Today's our last day at home (the kids call Maine "home" and believe our normal life is just a barely tolerable "trip") and we have a few items left to check off our to-do list. It's also Mary's fourth birthday (observed) since on her actual birthday, Sunday, we will be back in Austin and Ryan will be driving our car home with his dad. Which is how we got into the situation where we will be eating cupcakes with each of our three meals today (breakfast cupcakes, as is our tradition; lunch cupcakes, that I baked for the camp cookout; dinner birthday cupcakes) in addition to "happy hour" at three o'clock, where we eat onion rings and drink beer and watch the kids sail at their camp, adjacent to the restaurant, and s'mores on the beach after dinner. Fortunately I've been preparing my liver and pancreas for this moment for the last three weeks.
We were going to spend the morning sailing, but the weather had other plans.
The kids started camp last week and it has been the best year yet.
I asked them if they would rather have done the half-day option (which wasn't actually available) and Charley responded "NO! You paint and draw all morning, have lunch with your friends, goof around for a half hour, and then spend the afternoon sailing! What could be better than that?!" It does feel weird to send your kids off to camp on vacation, but they love it SO MUCH and are becoming quite proficient little sailors. They have met the nicest kids from all over the country and world and the director makes everyone hot chocolate after they take their swim test. We are so happy.
Yesterday Ryan and I drove and chaperoned a field trip to a boat yard where we got to tour a nineteenth century schooner they are restoring, called the Ernestina.
It did not take much convincing to get us to sign up and the cute kids all singing along with the radio was a huge bonus.
Ryan and Mary and I went on a long kayak trip around an island and then to a resort that lets you use their pool if you buy lunch there.
The paddle over was cake, but the wind picked up on the way back, so it was really rough and scary on the way back (and fun, fun fun fun).
I arrived early to camp pickup the other day and found them in their element.
The kids swam out to this ledge on Saturday and stayed there until the tide came in and buried their feet and they had to jump back in.
We usually keep a pretty tight schedule to make sure everyone is getting enough rest, but the second half of this week we pulled out all the stops and started having crazy after-dinner funtime, with swimming and kayaking and games and sailing.
We went to a benefit concert for the kids' camp that ended with us walking through a luminario-lined path through the woods in total darkness with a gentle rain falling. So that was magical. Mary glommed on to a counselor from the camp that she is particularly enamored with and danced with her all night. It helps that this counselor's name is also Mary. When the older Mary left to go get some lemonade I tried to get Mary to dance with me and she screamed "I DON'T WANT YOU! I WANT MARY!"
Mary's been enjoying her only-child status during the day.
We leave for the airport in Boston at ONE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING, piano starts up again on Monday and school starts on Wednesday, so when the party's over it is REALLY REALLY OVER. But just like every year our goal is to drop them into their chairs at school with a slight sunburn, covered in bumps and scrapes, sun-bleached hair, and possibly just the tiniest bit of seaweed tucked behind their ears.