I’m too worn out to pack any more tonight, but I did a good amount of it already. And the boys packed their own clothes today (with supervision, otherwise they’d have brought 800 t-shirts and no underwear). We’re getting more streamlined. No diapers needed. No sketchy rent-a-crib left propped up at the door of our rental. It all gets easier.
It was a weird week. I had been planning to spend all of it with the boys, but Mom showed up unannounced for a visit late Monday night. I’d had a trying afternoon with the kids – including being chided for bad language by Young J – so I was glad to see her. She took them out on very long outings, two days in a row. We all went to the movies one day. Of course we had our usual friction, but the end result was, I was so relieved. I slept. I rested. I stayed away from the kids.
The boys have been very difficult lately. Something about being between things, not-camp and not-school but also not yet vacation. They have forgotten that they love each other. Or their love has turned into something impossible and aggressive. Maybe testosterone surges. Who knows? I’m hoping we’ll interrupt all that tomorrow, though. The car is out front and starting to fill up with the week’s essentials that still seem to fill up the car, even without a pack n play or a bouncy seat to tote along.
I remember two years ago arriving at the beach, stepping into the water, and being overcome with emotional gratitude that I had made it there. That was August 2013, and I’d been through surgery, radiation, and then a nasty radiation burn on my back, that oozed and kept reopening and made life impossible for a while.
I remember that moment of gratitude and that it involved being grateful to God. And I marvel at this now, because I have not felt that way in almost a year. Grateful, yes, obviously. It (life, gratitude) isn’t something I can take for granted these days. I’m curious how things will go tomorrow, when I get reacquainted with the watery world, for what it turns out is the first time this summer. We’ve starved ourselves of beach all summer, somehow, even when we’re in easy reach of good ones. I’m greedy for sand, water, waves, the calming effect of low tide that makes you want to speak in hushed tones, the thrill and mild panic of the tide coming back in again when you aren’t ready.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It won’t be all morose contemplation. Young A (whose half birthday will be commemorated this week with a cake) discovered The Beach Boys at camp this summer. I think they should be our soundtrack for the drive.