Our mail carrier is kind and attentive, thoughtful and sweet. I love when a package needs to be delivered, because it provides an excuse to catch up with her on the front porch. She knows each of my kids by name, knows their hobbies and interests. Occasionally, she leaves them small gifts in the mailbox, like cute cardboard mail trucks filled with candy. They were thrilled to discover that on her recent vacation, she sent them a postcard telling them all about her trip. I was thrilled to be reminded of one more reason why I love this community - these people - so much.
|These crocheted minion hats arrived in one such package, thanks to my crafty mother-in-law and our mail carrier who delivered it to these happy boys!|
At the end of June, my dad and I took 6 high schoolers from our church to Washington, D.C. for a week of service work in the city. It was an incredible and important week for our youth and for our church. The hardest part of the trip for me was leaving my family, but the care they received throughout the week - from my mom and Jeff; from friends; from the community as a whole - made me feel so well-cared for, loved, and supported. Although pretty much everyone knew that I was gone, someone saw Aidan at the pool with a friend and asked him, "Where's your mom?" He replied, "Answering prayers."
Aidan attended a video game animation camp at the end of June, and spent the week creating his very own video game. It was intense, and a very different kind of creative outlet for him. I was so happy for him and for the opportunity to engage in something so different. I was also happy for him that he reconnected with a buddy during the week, and later enjoyed a sleepover at his house.
And Pax, although he's not quite old enough yet for camps or clinics or even swim team, is having a wonderful summer as well. He's always been a bit of a fish in the water, but this year he is more confident - and capable - than ever before. His year of preschool socialization shows in a big way; I've marveled at how easily and happily he plays with same-age peers during swim meets. And speaking of meets - swim team continues to be a highlight of summer for all five of us, because of - you guessed it - our community of swimmers.
We've adventured to a local farm for strawberry picking, and we're looking forward to comparing East Coast Berries to West Coast Berries later in July when we go to the Vanoni Ranch. (We know there's no contest - the Vanonis grow the best strawberries on any coast - but we feel we must be polite.)
And we're keeping a runny tally of the number of meals we eat outside. To date, we've enjoyed 10 breakfasts (even one on the boat!); 12 picnic lunches, including ones at Monticello Trail, playground and parks, the beach, and the pool; and 20 dinners on the deck (be that a pool deck or our house deck). One picnic lunch even included treats from an ice cream truck (which thrilled me to no end. The kids on the other hand? A bit nonplussed.)
With the memories of a wonderful 4th of July still fresh in my mind (and soon to be recorded), I find myself clinging to each of these summer days, wanting to get the most out of every single one - even the ones that require us to lay low, rest up, ease back. As I often remind my sons, gently - all good things must come to an end. But here, midway, as I take stock on what has been and what is to come, I am content and well-pleased. May we find many more memories such as these.