Friday, July 11, 2008

Home alone

The kids are at "Auntie Camp" this week, and Heather has truly planned a special outing for each and every day. We've been talking about this week for a year, after the kids spent a long weekend there last summer and Matt and I got another taste of what it feels like to be on our own. The leap from a long weekend to a week seemed a bit much--particularly when we had the escape hatch of home open, given that Matt and I decided not to travel but to simply have the "staycation" that Governor Rell has been suggesting. But a trip to the library, a water park, the movies, the zoo, and the Duck Boat tour seems to have taken off any homesick edge little Lucas might have been feeling. (His big sister is happy enough with Auntie that I suspect she would gladly move in, if not for her bike, scooter and dog being here in CT.)

I had a new assistant starting at work this week, so my original intention to be off for the whole week didn't pan out. I did take off Thursday and Friday (today), though, and it's been pure bliss. Yesterday we drove to western CT and enjoyed the hill country--the drive was spectacular, we treated ourselves to a decadent anniversary lunch at an outdoor cafe, and the weather could not have been more perfect. Even a couple of hours of lawn mowing and garden weeding didn't dampen our enthusiasm! Today has had additional pleasures in store. We took the canoe out on the river for the first time this summer--and we took Ty for what we believe was his very first canoe trip. Matt clearly had the more difficult role--steering from behind, constant urging of the dog to sit, and a solo paddle of 10 minutes upstream at one point as I talked with the kids on the cell phone. Ah, technology.... But it was four of the finest hours I can remember. We stopped at a sandy beach along our route and gave Ty yet another swimming lesson. (He doesn't yet trust his instincts; we're working on him!) The cool of the river water gently drifting downstream was just what the warm day needed, and creation was in its glory in the presence of a blue heron, a hawk, and turtles galore appearing at multiple points along our journey.

Other pleasures from the summer banquet thus far? Kyra and I went to Camp Wightman for the first time. I intended to blog as soon as we returned, to share the absolute joy I felt in seeing my child come alive to camping as I did when I was young--but alas, I think that blog remained in my mind. I'm trying to decide if we'll go back this summer. From the lake to the root-laden trails to the boisterous voices in the camp dining hall, the experience was the perfect blend of newness and nostalgia. The summer has included a couple of trips to the pool we joined--showing off the kids' increasing swimming confidence, and of course countless walks with the dog, morning and night, every single day.

At moments I feel it all slipping away too, too quickly, but then I open my palm, stop trying to clutch and hold it all still, and enjoy how summer and time, like the river, wash right on over me.