, etc.  It also feels really good to see how they improve in both their comfort in the water and their skill - without any coaching or pushing or lessons.  The young girl in the photo above, for example, has some kind of handicap (maybe cerebral palsy?) and originally could not be left unattended, even with a life jacket.  She would flounder wildly and end up face down in the water...  Now, however, she can control her body and swims all around the pool (in her life jacket, of course), having the time of her life!  In addition to just making her happy, that has to be good for her, right? 

We've been ending each party with a birthday pinata - this month, Dani (5 years old) picked Justin Bieber as the theme and her family sent a JB pinata.  It was the first time when I've held up the big stick and asked, "Who wants to go first?" and all of the adults yelled, "Me!  Me!  Me!"  ;)

You know, the whole making a pinata with your favorite movie star or cartoon character on it thing seems weird to me.  Doesn't it seem a little odd to celebrate someone or something that you love by whacking the stuffing out of it?  ;)

Our foster teen enjoyed the party quite a bit too - that was her in the first picture and the JB picture.  She's been making herself a part of our family by having dinner ready for us when we get home from work at night - last night it was chicken and potato empanadas topped with salad and salsa - delicious!  A woman could get used to this!  ;)

She also went into our closets and did all our laundry for us one day...  And I mean ALL our laundry...  The blue jeans and t-shirts, the delicate hand wash only things, the dry clean only things - every single article of clothing has been run through the washer and drier...  Sigh... 

What are you going to do?  ;)


  1. Can't say I blame the adults...whacking Justin Bieber sounds kind of fun to me! ;)

    1. Hey Becky! Yup, everyone had a lot of fun with that pinata! ;)