Posted in Blog, Emotional wellness, Family life, Featured, House and home, Life as a mom, Shawna

Summer baby, summer morning

We are out at the lake with my parents for one blissful week. In the mornings, Quinn wakes up early and points frantically to the bedroom door.

She knows her grandparents are out there, and she knows mornings out here mean a walk with them through their orchard and down to the dock.

I know that mornings out here mean more sleep for me and my husband. I can’t say which of the five of us is happiest!

The other day, my mom shared some reflections with me from their morning walk. I thought it really captured the magic of early mornings with babies, so I’m sharing it here:

Quinn sings a walking song as we enter the orchard, pluck one apricot from a tree, two from the ground. Jim dips her low to grab the big one. I bend for the other. Quinn softly cups one orb in each hand, and we set off. Up the drive, she sings, the vowels varying, trying the options and progressions – ah to oh to oooh – then she laughs and bounces on Jim’s shoulders.

We eat the apricots on the dock. She grabs Jim’s hand and swivels, then walks a slightly drunken walk – the dock moves with the water. The boards are wide with wide gaps. She stops, grips the edge of one board with the length of one foot, outside edge of another board with the other, steadying herself under her pink flamingo golf hat, fist gripping Jim’s index finger. She spirals around, then steadies again. The hand that holds the remains of an apricot to her lips makes balance difficult.

We look down at lake water moving under the boards between the slats, follow her rise, step up to the ramp, its boards smaller and closer together. We stop. She grabs an upright of railing and we stand beside her, watching sunlight play on lake water, shadows on the basalt crag. She points and we walk on, lake full over the second level of logs that defines the edge of the beach, holds the gravel and cottonwood tree in place.

She points to the sign kiosk. I name pictures – the ladies and gentlemen picnicking, white explorer behind a native man who shows him the way, old hotel – probably the one that burned down, a picture of two Indians, one probably Wapato, the other Coastal Salish beside a canoe.

Blackberries are ripening along the uphill sidewalk. I pick one. Quinn reaches, pincers it, puts it to lips, holds it. I pick another and she holds that too. On Jim’s shoulders as we walk uphill, Quinn sings. Sometimes we repeat her verses as she bounces, and sometimes we just listen to her songline of this morning’s walk. She laughs often – it’s almost punctuation. I laugh too.

Blackberry juice is purple down her forearm, around her mouth. It punctuates Jim’s cap. His tee shirt wears orange beige smears from yesterday’s apricot. I carry Doug fir cone, grass flower, the remains of a cot. Quinn has one perfect blackberry in her fist. A chipmunk with striped sides hurtles across the driveway, leaps into the brush, hops easily to a low branch. Birds talk about morning and what they’ve found to eat, as all beings do, pines loosening their resinous scent into the breeze.

I hope you are all enjoying these long summer mornings with your babies! I am going to miss these days of sunhats and swim diapers, of tiny shoes filled with sand and pink cheeks dotted with blackberries, Quinn’s warm, sweaty curls pressed against my neck as I rock her to sleep.

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  1. Oh my gosh. I totally love this post now!! I feel like I lived that too. Ahhhh…reading this was beautiful and really touched me. Thanks Shawna.

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