Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Backpost: This Little Birthday Boy

Written: 5/24/2015

My Dear Dear Oldest Boy,

Today you turn seven and I am completely floored at what a big boy you are.   Where have the last six years gone so quickly?  I will always miss your chubby cheeks and the silly ways of your toddler years, but I am so excited to watch you grow into a boy. 

Right now your favorite television show is Rescue Bots.  You got a new bike for your birthday and you seem to be a real natural at riding it. You love baseball and soccer, and you are learning so much at piano lessons with Mr. Mark.  You are now an excellent reader and love to read stories to your youngest brother whenever he will listen.  Your favorite thing to do is listen to music on the headphones.  Will you be a musician someday?

In a few weeks we are going on a big trip to New England that will include climbing mountains, camping, and kayaking.  I have no doubt in my mind that you will thrive while we are there.  You love hiking and just being outside. 

Bear and Monkey are still always by your side, but I can see you becoming less dependent on them. You dish out kindness to others without condition, and always offer sympathy when you see a person that is upset or hurt.

Have I mentioned that I think you are amazing?

You can find ways to create something out of nothing (like bus mirrors or hitches). Your energy in contagious to your brothers (sometimes not in the way I would prefer). J I can’t wait to see what the next seven years hold for you.

I’ll love you forever,
Your mom.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Adventure 2015

 Eureka - Indiana - Toronto - Montreal - Sumner, ME - Bar Harbor/Acadia - Portland - Adirondacks - Buffalo, NY - Ball Lake, IN - Lake Michigan
One week ago we pulled into our driveway road weary and full of excitement.
For a little over three weeks we had been packed (and unpacked, and packed again) into our tiny little car with a tent, camping stove, five sleeping bags, and enough clothing to get us through for a spell.

This trip had been 9 months in the making.  It was designed to be inexpensive, unplugged, and adventurous.

It was NOT a vacation.

Don't get me wrong.  Parts of it were relaxing.  Large chunks of it were absolutely good for our souls.
It's just that nobody made me a margarita, which in my mind = vacay.

There is actually not a thing about it I would change. 

I learned a lot about my kids.  I grew a new and more powerful appreciation for my partner.  I climbed a big mountain. It was all pretty awesome.

There were difficult moments.
People cried (and not just kids).
People whined (and not just kids).
We accidentally made my 7 year old and ourselves go on a 17 mile bike ride.
It rained unrelentingly into our tent.
Our giant trunk-hogging camping stove never worked.
Anything involving being in the car was totally dreadful.
Accommodations were at times imperfect.

But there were shining perfect moments.
All three kids climbing a real mountain.
Wearing swimsuits all day.
Painting the mountains with my five year old.
Bathing in the most serene lake I've ever laid eyes on.
Treasure hunts.
New friends.
Ferry boats.
Golf carts.
Sandy beaches on the ocean.
The phrase repeated over and over again, "Best vacation ever!"

But I must emphasize for clarity.  It was NOT a vacation.