This summer has been weird, just plain weird. We got out of school a little on the late side of June (apparently, snow and ice are uncommon in northeastern Pennsylvania), but that's not very weird. I made a list of what to do for the summer, but that is not very weird either. However, it's been weird having the Girls home for the summer. When you see Erika's photos, they inevitably have images of the Boys playing or doing something fun or learning about life. My photos? Pretty much devoid of such cuteness because I have 19-year-olds. Getting them to pose for a photo or let me take a quick snapshot is an exercise in negotiation skills that any union boss in the 1950s would be proud of.
So, that weird summer, the one in which I am in a new phase of motherhood - and one that I don't know if I completely grasp as of yet - is about to come to an end. We have been all consumed by apartment shopping as of late. What do you need? What have we got in the attic? Where can we find a cheap dresser? Who's bringing the pots and pans? Remember that list I created? Fuck it . . . half of it won't get done now.
On August 14th, the Girls will be moving into their first apartment in Philadelphia. They are living in a converted warehouse that is full of modern amenities, ones that make a slightly paranoid mother feel good about her children living in the middle of one of the countries largest cities. They will be taking our couch, their Mimi's silverware, some Salvation Army pots and pans, a rescued kitten (who really, really has been kind of fun to have), and a whole assortment of "things necessary for modern life" with them. But they are leaving Bun-Bun and Sara at home. And that makes me a little sad.
Bun-Bun and Sara were their constant companions when they were little. Jordan couldn't get to sleep without rubbing Bun-Bun's ear on her cheek. Sara and Shelby snuggled tightly in bed every night. If we left Bun-Bun and Sara at a grandparent's house, then we turned around to get them. Once after I washed Bun-Bun, the dryer was set too high, and the rattle inside melted a little. It didn't sound right, and Jordan was distraught . . . so Bun-Bun had an "emergency rattle transplant" with Shelby's Mousie (clearly not the preferred stuffie). At our mom's house, we had her stitch up Bun-Bun's ear, and she thought she would "help" by adding some stuffing to Bun-Bun's middle . . . mistake. Jordan shrieked that Mimi had "ruined" Bun-Bun, so Mom had to remove the stuffing and make things right. Shelby named Sara when she was about 15-months and spent hours talking to her. Sara has that plastic-rubber face that is impossible to clean . . . but her five-o'clock shadow never got in the way of being snuggle worthy.
So, come August 14, the U-Haul will be loaded with all sorts of crap, but I'm pretty sure that Bun-Bun and Sara will be staying put. They will eventually make their way to the attic with the other toys that were cherished a long, long time ago. And that's alright. We all go through it eventually. Cooper will lose interest in his train blanket, Erika. He'll put it aside for something else like a skateboard, which he can't exactly cuddle . . . but if you don't wash it, you can occasionally still snuggle with it and remember when you were actually relevant in your children's lives.