Friday, August 24, 2012

Summa time Summa time Sum Sum Summa time

I feel like our summer just started.  We've been on three trips this summer and I feel like I am just starting to settle in to the endless days of wondering which pool we should go to *this* afternoon and now school is starting!  Where the hedoublehockeysticks have these past three months gone!?

Our early summer wanderings were throughly enjoyable.  First we were off to North Carolina to see my parents and my brother who are three of my favorite people in the world.  I got to meet my brother's new gf who was more lovely than I could have hoped for AND has a penchant for bad reality TV - can't ask for much more than that.

I also got to catch up with a few old friends. Old, good, true friends.  The kind who don't hate you because you suck at staying in touch, and are happy to pick up right where you left of even though it's been between one and ten years since you've seen them last.

H and Z in Glacier.
Back to Spokane's beautiful summer from the heat and humidity of the Southeast, we spent a week at home before packing up the car and heading north for our annual trip to Glacier.  Trails were hiked, lines were cast, and lakes were swum.  It was lovely.  Oh, and I got more paranoid about mountain lions and grizzly bears.  Every summer it gets a little freakier in my brain.  As we were hiking this year I had a constantly changing escape plan ticking through my head:  "Jeremy is in front right now, so he will have to take the fall for the bear while I take the kids and run.  Ok, now I'm in the front.  If the bear pops out right now I won't play dead because he might go for Jeremy and the kids.  I'll stand my ground in order to give everyone time to run...."  Not relaxing.

We returned to Spokane for swimming lesson, play dates and the delicious/maddening boredom that only an entire day with nothing to do and young children can bring and then, just before I killed the kids, we took off to Wisconsin.  I bitched and moaned about Wisconsin - who wants to go to Wisconsin?  What is in Wisconsin?  Bugs and humidity, blah blah blah.  I then ate all of my words as we arrived at a beautiful collection of cabins on a pristine lake with highs in the 80s, bull frogs to catch and of course, Navy Seals to play.
Our beautiful Wisconsin front yard, aka kid heaven.

The youngest generation, rocking out and eating marshmallows.
My dad has two brothers and a sister and we all met, minus one brother who sadly doesn't hang out with us anymore, plus kids and kids' kids, in the Cheese State.  We had a pontoon boat for the week - a dicey proposition as on our last family vacation we sunk (a different) pontoon boat - it went down to calls of "this is why Jews don't boat!".  But that was in Michigan.  They didn't know about us in Wisconsin yet and this year the boat only met with a few mishaps including, but not limited to, throwing the anchor overboard only to find it was not in fact attached to the boat and failing to tie it to the dock so that when I went down for a swim it was adrift and a rescue party was deployed for retrieval.

Back to Navy Seals.  There are two phases to the Navy Seals Game.  One is target deployment.  This is the job for the youngest on the boat:
"Navy Seal Annie!  Have you selected the target?"
"Yes sir!"  Annie replies in the best Navy Seal voice an 8 year old can muster.
"Navy Seal Annie!  Deploy target in 3..... 2..... 1..... NOW NOW NOW"
And with fanfare a flotation device is thrown from the boat, which is traveling at top speed.  The boat driver then flips a bitch makes a U-turn and the shouting, in deep authoritative voices, continues:
"Target sited!  Target sited!  Which Seal is ready for Mission?" At which point at least one person stands and announces their readiness:
"Sir!  Reporting for duty Sir!"
"Navy Seal.  Your Mission, should you choose to accept it, it to retrieve the flotation device.  Navy Seal, do your country proud.  Retrieve device at all costs.  Navy Seal, prepare!"
The boat heads for the target and once it has reached full speed (although slow and stand still missions can be requested by the meeker Seals) the volunteer propels themselves off of the boat towards the target.  Extra points for dives and flips off of the boat and super bonus points for landing directly on top of the target.
If this doesn't already sound ridiculous let me add that my family 1) does not in any way participate in the military aside from paying taxes and frankly would probably not be up to muster if we asked to join, is 2) generally speaking, not the most athletic bunch and is 3) almost always drinking.

Good.  Times.  If you and yours are looking for a new family tradition I whole heartedly endorse Navy Seals (copyright pending).

And now here we are, back in Spokane.  It's hot during the day, it cools down at night.  Splash pads and pools are open.  The water table in the backyard is full and the plastic pool has some kind of concoction of grass and mud and sticks being stirred into it.  "A potion!" Zeni explains with an exasporated expression which asks me what else I would expect to see in there.

I know that soon they will get on my nerves, that I will wish for camps and think things like "I can't wait until school starts", but I bite my tongue because this summer time together, the three of us, feels fleeting.   Hayden is off to first grade this year which means I will say goodbye to him at 9 and not see or hear anything (barring a major emergency or trip to the principal's office..) until 3, or after.  Fun and independence (and hopefully some learning) await him, as do hurt feelings and scary situations and friendships with which I have nothing to do.  I wonder, as he begins to navigate his life without me, who he will become.  What kind of a thick skin will be put on over his sensitive soul?  What kind of dangerous things will he do that I will never know about?  Have I set a good enough example?  Will I have answers, useful things to say when he does bring me his problems, or will he get frustrated and stop talking to me about how he is really feeling?

So I'm holding tight to what I know, endless days with these two kids.  I'm wishing it would last a little longer as I watch with excitement and dread these last days of summer tick away.


anymommy said...

I think it only gets quicker from here. Love you. So glad you survived Navy Seals.

nocynic said...

Not the most athletic family??? Why Lisa, I am crushed! Don't forget that your father was once on the Jewish Center All Stars Basketball Team, in Detroit during Eisenhower's first term. And I myself once nearly caught a ball at a major league baseball game.
-Uncle Max