And then I started watching my kids splashing around in our cheapy inflatable pool with their 2 dollar squirt guns and hand me down swim suits. I saw them happy and laughing and silly and fighting and showing off for me in turn. I watched the bottom of Ellerie's bikini droop farther and farther off her bum the longer she was wet. I heard countless "Mommy, watch me"s and I soaked in the heat and sunshine while I washed the dishes (from the past three days that couldn't go in the dishwasher). I felt warm and fuzzy, nostalgic and weirdly sad all at the same time. Will they look back on this summer remembering the joy they felt squirting each other in the face with a water gun? The happiness of climbing the tree with an icee in their hand? Or will they remember being forced to sit in the van after church because of a bad attitude, screaming for all who passed by to hear "I HATE EVERYONE!!!!!" Will they remember me constantly yelling and nagging and then crying? Will they take me out of my straight jacket for holiday dinners only to STILL complain about what I cooked? ;-)
Mostly, all of this speculation doesn't matter. I do my best, I say I'm sorry when I don't and I start over. I know that my kiddos know they are loved deeply, but sometimes it does feel like there is so much negativity. So much fighting and whining and anger and tears, it makes me wonder how all the joy will shine through when they look back. When I look back. But memories do seem to mellow. Sometimes I wish I could have more of the rosiness right now. Still nostalgia, being what it is, requires time and perspective. Things taken for granted now will be savored later.
Truth be told, I don't mind if we all remember each other someday with an extra touch of sweetness.
But, I'll be fine if we forget my belly poof altogether.