July Third. We’ll Put It Down As A Great Day In Our Journals. If We Actually Kept Journals.

First, before I go any further, I have to tell you the news.

Long ago (As in weeks!  Maybe pluralized months!), I bought the boy a kids’ book written by John Grisham that involved criminal court cases and detective work, because hello!  Who doesn’t like a John Grisham book?  The boy’s class had just finished reading a mystery for their reading group, and he loved it.  And hearing the boy say that he loved a book?  Well, people, that is exactly like a solar eclipse.  Or a comet that only comes ’round every billion years.  The boy and ALL THE READING aren’t friends, so how on earth can he possibly proclaim a book as EXCELLENT, since that would involve focusing his eyes on pages and making them read sentences?

And I went with the I LOVED THIS MYSTERY BOOK WE JUST FINISHED IN CLASS statement.  In my lifelong quest to get the boy to fall in love with books like I have, I immediately marched down to the bookstore and bought him a mystery-type, crime book.  When I announced that I had a surprise for him, he was thrilled.  And when he realized that the surprise equaled A BOOK, he tried to fake happiness for my benefit, because his heart is so kind.

The book sat on his bedroom desk and collected dust.

And then one day I told him, “Get that book!  You’re going to sit down and read me a chapter out loud, and you can record it on your class reading log as time spent in the pages of a book.”  There was sighing and teeth gnashing, and then yes.  He sat down, and he read exactly eight pages out loud before the cute neighbor boy knocked on our back door and shouted, “Hey!  Do you want to ride four-wheelers with me?”

It’s a good thing we like that cute neighbor boy, because that was THE END to all the reading.

The four-wheelers were yanked out of the garage, and the boy announced, “I just need to jump my battery, because it has died!”

And I yelled back, “You wait for your dad to get home and do that!”  Because big batteries tend to spell out ZAP YOU in my book.

And that’s when the boy hollered back, “Mom, I know how to use a set of jumpers.  It isn’t difficult.  A preschooler could do it.”

Apparently he was right, because his four-wheeler started, and there was no call placed to request an ambulance.

(And preschooler or not, I still have no idea how to jump a battery.  Red wires.  Black wires.  Positives.  Negatives.  If I have twelve cookies, and I give Jane nine and Patty three, how many cookies do I have left?  It all overwhelms me.)

And then the book went back to the desk, with eight full pages read, and it collected more dust.

Until last night, when I announced to the boy, YOU WILL READ A BOOK, COVER TO COVER, BEFORE SUMMER ENDS, SO HELP ME HEAVEN!  I shoved the John Grisham book at him, and he frowned.  And then he sort of flopped on his bed with the big eye roll and sigh.  But he read.

And this morning?  Oh, people!  That boy was up before I was, and I was up EARLY.  (I did not stay in my pajamas today, pinning things on Pinterest.)  He was up while it was barely light.  And…

…he was reading that book!

I asked him, “What are you doing?”  And he announced that this book!  IT IS SUPER FANTASTIC, AND I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HOW IT ENDS!

Y’all, my boy has been reading that book off and on all day, when he wasn’t wrapped up in all the other events that we had going on.  He took it with him in the Suburban.  He read it while he ate a bowl of Krave cereal for breakfast.

And what’s that noise?  Oh, yes!  It’s the angels singing a round of hallelujahs!

So with that story behind us, I’ll just give y’all a bunch of snapshots tonight, and I’ll keep the words to a bare minimum, on account of the small fact that I really need to get into bed, since Thing 2 is practicing sleeping as an unswaddled baby, and that isn’t working out very golden-like for us.

The boy left Small Town this morning with Enzo’s family, as they were headed to Smaller Town, some thirty-odd miles down the interstate, to go swimming.  Their good buddy, Louden, was celebrating his birthday today, and he was having a bash at the pool.

Here’s the cute birthday boy:

While all the swimming and cupcake-eating was taking place, I had a manicure, and I secured one of the cutest babysitters around.  Cousin R entertained Thing 2 until he peed on her.

(She was not hugely impressed with that.)

(She’s only nine.)

(She was shocked at Thing 2’s rude manners.)

Isn’t Cousin R adorable?  Her auntie thinks so.

When my nails were filed and polished and looking like fingernails fit for a princess, I drove over to Smaller Town myself to hang out with all the mamas and the kids.

And oh, my word!  104 degrees here today.  The swimming pool was packed.

Here’s part of the swimming crew at the birthday:

That gang is hopped up on cupcakes and snowcones and pure excitement at being together!

I forced the boy and his buddies to smile for my camera multiple times this afternoon.

There’s the boy and Enzo.

And the boy with his good friend, Quinn:

They ended up having an all-out, take-no-prisoners squirt gun fight.

In between all the talking I did with the other mamas, I snapped lots of pictures of the kids having a grand afternoon.

And then, after an entire day spent in the pool and the sun, I tossed my boys into the Suburban, and we drove back to  Smaller Town, because today is also my dad’s birthday!  My mom had wanted to take everyone out for dinner to celebrate, but then the reality of that set in.

We have The Littles:

One of The Littles will sit politely and very ladylike in a restaurant.  She’ll mind her manners.  She’ll whisper softly.  And the other Little will not.  He will want to stand up in someone’s lap, and he’ll use his outdoor voice to holler at neighboring diners until they look at him, and then he’ll giggle hysterically.  And since he has just learned that OH, MY WORD!  I HAVE FINGERS!  AND THEY OPEN AND CLOSE AND THEY GRAB THINGS!, we knew that dinner plates and drinks and silverware and green beans were going to hit the floor.

Probably numerous times.

Until the manager called Hubs and I aside and simply said, “We’re going to need you to take your raccoon out of the restaurant, for reasons established by OSHA.”

So, we skipped all the drama and restaurant entertainment for other diners to witness, and we grilled steaks at our house in honor of my dad’s birthday.

And, because it’s what I do, I made all the cousins line up on the sofa for a picture.

Of course there were some outtakes, especially when Little H tipped over.

(Honestly, her brother had a lot to do with her tipping over.)

(Actually, he probably helped fling her to the side.)

(Don’t get mad at him; it was downright funny.)

(No babies were hurt in all the flinging.)

We ate a lot of grilled steak and corn on the cob and watermelon and green salad and mashed potatoes tonight.  The kids ran outside until sweat was dripping off of them, because THE TEMPERATURE!  It had cooled down considerably, and was ONLY 96 degrees!

(The adults stayed inside with the frigid central air conditioning running, which is what Jesus intended us to do on days like this.)

And then, just like that, the day ended.

It was a fantastic day.  It was a day filled with good friends and family.  There was laughter and giggles and hugs and sweat and a watermelon that was quite possibly the very best one I have ever eaten.

And when all of our family left late this evening to head for home, the boy took his book to bed.

To read.

And that, people, is a Christmas miracle in July.

Y’all have a happy Tuesday night, and an even happier 4th of July.  Stay safe.  Don’t take a sparkler to the eye.  And I’ll see everyone back here at Jedi Mama, Inc. on Thursday.  Maybe.  Or maybe it won’t be until Sunday night, depending on how the holiday activities pan out.

Decision making has never been one of my strong gifts.

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