Monday, June 18, 2012

So, a wonderful week of family vacation is over. If any of you are parents, you'll know I use the word "vacation" really recklessly.

Originally, we'd planned to go to some themed park, but on examining gas costs, time spent in car, hassle, we decided it was the better part of wisdom (is there an ugly, worse part of wisdom? That colloquialism always confuses me..."Hey, there, Bill, looks like you got the crappy half of wisdom. Better luck next time, old boy!" No sense.) to stay at home.

Almighty Pinterest has deemed this the "stay-cation". I got a tick or two more stupid just typing that out.

So we stayed at home. For two days, my shiny-exciting-things-loving self really had a tough time with it, I won't lie. I wanted marvels and the novel. Instead, I got a novel and some marvel comics on my own crumb-filled couch. Sadness ensued.

After I had my pity-party (yes, I, the mama had the worst pity party, even though the decision was self imposed. There's no accounting for feelings, sometimes.), I started really enjoying my family and our time together.

We had an epic water balloon fight, during which I may have nailed my oldest daughter just a touch too hard with a water balloon filled with green water. I was going to feel guilty, but then surmised that a woman has to grab a harmless chuckle where she can. And since Oldest Spawn deemed it "The best water war EVER!!", I didn't feel too badly. For a glorious, sneaky, water-drenched 20 minutes, I felt like an eight year old again, tearing around the yard whooping like a banshee, the sun slapping my skin and making it red, grass clippings sticking randomly to my wet (ghostly white) legs.

A big first was taking the girls fishing for the first time. "It'll be great!" Nafe said. "You can drive one motor raft and I'll drive the other." Turns out I'm a slow learner on the water, and ended up driving in circles for a while, until I finally got the hang of it: left to go right, right to go left, with the smelly old Tananka motor gurgling and sputtering and chortling behind me. We caught one fish, with a little whining and bickering, while Electra played with her feet in my lap and ...

...and decided to call it a day after an hour or two, at which point dark clouds had started to blow in over the back stream where we'd dropped our lines in. It immediately dropped 20 degrees or so cooler which was a welcome sensation from the lazy heat. And then, halfway down the river, it started to sprinkle. Nafe tossed a sheepish "Isn't this FUN?" grin over his shoulder. It *was* fun. It was overcast and cool and the water was making ripples and waves from the breeze, and the trees coating the curves of the mountains were a luscious, glorious silvery green. Magic. It seemed like a good time to loosen up and have a little fun with my newfound steering skills, and Lark and Grace burst into mad giggles as we did donuts on the waves.

Then, it started raining harder, and I felt my eyebrows furrow. About the time the motor coughed out from too much gas (oops), the bottom fell out of the sky. Torrential sheets of water is the only sufficient way to describe what started dumping from the clouds onto our bodies. And the thunder started rolling. The miserable hilarity of my children curled up in fetal positions to keep the rain off their faces while our weenie little motors tried to fight back to the dock against the waves had me laughing. Until I realized I'd have to drive all the way back home in a sopping, dripping sundress all the way home once we (read: Nafe) got the rafts deflated and folded.

So the kids were toweled off in the bathroom and changed into an odd assortment clothes we had stashed away in the care for a rainy day, and I was standing outside the car with them buckled in, with random strangers from the dock standing around. I could NOT drench my car that way. No sir. My car already smells like the inside of a daycare's laundry basket. So I did what any reasonable, still-carrying-a-post-baby tire woman would do. I stripped down to my underwear and bra and drove home half naked. Right there in front of God and everybody.

The kids came home, and Nafe taught the big girls how to clean, cook and eat a fish third world style: eyeballs, brains, roe and all. And mama threw in a little splash of backwater AL, and demonstrated how to eat the crispy fins and tail. They had huge fun with it, and ate the poor little fish down to a skeleton.

We also baked bread, picked blackberries around the house, went to a birthday party, watched Mythbusters and did whatever the hell we wanted to whenever the hell we wanted to. And it was *dreamy*.

Now, life goes on. I think I'll let the children in the house (I kicked them out for the morning). They're now at the front door, back door and a window, pounding and pawing at the glass like little hungry zombies with sunhats on. "Juice!! Juuuuuuice...." Life goes on.

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