So much to come back to after this long layoff.

Apologies to all of you for how long that turned out to be. Thursday night featured Patrick’s last freshman band concert: a fine concert given by three of his school’s many musical groups. I thought about it briefly after his band finished their part of the show: that this was a far cry from his first concert back in fourth grade. While getting him to practice has been troublesome, he has, to his credit, stuck to the instrument and has done a good job with it.

Friday night was given over to cleaning and prep for the family party for Hannah and Zoe’s birthday. Saturday morning to finishing the cleaning, then shopping midday, then prep mid-afternoon, and then the party itself, which was a lot of fun and pretty low maintenance for me: put out the sandwich makings and such, cut the cake, make sure beverages were accessible…Everyone seemed to have a good time, and sometime around 8:30 or so, we wrapped it up. The girls came out of it with a batch of new clothes, which, I’ve been told by Hannah, is a great thing. Boys are ambivalent about clothes, generally: it’s nice to get new ones, but it’s not at the top of the want list. Girls see it as a need.

It’s so much fun to watch all three kids take in each birthday party differently through the years. We’re at the stage where there’s still excitement, but it isn’t solely focused on the gifts anymore: it’s increasingly about the cousins who they get to see, the grandparents who come, and the pomp and ceremony of the party itself (food, cake, attention on them)…

The weather for the day was surprisingly good–at least the part that counted. The morning was kind of gray, then it cleared a bit midday, and then the afternoon got dark again. But the whole system of nastiness passed to the south, so all we got was ugly sky. By the time people had arrived and were tucking into sandwiches, there was some sun and a gentle cool breeze.

Sunday was given over to relaxation: Jenni didn’t have to work at a church job for the first time in years, so it was a welcomed opportunity to sleep past 7. And a good thing, too. Weather-wise, Sunday was uniformly grey and occasionally wet. We did, however, hit the downtown library, more to get out of the house than to specifically get books, but it’s nice when a destination can be so cheap.

Today, the “bonus Saturday” as Hannah called it on Sunday when she asked me if I like long weekends, was a day for homebound pursuits, partially because it poured for a good chunk of the morning, but also because it was hot and humid, and there was laundry to do, a cool basement to spend time in, and other things to do around the house. It got hotter than the weather folk had promised earlier in the weekend, but the house didn’t get hot enough that I had to scramble to put the air conditioners in. But that day is coming: we all know it’s coming.

Tomorrow is the return to reality: back to school, back to work, back to whatever it is that a routine Tuesday would bring to one’s life. I don’t relish it. I can’t say I miss it yet. But it does pay the bills, so it’s needed for that. Reality for me, however, means waking up between 5 and 5:30 in the morning. So I’ll sign off now and head to bed.

I hope you all had a great weekend, too.

See you tomorrow.