Early this year we were brutally reminded that life is fleeting. While multiple blows beat us up--they failed to beat us down. Once the dust settled, it was clear that while we were doing many things, we were busy with many unimportant things. Life, apparently, failed to realize just exactly who it was picking on. We decided to teach our children how to live life...not just how to survive it.
Instead of days spent indoors, in front of a computer or television, our days were spent playing. Our son had an amazing 5th birthday party with friends and family. We spent days at the children's museum...playing in their water play area, exploring new exhibits. I turned my back on my life long boycott of zoos and my children were delighted by their day at the National Zoo. I even swallowed my own fear of fireworks and we all experienced fireworks on the 4th of July together as a family. My daughter learned to squat and pee outside when we found ourselves far away from public toilets. My son learned the theme song to Ghost Busters. We created an entry for a national cake decorating contest. Even though our beach fund was depleted on medical expenses for our daughter, we decided the week at the beach with cousins was more important than Christmas presents for ourselves. Our son ran in--and finished--his first mile race! Even the two-year-old can pick out the landmarks along the hour drive out to the grandparent's. She knows when we pass the llamas, we're half way there. Jacob spent hours exploring the acres of woods. And we discovered the bliss of swimming under a waterfall.
Monday we made one more trip to spend the day with cousins, aunt and grandparents. A most delightful and fitting end to an unbelievable, unforgettable summer.
No one does a Labor Day parade quite like Small Town, USA...
Even Daddy got to join us!
We finished the day by descending on my parents and a belated birthday celebration for my mom. The back terrace we've all worked on over the summer was finally--mostly--completed, and a cookout complete with roasting marshmallows was a perfect end to the day.
All of the kiddos were going back to school the next day...lots of firsts...one starting kindergarten, one starting middle school, one starting high school and the eldest going into his junior year.
Our resolve to live our lives to the fullest and pursue our own dreams certainly doesn't end with summer. I sort of look back over the past several months as a boot camp to the rest of our lives...an immersion course in carpe diem...and we've come away with the tools we need to continue. And to live. And that's Important.