The last Friday in July?
That’s just wrong.
After the kids attended Camp Wexford – have I told you about that? Okay, I will – they came home wanting to make their own versions of slime or oobleck or goop, whatever you want to call it. (It’s the ooey stuff kids love where you basically mix cornstarch and food coloring and water and it’s slimy and slippery and endlessly appealing to kids.)
We had run out of cornstarch and Otto felt it his mission to repeatedly check on the status of whether I had refilled our supplies of cornstarch or not.
“Mom, have you bought the cornstarch yet?” he would ask at breakfast, knowing that he had asked as I tucked him the night before and all that had occurred between that last asking and the current asking was sleep for all of us.
In the car, “Mom – when can we get the cornstarch?”
And then, my favorite comment of our cornstarch conversations.
“Cornstarch is a funny word, Mommy,” Otto said. “Sort of like that super hero – isn’t it Ironman? He’s Tony Starch – right?”
This week we visited Carl Sandburg’s house with Beth and Baylee who were visiting from Kentucky. (And somehow in all of their many many visits here we’d never taken them to Connemara.)
Inside the historic home were these cool vintage-looking fans.
Now I want one.
Strawberry season whisked right by us.
But that’s alright y’all.
We’ve got peach season to comfort us.
And peach jam.
Delicious wonderful fantastic peach jam.
All the years. All the stories. All the stuff.
We have lived through oversized flannel shirts, college exams, coaching each other through immature decisions, relationships gone awry, adult-sized bib overalls, theatre degrees and an impossibly hard drafting class, pregnancies, parenthood, divorce, turning all the big numbers – 30s, 40s, moves across the state and across the country. We have just kept right on being friends – showing up and answering the phone and driving and listening and sitting quietly in the dark together. We’ve eaten bad food together and suffered through bad hair and we’ve sat on the beach and in the parking lot and on the sofa and we’ve ridden the waves that carried us high and the waves that crashed us low.
It’s comfortable and it’s familiar – this lifetime of friendship. It’s safe and it’s always growing too. Two of our daughters start high school this fall and two of our daughters turn ten next month also.
I know she’s not going any place. And I know I’m not either.
Whitewater rafting, hiking the Appalachian Trail and a zip line/high ropes course adventure?
What twelve year old boy wants to miss that?
It was a tough call to let Bergen join his Trail Life group last weekend for a three day trip because it caused him to miss his sister’s birthday and most of mine too.
In the end, I’m glad he got to go. His unbridled enthusiasm – his over the top joy – when he returned, the stories of being tossed from the raft and running through the sky on the ropes course, the pancake making and the rattlesnake sighting, made the exchange worth it I think.
I’m so grateful he has opportunities like this – to make fire and eat outside, to test his bravery and his strength – to be an explorer in a big world.