Saturday, August 16, 2014

Last Day at the Hamptons, I mean, Holiday Lake

Friday was officially our last weekday of summer.  School doors across our state are opening and summer ventures are closing down.  Theme parks and pools and zoos and museums are switching from "summer hours" to "regular hours"-- which means closed in many cases.  The other day I heard a marching band practice, and the cadence of the drum-line couldn't drown out the distinct sound of whistles and helmets and shoulder-pads clanking together in the background.  I can't bring myself to type the words-- but I know what is happening.  I know what seasons lie ahead-- and I'll dwell on those another day.  For now, let me show you how we spent one of our last summer days:  At Holiday Lake!

We met up with Dee Dee and Sara (and their minions) for an afternoon in the sun.  As I've mentioned before, the best part about keeping in touch with college friends is that everyone is real.  Sure, we all may look like 30-something suburban wives & moms with little kids, but we have an extra layer that our neighborhood friends aren't privy to.  At the moment, we drive minivans and vehicles with 3rd row seating, we change diapers and wipe noses.  We attend play dates and smile politely and ask our children to 'please share' and get a little embarrassed when our cherubs aren't model citizens.  We send party invites and thank-you cards and post happy pics on social media.

But there was a time, (that doesn't feel like so long ago) when we drove beat-up gas guzzlers-- anything that would get us from point A to point B.  We skipped 8:00 a.m. classes and attended parties with our new best friends-- people we barely knew from the night before.  We probably were not very dependable-- at least, I'm sure I wasn't, and I don't think we were very responsible either.  (Except Mindy was definitely both of these things-- everyone needs a room mother in college, right?) We laughed and cried and definitely let those close to us know the real us.  I don't think we sent thank-you cards.

So while we all have grown up (hopefully, a little), that thread of realism remains woven beneath the surface of these friendships.  You don't have to pretend with me, girls.  I know you and love you just the way you are (I'm feeling very Billy Joel-ish right now).  Don't worry about your kids' noses or tantrums or stinky diapers-- I know they're in good hands overall.  And I won't worry about my grey roots and baking fails and inability to reason with a four-year-old. Let's just hang out and BE.

And that's exactly what we did.  We packed up beach bags and water bottles and coolers and headed down to Holiday Lake.  Later, we joked that we were like those women who packed up and headed to the Hamptons for the week together, although I'm not sure I could even fake my way to that level of classy.  We spent the day playing and chatting and dipping toes in the lake.  When it was time to leave, we tucked tired bodies into soft jammies and wiped tears from sad faces.  As we drove home, Charlie chattered about the day and peppered the conversation with endless un-answerable questions.  His eyes were heavy but he was determined to stay awake--which he did until his head hit the pillow minutes after stepping inside.  I was not far behind him-- exhausted from a day filled with smiles and laughter and true, genuine, friendship that I have a feeling will last a very very long time.    

Charlie and Vincent yelled, "This is awesome! This ride is so cool!" all the way to the park. 

"You're spinning us too fast, Mom!"

Charlie: I don't think I can do this way high thing!
Vincent: You're doing it, Charlie! You're doing great!
Charlie: I am! I'm really doing it!

Moms: Let's get a picture with all the kids.
Here goes:

Almost! One more!

Not quite! Last one!

Swimming suits on.....and time for more jumping-on-the-mattress fest!

And they're IN!

What is it with little boys and anything that shoots? 

K: Ellody, are you stuck?
E: No, I'm just floating. 
 Let's be all Kardashian-like and take selfies!

And this guy.... you'd be hard pressed to find a sweeter baby! (or a cuter mama!)


Photo bomber

This guy was running on fumes.  By suppertime, he was ready to call it a night.
(But aren't other people's kids way cuter than your own when they're tired-crying?) 

We had such a great time and are so thankful for these friends and opportunities to get together.  (And a special thanks to Matt, who came home from work and twenty seconds later, jumped into the lake to catch those who were begging to jump in.)  Now, if only I could muster as much enthusiasm to jump into this next season as Charlie has when it comes to jumping into the lake.  Here goes.....  

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