I have at least three other blog posts sitting patiently in Word documents… all full of deep thinking, work-related, and emotional things. They’re going to have to continue to be patient, because my brain is going on strike. It’s time for a picture-based recap post.
Since Paul is working on a career track in the mystical land of academics, our summers are often filled with mish-mashes of side jobs. This year, Paul worked for a local restaurant at the State Fair. Just so you know, the state fair is NOT close to where we live, and lasts for almost TWO WEEKS. Since I had no interest in solo-parenting for that long, we trekked out West and stayed with my parents for the first week, and Paul’s parents for the second.
Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures to share from my parents’ house, as they live out in the country, and the kids spent almost the entire time in varying states of undress. Lucy barely had a diaper on for about a week. So, in the interest of not posting a bunch of nude pictures of my kids… just know that they had a lot of fun.
It’s so nice out there. The canyon is gorgeous, and the kids love to play with my parents’ dogs. Charlie loves helping my dad fix bikes, and my mom spends the entire time chasing the kids around the house. It’s the big old house on the prairie, and it’s nice to feel so free for a while. My mom took Charlie to the little indoor pool in a neighboring town, and he was in heaven. I had no idea this kid loved water so much!
One of the main highlights was the window-well full of toads. I remember this being a highlight of my childhood, too. After it rained, toads would congregate down in the wells by our basement windows, and Alli and I would lay there and play with them for hours. Lucy spent most of her time roaring at them, and it was hilarious.
About midway through the trip, we visited Paul at the State Fair. It was so so so nice to see him. We rode the Ferris wheel with Charlie while Lucy screamed indignantly in the stroller with Grandma, and we took an Old West Picture. I didn’t really want to, but I’m so glad Paul pushed it. That picture is hilarious. I was grumpy right up until it was time to take the photo, and then, of course, I couldn’t keep a straight face. Guh. Oh, well.
The second week was spent with Paul’s parents, and the big highlight was their recently-purchased cabin on the lake. I need to be honest here and say that I do not like lakes. I liked them when I was little, and now I do not like them. I think they are gross and drowning is scary. BUT, this cabin is slowly changing my mind. I even went tubing and enjoyed it. Charlie went fishing, fishing, fishing, and boating, boating, boating. That kid learned terms like “jig head,” caught three fish, named a bait-fish, dealt with the death of said bait-fish, cried a little, then went fishing some more. It was a full weekend.
Lucy probably didn’t have as much fun as Charlie, since she couldn’t really do everything she wanted to do, and couldn’t fully communicate what she did want to do. Next year, though. Next year, she will have a blast out at the cabin.
One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was when my parents came out to the cabin. We all rode in the boat, and it was so fun to see Charlie with all four of his grandparents. Lucy just leans back and lets the wind blow over her with a big grin on her face. I have vague memories of riding on my dad’s old boat, and seeing him on the boat brought them back a little more vividly.
Overall, it was a good trip. The kids got so much grandma and grandpa time, and I am incredibly grateful for the help. I know I would have done okay if we had stayed in Omaha, because I have one of the most awesome “villages” I could ask for, but the nights would have been rough and a little scary. We’ve ended this two-week stretch feeling pretty drained, but it’s so comforting to be reminded of the support system we have and how many people there are who love us.
Coming back after this is the perfect reset. We are starting the school year for both Paul (as a teacher) and Charlie (as a three-day-a-week preschooler), and I’m more than ready to get some routine in our lives, because we haven’t really had once since April.
Be prepared for a bunch of super-motivated posts that will last two months, and then peter out around Thanksgiving. (Pie!!!)
Good riddance, Summer! Bring on the Fall!