You can tell that summer is edging out spring when the rain storms come. Not days and days of cold unrelenting rain, like we saw this winter. And different than the cool showers that nurture hungry spring earth as the winter thaws. These showers are strong, steamy and fast, often accompanied by flashes and booms. You can smell them coming on the humid air, and everything feels a little cooler when they've passed. Sometimes the pavement steams in their wake.
The flowers have bloomed, and then wilted, and then new flowers have bloomed again. A wonderful fireworks display, and even five years after living in this house, I continue to be surprised each and every time a flower blooms. Where will the flowers come? What colors will they bring? Some thoughtful homeowner of years bygone no doubt put time and effort into planning all this out, and here I am just sitting back and enjoying it. One time in high school, Ben ran into my mom. After chatting for some time, she said, "It's nice to meet you, Ben." Ben explained that no, actually, they had met several times before. She laughed, embarrassed, always forgetting these things. "That's okay," Ben replied. "That way you get to meet more people." A quick wit, that one. We tell the story to this day, the "first" time Ben met my mom. And here I am getting to meet more flowers, year after year, always forgetting where and when they will come, what they will look like. It really is better this way.
Strawberry plants are shooting towards the sky, mint is taking over the entirety of one raised bed reminding me that yes it is an invasive plant. The babies have one tooth that has broken skin each. Just barely, and as always with our babies, the tooth breaking skin itself has been easy peasy, but boy do I remember a cranky night or two a few weeks back!
The babies have been stalking our forks and spoons on their journey from the plate to our mouths, looking longingly and drooling. On a whim the other night, I mashed up some avocado from my salad, put it on my finger, and offered it to Clara, thinking she would spit it out. She rolled it around in her mouth and swallowed it, and then started gnawing on my finger for more. That's how it is when you're twins, number four and five in a family, I guess. There was no ceremonial "first food," no sitting around the baby in the high chair with anticipation. Just some mashed avocado on a finger. I guess she liked it. Every night or two, when I think of it, I'll give them some food. Usually some mashed up cooked egg yolk on my finger, and they have often been downing a whole yolk between the two of them. I'm always on the lookout for more nutritionally dense first foods, seeing as how the other alternative is breastmilk, and it doesn't get much healthier than that for a baby. Egg yolk seems like a good one, and if I can avoid getting too much eye rolling I might try to squeeze in some liver. If you look closely in that picture of Ben holding both babies, you can see that Clara is sporting some egg yolk stains. Is it just me or are these babies growing up fast?
I gave the kids their summer haircuts this weekend. At the end of it all, there was a big pile of honey colored hair on our kitchen floor. Some strands long, some curly, some short. A pretty huge mountain of hair, actually, and three very chipper children (even Hugo, who only needed to be bribed with the promise of a "red knockem" aka hammer from Ben). Ben thinks Lily looks like she's out a Cassat painting, and I have to agree. Such beautiful depictions of domesticity in those paintings. As it so happens, there's a Cassat exhibit at the National Gallery, and I think we'll have to go.