Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer Smiles

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Not much, until it was almost over. One thing I haven’t done is blog. It was a nice break. Nuff said.

The twins have been playing soccer and Sam has been playing baseball. We’ve been carting them back and forth to summer camp, and trying to squeeze in as much as we possibly can on the weekends. We’ve been to a bunch of Bison’s games, hung out with friends, been on hikes in the woods, played baseball in the back yard, went kayaking on the lake, and I even went sailing once. In one week, our lives will take another turn as Noah and Aidan start kindergarten and Sam begins second grade. And for the first time, all three boys will be in the same school.

It’s hard to find any permanent measure of happiness and satisfaction in the world these days. But to look at my sons and think about how fast time really does flow, the daily worries of my life melt into sheer amazement. For the next 16 years, their lives will be focused on preparing them to make their mark upon the world. Even if that mark is nothing more than someone fondly remembering their smile, it will all have been worth it.

So over the next week, I am going to chronicle all the smiles I can from our summer. I’ll start with this one, which I sadly missed, but heard about.

The twins decided to exercise their artistic measure inside the family car last week. Our minivan is an incubator for crayons. No matter how clean we think it is, of our children can manage to uncover at least one. Typically, there are bags of them to be found between the seats, leftover from the previous lengthy trip that required them to entertain themselves and preserve our sanity for at least a little longer.

Violet has been assisting in keeping their spread in check. Each time she goes for a ride, we inevitably watch her root out and eat at least one crayon. If we don’t see the color, not to worry! It comes out the other end in a mere 24 hours. At times, our lawn has resembled a graffiti artist’s wet dream – sprinkles of color everywhere.

Noah and Aidan drew on the interior of the car once before a few years back. They were severely beaten and locked in the basement for two days with only water and bread that time. It’s said that torture doesn’t work. Apparently, this statement holds some truth. When Leah opened the door, she was greeted by a Crayola orgasm spanning the windows and ceiling the likes of which would have made Jackson Pollock proud.

Leah was in a foul mood to begin with, probably due to something I did. Believe it or not, from time to time I annoy my wife. When she saw what the demons had wrought on our vehicle, she literally had to walk away and count to ten. And then had to force herself not to drive off and leave them by the roadside.

In silence, and assuredly with smoke coming out of her ears, she unbuckled the twins from their seats. They knew they were in trouble. They knew they had committed a crime against humanity. They truly and wholly did not care one single bit. This only served to anger Leah even more. There is a look that Aidan gives you when he wants you to know that he is aware of the fact that what he has just done is reprehensible – and that he is willing to take whatever is about to be dished out. It’s a large, cocky smile. Something he must have inherited from his mother. Leah received not one, but two of those at that moment.

“Mommy, look under there!” Noah said.

“Under where?” Leah responded through gritted teeth, fearing the worst.

Both of them started laughing. Belly laughing. Laughing that shook them to their cores with seismic waves of hilarity.


And all sins were forgiven. Well, almost anyway.