For my family, being away from home brings out the worst and the best of us. Tempers are short when sleep gets compromised on progressively longer days as we cram in more and more. Kids tend to bicker more in close quarters. Like a car. For 4 hours.
But the worst of it is brief, forgivable, compared to the best of it. I love being together without the pressure of the laundry pile (oh, believe me, it lurks in the back of my mind waiting to multiply and pounce on me when we arrive home), never-ending tasks at work, and projects for which procrastination is part of the title--like "that bathroom painting project I keep putting off..." I love only needing to be responsible for a couple of meals and documenting my children's joy of being outdoors away from home.
We're staying in Northern Michigan on a lake in a beautiful cabin that my father-in-law built from a tear down. The view is spectacular.
Last night, I watched T1 and T2 gathering acorns, skimming stones, and jumping off the dock. I had a vision of the two of them making up games and stories--summertime yarns that are the only things that occupy their minds. I keep seeing these dirty-faced ruffians like Jem and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird (my current summer read). My characters, like the fictional ones, are devoted to each other. They're outside from sun up to sun down. They create imaginary worlds in the forest that provide a dappled backdrop for the most memorable of play.
Like Scout, when they're older, I hope they reflect fondly on this coming of age time in their lives and while they learn about the world around them, they keep some of the innocence that is captivating in a seven-year-old's summer.