Friday, August 22, 2014

skipping stones and exhaling

[photos are from past experiences since i didn't have any photos from the stories below. they are growing so fast!]

are you one of those parents who has a camera at-the-ready - snapping away at all those special moments, capturing those crazy faces and shared smiles between siblings, immortalizing moments that become the stuff of family legend? well i'm not! i wish i had a nickle for every time i said "i wish i had my camera with me," or "did you bring the camera?" i've even mentally designed a pair of glasses that have a sensor so that if you wink, they take a photo. i guess until i get those glasses created, i'll have to practice imprinting those priceless moments deep into my memory.

we had two evenings this week that were those kinds of times where you just hit the pause button and remember what is important. tuesday night we made a last-minute decision to get the boat wet. our summer has been so busy. we've only taken the boat out a handful of times. i always resist evening rides - the kids end up getting to bed so late and we're left with a pile of towels, dirty food containers, trash and a soggy cooler to clean up. but in the spirit of 'the last week of summer,' i pasted on a smile and agreed to go. every single time we get to the edge of the no wake zone and the throttle starts to inch up and the wind starts to blow my hair i wonder - what's wrong with me? why don't we do this more often? speeding into the sunset with the wind in your hair is the best therapy i know.

we motored over to a little beach with our picnic dinner. the boys swam while kyle and i explored the shore a bit and cleaned up dinner. for a moment, everything was perfect. i sat on a rock and watched the dark silhouettes of my boys giggling in the sunset and i nearly wept at the perfection - click.

of course it didn't remain perfect, there was pushing and arguing and back talk, but in their own way, those moments are perfect too aren't they? it means that our kids are normal - they're doing normal kid things. they are starting to spread their little wings within the safety of our love and support. our job is to provide the best instruction we can and a net. once they're flapping their wings, it's up to them.

fast forward to wednesday. we picked the boys up from camp and headed to a small city park on the lake. a weathered, soggy stump sticking up out of the water provided the perfect target at which to launch rocks, and rock abounded. shoes got closer and closer to the water, sinking into the saturated mud, so the shoes and socks came off, then the pants, then the shirts. there were giggles and squeals and tentative dips until they were fully wet. the sun was setting, a heron sat - maybe fishing, maybe resting, maybe just sitting, dragonflies dipped and spun and buzzed, the lake shimmered.

i hunted for perfect skipping stones while kyle skipped rock after rock across the glass surface of the lake, teaching the boys the technique to get the maximum number of skips. both boys plopped rock after rock into the water until - skip plop! "i did it!" shrieked ray. and he was off - skipping rock after rock.

watching their backs, the boys mimicking their dad, seeing the determination in their skinny little bodies, hearing their excitement, feeling their confidence burst - click.

as we wrapped up and got ready to head home, ray said "i did it mom. whistling, snapping and skipping. i've got skipping now."

"was that your summer list of goals, ray?"

"yes" snap.

"did you get them all?"

"well, almost. i'm still working on whistling."

i hope you met your summer goals as well. and if you didn't, i hope that you just keep working on them til you get them!

1 comment: