Well, we're approaching the end of summer and what a summer it has been. Everyone in our house over the age of four is ready for a break from the heat and humidity, but we've had a blast and have really enjoyed the fact that Neil has been so very healthy. He has had a wonderfully normal summer for a little boy - swimming, walking in the woods, playing in the back yard, etc. No hospitalizations, no illness more serious than a cold, nothing beyond routine medical checkups. Just learning new things and playing and being a little boy.
We are always amused if somewhat exhausted by the different stages of development in our house. As Irene said this morning, everyone is in a different place. Neil is moving along at his own sweet pace, experiencing life's adventures in his own way. Henry is I guess what you would call a typical 3 1/2 year old, if a bit more "strong-willed" than some. Parker is definitely a teenager now. Irene was watching Mary Poppins with Henry last night while Parker was in his room playing "Sunshine of Your Love," and Neil was running around with his cars trying to impart to others some of his passion for the various models - "Look! Look!"
Another "Henryism" cracked us up this morning when apparently Parker gave him a look he didn't care for. "If you look mad at me, I'll look mad back at you!"
Lucy is nearing recovery thanks be to God, and we all look forward to not having to keep her separated from Willie in order to preserve her stitches. What an ordeal this has been - a solid argument for male pets. We love her, though, Parker more than any of the boys maybe, while Neil has a special fondness for Willie (WiWee!, as he says).
I finally finished the tree platform and it was with great satisfaction that I watched Neil and Henry climb up and slide down, climb up and slide down, climb up.... We'll be adding a few refinements as we see what sorts of things they want to do with it, but for now it seems to be a hit.