Summer is my favorite time of year. I love the sunshine, the heat, the sound of children laughing and playing, summer rain. I love fireflies at dusk, iced tea, flowers, crickets chirping at night, the smell of sunscreen on my skin. I love everything about this time of year.
I remember last summer very clearly. I was just coming out of severe pregnancy sickness and beginning to have that 2nd trimester energy burst. I had big plans last summer for Gwenevere and I. After all, it was my first summer being a stay at home Mom and my last summer with only one child. I often referred to it as "The Summer of Gwenevere". I felt a little sad that it would be the last time that Gwenevere would have me all to herself. I knew that by the time the next summer rolled around I would be crazy busy caring for my twins and I would have less time for her. I was also excited to see her in the role of big sister.
Despite the massive heat wave that seemed to last for months, we spent most of our time outdoors. We went through bottles of sunscreen and spent most of our time barefoot in the grass, playing in the sprinkler, or decorating our driveway with sidewalk chalk. We would visit our neighborhood playground and make occasional trips to the local splash pad and zoo. Then exhausted from play we would both take long afternoon naps in the cool air conditioned house. As soon as nap time was over we would head back outside until Micah got home from work. It was a perfect summer, everything I hoped it would be.
Our perfect summer came to a screeching halt one Sunday afternoon. I went into labor at 22 weeks and 5 days. Our son and daughter were born that evening and died shortly after. The next day we came home with empty arms and heavy hearts. Although it was only mid-August, summer was over. No more park or sprinkler, no more playing in the yard for hours. Our family temporarily became reclusive. We didn't leave the house unless we had to. Our television was permanently turned on. We locked summer out to begin our long grieving process. I know during this time I was not a great mother to my living child. I was just there. Summer blurred into Fall, then Winter and Spring.
Now Summer is here again and I find myself once again in a "Summer of Gwenevere". She is my only living child and I am so full of love for her. We have already gone through one bottle of sunscreen and our driveway looks more decorated everyday. We are frequent visitors of the park and zoo. I look forward to everyday that I get to spend with her and I love planning our activities. While I would give anything to have James and Penelope here with us, I know I can't. So I am choosing to be thankful for another wonderful season with my amazing toddler. I am so lucky to be her Mom and I am grateful everyday for the time that I get to spend with her.