I hope the summer is rolling out well, and you’re having fun, taking some time off, and enjoying family and friends. Hot weather, good times, maybe some swimming and sunning, fishing, whatever seems like fun to you. I love reading in the summer, when I take time off from writing for a few weeks.
I’ve just had my annual one week vacation with my 5 younger kids (the older 3 are married and have their own plans, the younger 5 are single and still join me for their vacations. And I’m well aware that I’m very lucky that they do, it’s generous of them to give up vacation time to be with me!!), and the time is always infinitely precious to me. For a brief week, I get to wake up every morning and know I will see them, we can have breakfast together, lunch, and dinner, laugh at old stories, share what’s going on, we can slouch around, be lazy, sleep in the sun, share gossip, or hopes and dreams, or admit to disappointments or mistakes, and for that one week, we have the luxury of time, we don’t need to rush or go anywhere, we just hang out. It’s especially precious to me, and reminds me of when they were younger and were at home. Precious days, which fly by too fast. While we’re busy driving car pool, doing school pick ups, and mountains of laundry, getting them to soccer practice, the orthodontist, or ballet class, we don’t realize how fast it will go, and be precious memories one day. I cherish each moment that they’re around. And then suddenly, the week is over and they’re gone, back to their busy lives, and I go back to the typewriter, to fill the silence in the house. I don’t think our kids ever realize how much we miss them when they’re not around. And living in separate cities now, makes the time together that much more meaningful, since we can’t just drop in on each other, or go to the hardware store or a movie together. We plan it months ahead. I’ll get a second round later this summer, and get to spend a long weekend together for my birthday, but the annual summer vacation together is very sweet and a real gift for me.
We spent our week together in France, and there is no denying that it is very tense there now after another recent attack. My kids were even more aware of it than I am, since I live here and am getting used to the changes we live with now. It was sobering to be at the airport, with soldiers every 3 or 4 feet, each one holding a machine gun with their finger on the trigger, ready to shoot into the crowd at the first sign of an attack, their captains watchful, each one holding a pistol, also at the ready. The ease of the most recent attack, with a rented truck used as a weapon to drive into a crowd and ruin more than 300 lives, has made people nervous and wary. We stayed at our hotel, didn’t wander around nearby towns as we always do, and we always go to a nightclub and go dancing once during the trip, and we didn’t this year. It just didn’t seem smart in the circumstances. The country will recover, but for now people are justifiably worried and frightened. For us, and for me, it’s home for part of the year, so it made sense to be here, but I worried about my kids flying in and out, and they were brave to come, and concerned.
But in spite of that, they swam, and we lay in the sun, we ate too much, laughed and kidded each other, played Scrabble and cards, ate dinner late and talked for many hours, and shared news about our lives, and of course I always give unwanted advice, and forget at times that they’re not kids anymore, a failing that most parents are guilty of. We’re a big family so there’s always a lot to talk about.
Now it’s back to work for me, and for them. But even a week together puts new life into all of us, and brings us closer, and reminds us of how much we enjoy each other……the house is much too quiet today……I’d better get back to work and start typing again!!
Take good care, have some fun….we all need it, and you deserve it!!!
much love, Danielle