And of course, instead of doing that, I'm inside at the computer, doing my best to ignore the children. More than one friend has remarked lately on the Groundhog-Day-ishness of life at the moment: every morning we're surprised not to hear I Got You Babe blasting from the radio, because everything else just seems to be happening over and over and over, every day the same as the day before or the week before.
I suppose the lesson here is that we humans are never bloody satisfied, and it's just as well we don't have pots of money and a little place in the Bahamas and designer shoes and a housekeeper, because we still wouldn't be happy all the time.
The other day a squirrel scampered through the damp playground, and Monkey shouted after it, "Hello, my friend the squirrel!" I realised that I hadn't heard him talk about his friend the spider, who used to show up in daily conversation, for a long time. It's the sort of tiny thing that you think will happen for ever, that you'll never need to remember because it'll never stop happening, and then it's gone and forgotten. That's why I write these things: photos only tell half the story of a childhood, if that. I want to recall the sounds and scents and essence of these fleeting days, in all their tedium, so that in the distant future when I don't even appreciate having a half-hour to myself again, I can open the bottle and take a sip of how it used to be.