For our family, Summer has now official started! One of the first indicators was the beginning of Bella’s vacation from school and the corollary arrival of our “biggest sister” to her Missoula home. Xi and Echo nearly launched into orbit when they got back together with their favorite girl in the world.
Bella’s school schedules their start and finish a couple weeks earlier than Xi’s, so she got to come with Natalie and Echo to recess at Xi’s school — where she was not only the star attraction for the smallish Montessori school of 4th grade and under, but where she was also able to draw Echo (a regular, but reserved attendant at recess) out into playing with everyone else. And after Xi’s last week of school (which we ended up arranging to be a week earlier, as well), the three sisters have been spending every second in concentrated play, reading, art-making and/or creative writing in one form another…
Delicious side note: For some reason, all three girls are thoroughly into different little writing projects of their own at present. Bella is working on a couple of fiction pieces and improvising rhymes for all occasions; Xi is dedicated to daily, precise journaling of our current adventures; and Echo is composing these gorgeous flash-poems that Natalie is recording for her in a teeny notebook, as well.
A further key ingredient to our Summer festivities has also come early this year. Nevertheless, this one, like Bella’s return, couldn’t come early enough for us!
Once again, we’ve had the wonderful pleasure of bringing our whole little family way down South, and joining my parents for what we’ve come to affectionately call Bats at the Beach. It’s so named for a kids’ book that Grandpa George stumbled upon one year in preparation for our coming to visit them. My parents rent a lovely spot for us all to stay and we submerge ourselves in a good week’s worth of fun, sun, and together time.
Here, Bella and Xi are pretending something major in the pool, while I look out over the deck and dunes to the shore.
And there’s Echo hopping laps around the entire shallow pool and practicing holding her breath and kicking and paddling herself in ecstatic fits of swimming.
In classic McTague girl fashion, Echo’s swimming style looks almost like she’s just treading water and barely keeping her head above the surface (with Bella’s early swimming, it was just her little round face sticking out) — one can’t quite tell if she’s getting anywhere unless you watch her for a few minutes. She’s also very clear that she wants NO help…
Xi was in a neat “middle sister space” while they were all in the pool yesterday. On the one hand she’d be eyeball to eyeball with Bella talking about this or that detail of their current game, then, minutes later, she’d be at Echo’s side offering her (surprisingly appreciated) advice about how to taking her swimming to the next level.
All in all, and in pretty much every way, Bats at the Beach 2012 is off to a rocking good start. And though it may seem far too early to say, I’ll go ahead and proclaim: this year’s Summer is gonna be a stellar one!
I hope all of you are likewise getting geared up for and/or already enjoying some fun time with your family and friends this Summer too!
Be well, All.