One of the things I love about summer are the large swaths of unstructured time: a truly blank canvas. There is time for so much in any day: a trip, reading together, playing pretend, going to the pool. I can tell we've hit a good balance of activity, rest and play when our time at home falls into the rhythm of wonderful ease. We can spend an morning or afternoon immersed in free play and I have the joy of peeking in every now and then to see what, exactly, is the game of the moment. Is it dress up? Nursing sick dolls? A game of going to the doctor's office? Playing ball with Hugo? Having "picnics" with play food all over the house and deck? A whole story evolved around "the princess and the mouse" as the girls literally became each of the characters (I love the pictures of our little mouse nibbling away at some food). Little by little, Hugo seems to be accepted as part of the flock. He's the one who can be assigned any role whatsoever in pretend play, my favorite recently being "the doctor."