This weekend we worked hard. Our garage had been a disaster from the long winter, into kitchen renovation, into spring, into lacrosse etc. Every day we’d come home through the garage and feel defeat at its state. Saturday we attacked it as a family, carting everything out (Thanks, Houzz), sweeping, dusting, and then reorganizing before loading some of it back in the garage.
We earned a Sunday of whatever we wanted; we chose a trip to the lake as a family. It was perfect, not too hot, not too buggy. Briar discovered bits of charcoal and proceeded to leave the island a message.
We watched turtles sunning on the rocks until the mama turtle said it was time to go. Finley and Briar sat together long after the turtles were gone. I inhaled the harmony and whispered a soft thank you to the lake.
Avery carved out some time alone, balancing a rock on her head and chanting. Every so often she’d pop one eye open and chuckle in my direction. We laughed together as she campily fluttered her fingers into her idea of a meditative pose. If there is a happy baby yoga pose, on Sunday there was a content mama pose too.
Sean dove into the lake as the girls watched and squealed. He swam beneath the water and I watched the stripes of his suit grow fainter and fainter. I thought how lucky I was that life managed to lead me to this lake-loving guy and then to this family.
I followed the girls laughter as they turned from the jumping rock to meet Sean at the water’s edge. They placed a hand on one another’s back and murmured with each step, “Don’t run. Do the buddy system. Careful.” They looked like popsicles.
Later I tried my hand at paddling on the mini-kayak we bought the girls. I’m nearly 30 pounds over the recommended weight, it teetered ominously and quickly took on water. Trying to balance with the threat/promise of a cold dip was exhilarating. The girls called out, “Go, Mom!”
I laughed as I rounded the point of the island and was hit with a rush of waves. The girls and Sean whooped and hollered at my shaky progress. I balanced the paddle in my lap and then tipped as I tried to scoop the water out.
I came up laughing without losing my Fountain Square Outfitters hat. The water felt every bit as good as I imagined. Treading water I closed my eyes and bobbed in the channel. I heard the waves tap dancing on the rock and the trees rustling in the breeze. I let out a happy shout.
They all cheered and then the girls swam to my rescue. “Mom, mom! We’re coming. We’ll save you. We. Will. Save. You!!”
Later, after we made a campfire and roasted marshmallows for s’mores we packed up the boat to make it home early enough to not push Sunday-play too far into Monday-prep. No one complained or asked for more time, we were sated one and all. Finley helped Sean as we headed into dock.
Avery snapped a few pictures, all of which I cherish, but this one encapsulates the sentiment of the day—arms wrapped in love and a laugh on the tip of my tongue.
Our life is not uncomplicated and it isn’t often that there isn’t something that I could find to complain about, but I’m working on finding the thread of happy through the sticky. I feel so very lucky to have these moments.