Reagan, Maddie & Hunter,
The school bags are packed and sitting by the door. Last night we went to the Open House and met your teachers, saw your new classrooms and got all your supplies settled. I will admit, I am still in some disbelief that it is time for you to go back.
I don’t know how much you will remember about our summer together. But the summer of 2017 (yes, the whole thing) will go down as one of my best memories.
For the first time ever, we bought a summer pool pass. I was so nervous the first time we went. Keeping all 3 of you alive seemed a daunting task. But little by little I learned to let go and trust you (and the amazing lifeguards). And then something wonderful happened – all three of you just took off with swimming. Reagan passed the swim test and then just a few short weeks later Maddie passed the swim test. I had two little girls going off the diving boards and soon you had both learned to dive. Hunter got more and more comfortable in the water as the summer went on and by the end of it, just this past Saturday, he was swimming like a little fish all over the place.
I have described myself as “not a fish” for countless years. I have claimed to hate swimming. I have dreaded going to pools. But no more. I don’t know if I am a fish yet. But I sat on the side of the pool for hours on end watching Hunter splash and play and soar down water slides only to have him stop frequently and smile at me. I watched Reagan and Maddie gather up all their courage and do those first dives, those first jumps off the high dive, and gave them a thumbs up when they emerged dripping and smiling on the side of the pool. I went down water slides with Maddie and laughed every single time. I loved watching you play and have fun. My eyes were on you so much more often than if we had stayed home all summer. We would have been in our own little worlds doing our own things and I would have missed the fun of seeing you accomplish goals and learn new tricks. I would have missed so many huge smiles, so much laughter, and so much joy. I may not be a fish, but I am 110% a pool mom and happy to be so.
We spent one afternoon at The Red Power Roundup with your Grandpa and Grandma. I was so proud of how patient and good-natured you were while we were there even though it was a very hot day. It meant the world to your Grandpa and it was a special memory for him!
One fun day was spent riding the train on the Boone Scenic Railway. Hunter finally got to ride an actual train! There were lots of smiles and some nervous laughter as we cruised along high trestle bridge spanning the deep, tree-filled valley.
The Fourth of July found us sitting street-side, waving at floats and chasing down candy. We spent a lovely afternoon at a picnic on your Aunt and Uncle’s farm where you played with cousins. Then we enjoyed fireworks in town with friends.
We had the most perfect day ever at Adventureland with your Aunt Amy. Oh did we have fun. You rode rides and there were very few lines. We swam in the warmest part of the day and no one got cold or bored. It was hands-down the best day I have ever spent at a theme park. You were a delight.
There was a quick trip to Grandpa and Grandma Vande Voort’s house for a church anniversary celebration. It may not have been quite your most favorite thing, but you had good attitudes and were pleasant. When we left you begged to just go back again for more time at the farm.
Reagan went to Gems camp which was one of the biggest highlights of the summer for her. Two days without her felt strange to all of us. We were all glad to get her back home again and listen to her stories.
We found time for all of us except Dad to go back to Grandpa and Grandma’s house for 4 ½ days. And they were the sweetest days. The weather was beautiful and you played and played outside. When you were inside you were busy constructing with legos. The days were slow and relaxed. We walked all the way around Pine Lake. We went mini-golfing. We rode go-carts which you LOVED. We got cupcakes and slushies. We played lots of games around Grandma’s table. We stayed up late. Hunter got a tractor ride. I soaked in all those days and treasured them in my heart.
For our last family outing we made a last-minute trip to Bloomfield to visit some of the Amish businesses. We shopped and had a ball at the Highway 2 Discount Grocery Store. You loved picking out whatever candy you fancied from their awesome selection. We walked through a furniture store of the most beautiful pieces of hand-crafted furniture. We gently stroked the most beautiful hand-made quilts. We ate the best donuts we have ever had. We watched the horses and buggies as they made their way slowly down the roads. It was a fun day.
There were movie nights galore. There were countless trips to the park. There were bike rides. There were tennis matches. There were soccer games in the yard. There were crafts around the kitchen table. There were game nights. There were ice cream outings. There were play-dough parties. There were countless trips to the library. You spent almost all of your play time in the basement playing with legos. I couldn’t tell you how many popsicles were consumed. The tv was seldom on.
The mornings were slow. The evenings were late. The schedules were thrown out the window. We just lived and enjoyed all the good God poured out upon us.
Was it perfect? Well, no. There were fights. There were crabby days. There were several very minor injuries. There was tension and strife at times.
But it was perfectly imperfect. We were together. Very together. And at the end of all of these 3 months I feel like we were knit together in a special way. I feel more bonded to the three of you than I think I ever have. This was the summer of a lifetime. I am so very thankful for every minute of it. I will relive this summer in my mind for years to come. Thanks for the beauty you brought to my life this year. I am so grateful I spent it with you!