Hello there. I know, it’s been a bit longer than a long while. Sorry about that. Sometimes my brain isn’t getting enough roughage and all I can manage is one big brain-fart after another. That’s no place to blog from, right? Let’s hope this moment of clarity maintains. Or whatever.
Today is Friday. And in my school district, it is the last Friday of summer vacation. My kids go back to school next Wednesday. I don’t think there is a life-form in our house that is happy about this fact. Yes, you read that right. Even the mom isn’t looking forward to school starting.
We’ve all seen the viral photo from last year of the kids lined up in front of the garage door for the “first day of school” photo and all the kids look mournful and the mom is jumping for joy. Sure, it was probably a canned photo but it garnered lots of “likes” and comments around the internet. There isn’t a parent amongst us who hasn’t felt like that at some point. Because, let’s face it, when the kiddos are bickering, the first day of school shines like a beacon of hope for the parent who has been listening to that bickering to the point of nutterville.
But I haven’t had that summer. Instead, I’ve had 73 days of excellence with my kids/family. By the time we arrive at their classroom doors next Wednesday, that number will be 77 days.
77 is not enough this year.
Some years, summer vacation was about 50 days too long. But this summer has flown by in a flurry of camps and camping trips, kid stuff and grown-up stuff. Unlike the typical version of reality, our summer days have been long and the summer short. But even that isn’t quite true because it’s all just felt super fast. Like one minute we were stumbling about the kitchen in our jammies making something to nibble on and then next Mister Soandso was coming through the door in time for dinner.
The bickering has happened but so have lots of smiles and laughs. There’s been tears and upset feelings, but there’s also been hours of games and just being together. As a family.
This summer has been a summer of family for me in a greater way than any other summers that come to mind. I know that as Biggest, Middlest, and Littlest grow up and go onto their own paths, this will be a summer that we all think back upon as a wonderful summer. For it has been a summer of memory-making and for that I am truly blessed.
During the middle of August, we had a nearly week-long camping trip. First we spent two days at the Cougar Rock campground at Mt. Rainier National Park for a family wedding and then we spent four nights at the South Beach State Park in Newport, Oregon. Mister Soandso took this photo on our last night in Newport.
He talked us into hiking out to the beach for a bonfire and pudgy pies at sun down.
It is a long walk through the dunes to the shoreline at South Beach. Behind us came the sounds of the cars and trucks speeding along Highway 101. There was also the nearly constant barking of the sea lions in the harbor.
Ahead of us was the crash of the Pacific against the jetty and the sand.
And above our heads, as Mister Soandso and I attempted to get the fire going, came the sounds of our three children, giggling.
Mister Soandso grabbed his camera and nabbed this photo — forever capturing that moment in my mind’s eye as well as in our digital photo album.
The sun setting, the moon in the sky, and our three children caught in a moment of being carefree and happy – a snapshot of our family in that moment.
Today, as I drink my coffee and make plans for my day, I’m back on that beach, surrounded by the people I love best in this world.
Today might be the last of this moment, this last Friday of our summer, but it will never be completely over if we hold precious this memory.