Six months. I made it six months–nearly seven!–without giving into bizarre cravings and resorting to excuses to devour half a box of double-stuffed Oreos (my husband ate the other half, I swear). Normally when the son-in-utero requests an additional snack, I can put brie on wheat crackers or dive into a bowl of freshly-washed strawberries, feeling like a responsible, healthy mother as well as a human being capable of self-control. But right now, Josh is in the car at 10 p.m., heading toward Meijer to purchase two boxes of chocolate graham crackers–a snack that sounds so irreplaceably delicious and one I don’t think I’ve even eaten since they were packed in my fourth grade lunch box. Pregnancy is obviously heating up right along with the outside temperature, and I couldn’t be happier (and hungrier) about it.
The beginning of summer is oddly starting with going back to work full-time for a few weeks, again at Holland Christian Middle School (just like last year). But, the job is both delightful and short; even though I’d had to iron some clothes, plan some lessons, and head to work at 7:30 a.m. like the rest of Holland, I’ve still tiptoed onto the shores of my favorite season–summertime. We’ve eaten a whole watermelon already, and today was our first day at the MVP pool. I’ve made homemade bread, grilled hotdogs, and have even gotten covered in dirt trying to better the yard. In the summer, I’m so much more in tune with the care and maintenance of things. Flowers and herbs depend on me for life just like my two boys. Cleaning projects jump out at me and I tackle them full-force.* My shovels, kneeling pads, and gardening gloves have already been busy this season, and thanks to my hard-working husband, we already have beans sprouting in our backyard.
Life is abundant here. And it feels so good to have a backache from all of the work it takes to sustain every breath, leaf, or vine. It certainly makes me feel more comfortable with the fact that I nearly demanded chocolate graham crackers. Watching life flourish around me and knowing I played a part in the growth–rather than the demise–seems to deserve a bit of a reward.
I’m looking forward to a dirty summer, picking vegetables with Jackson (if I can still bend over that far), or swimming and sweating in the hot sun. I can’t wait for those end-of-the-day showers when the tub is filled with Lake Michigan sand. I can even taste the burgers we will grill and the homegrown snap peas that we’ll dip in ranch dressing. It’s going to be a great summer, in anticipation of even greater things to come.
To kick off such a happy season, I’ve decided to pick up yet another hobby: popsicle-making. (Warning: I’m about to obsess. Don’t be alarmed when my deep freezer is FULL of different homemade popsicles). With cravings for sweets at an all-time high, I figured it was wise to start finding alternatives to Oreos that also paired well with bare feet, sprinkler chases, and sidewalk chalk. This website (along with others, I’m sure) will become my new life source as it provides me with an obscene amount of popsicle recipes, including the one Jack and I attempted today using muffin tins and clothes pins: Mango/Pineapple Yogurt Pops.
Here’s to yet another new beginning, new season, new paged turned. Summer always reinforces to me that God is mightily at work, and it’s our privilege to get dirty and participate. And even in the dead of winter, we can still look forward to abundant life in sprouting vegetables, blossoming flowers, and even in the memories created with sticky, drippy homemade popsicles.
*Okay, this is pretty much the case all year round. But it feels like I do more about it when I can open my door, listen to the sprinkler, and let in a slight breeze.