This morning the running path was damp , and the grass alongside sparkled with droplets like strung diamonds. I ran past dark puddles, still as mirrors, reflecting the paling sky. From the East, streaks of sunlight leafed the pillowy clouds with gold.

I came home to that pale gilt light filtering through our trees, and shining on the soaked deck.

The flowers were beaded and glistening.

The cosmos greeted the morning with their usual wild profusion.

And the front lawn was green and freshened and peaceful.

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Today I wanted to have a special morning with my kids. Not extraordinary–but just special in the little ways they have been asking for, and that circumstances have been thwarting. B has Olympic fever and has been waiting two days to play “beach volleyball” with me again, with the living room couch as a net and his enthusiastic serves (of a small, light ball) soaring in entirely unpredictable directions. E has been noticing my toenail polish when I fix her hair in the mornings, and asking for “pink toes” of her own. And last night, when I had a kitchen full of dishes and two yards’ worth of flowers (mine and my vacationing neighbor’s) to water before dark, E pointed imperiously at the Olympics-watching spot on the couch beside her and commanded, “Sit! You sit, too!” And I could only sit for a minute, and went to bed later feeling terribly guilty.

When we escaped outside after breakfast, the first order of business was toenail polish. I’m pretty sure E told me she wanted “pinktails”–which I think was her conflation of the words “pink” and “toenails”.

Pristine toenails: never painted before. (I was always too worried about the chemicals. But she is long past putting feet in her mouth, and I didn’t notice much in the way of fumes since we were outside.)

So pretty. She sat like a champion while I blew on them and played little games to keep her still.

Just like mama’s.

We did a little swinging, too, just to be sure everything got thoroughly dry. We then put shoes on, but when she took her shoes off at naptime she tried to walk on her heels because she was still afraid for her polish!

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“Are you ready to play volleyball with me now, Mama?”

I was, and we did.

He wanted to pretend the kiddie pool was the net, and would not be dissuaded.

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I was then schooled by my firstborn on how to draw a truck. I had drawn two castles and a barn without too much criticism (although B insisted I adapt the shape of the barn roof: “Barns don’t have triangle roofs!”). Then B asked for a truck. I thought I did a fairly good representation but C barged in. “THAT’S not how you draw a container truck! I will SHOW you how to make a truck cab and a truck container.” He repeated at intervals while he drew: “I will SHOW you.”

His version was definitely better.

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It was a simple, special summer morning at our house.

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p.s. And I sat with E on my lap and watched an Olympic crew race before lunch. She snuggled happily for a few minutes and then banished me from the chair. So much for the mommy guilt.

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