Dear Daughters: As Fall Creeps In

Dear Daughters, Summer has officially retreated, so says the calendar, but the days here in Rockport are still hot. The mosquitos are still swarming, the sun still tucks away at 8, not much has really changed. We've been kissed with golden tans, left sand in every crack and crevice of the house, and starred at the tv for way too many hours.

But every few nights, there is a cool(ish) breeze that lifts the sweaty hairs off of the back of our necks on our evening walk and we remember, Autumn will be here soon. She will bring open windows, community events, and a change of pace (hopefully a relaxed rhythm to these homeschooling days) We have our very first family (of five) vacation planned to wrap up the season in December, but until then, I am hopeful for a season of diligence. Of pressing deep into our family and neighborhood. Welcoming whatever the wind blows in.

My Lily, I swear that your legs grew every day of this summer. I can hardly see where your chunky baby thighs used to be. You have started Kindergarten (though you tell everyone "Oh, I don't have a grade, I'm HOMEschooled.") So far you really love our math lessons and you light up when given the chance to show Norah how to do something. You say "I'm sorry" more than any little human I've ever met and it makes me wonder if have shown you what Grace really looks like. Or maybe the guilt you are feeling, the inadequacy you burden will lead you to our Savior. I don't know, but know that I hear you, baby.

Norah Jean, You little stinker. Your imagination has grown leaps and bounds this past season (which only thrills your older sister) You have started to figure out the world, and hearing what it feels like, sounds like, looks like through your lens is fascinating. You are loyal and intense and ever more opinionated. I have a feeling Jesus is going to use you in a might way. You have started Pre-K and love your little Rod & Staff books. We have finally gotten over the "This is not white, it's NO COLOR, mama" argument (thank you 6 pound, 12 ounce baby Jesus) and I love the look on your face when you've completed something you've put a lot of your little attention into.

Phoebe, My baby, my chubs, my Pheebs. Where is my tiny baby girl? I can hardly find her with this sassy toddler standing in the way. I can honestly say that I've done a disservice to your big sisters by taking for granted their littleness. Every day I have with you as a baby is a joy. An exhausting, messy joy. You are a mischievous little toddler. Your curiosity and extrovertedness (definitely a word)  remind me of Lily, but the enthusiasm in which you play and sneak and cuddle is all your own. You promised me through little milk stanky gummies that you would stay my baby forever. What a dirty trick ;] I think you will miss the beach most of all. You will go in up to your chin before I can grab you. The water excites you, and maybe it's because that's the way you came into the world? But even in our days home you find your sandcastle molds to play with.

Burke Lady Loves, We've had an amazing summer. It isn't for certain where we will spend the next summer, or the one after that, or after that, but I hope you can remember the time that we had here.

Love, Mama