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Austin has fully embraced our fill-every-moment attitude. The other day when we were bouncing on the trampoline, he shouted from mid-air, “Let’s have the most fun ever!” And then proceeded to berate me if I wasn’t laughing loud enough. “Let’s laugh, Mom … you too, Braedan! You’re not laughing enough,” like the drill seargent of joy.
On Saturday, we took them biking on the Towpath after first riding the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway, as part of their Bike Aboard program. The kids were thrilled, although twelve miles proved to be a bit much for Austin. Luckily Daddy was nearby to lend a hand — literally, reaching out and holding Austin’s hand on every slight uphill. That night at dinner when Mark asked him if he’d liked our surprise adventure on the Towpath, the clever boy replied, “I liked the tow part.”
On the train
Too cool for athletic gear
The it was off to our niece’s princess birthday party, complete with swimming in the pool.
Look at those pipes
We are feeling a bit desperate, like we need to fit in as much summer and swimming and bike rides and, yes, laughter as we can before . . . , well, before. So we’ll head to Chautauqua after this weekend’s baseball games. And we’ll just keep having Austin’s versions of “really much fun” as long as we can.
But I feel beat down, so much more pessimistic than I have in the past. Every other time we were on the verge of cancer, I felt certain it would turn out fine, certain that it wouldn’t end up being cancer after all. And every time, it was. And this time, I feel the opposite; like I don’t see how this could possibly be anything but cancer. But there’s still a tiny glimmer of optimism in that I hope that, since I was wrong in the past, I’m wrong this time too. That maybe my instincts just suck and whatever my gut says is way off base. That would be awesome.
What a great trip. First it was four days in Cape Cod, with beautiful weather and old friends (well, they’re really Mark’s old Peace Corps friends, but they feel like my old friends, which is really really nice). Long lazy days of bike riding on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, kayaking around the pond and indulging in Maine Wild Blueberry ice cream cones (yum).
Long lazy evenings of grilled dinners on the deck, kids playing happily and competitive puzzle-building (yes, puzzles can get competitive!).
Then it was off to Boston, a city filled with nostalgia for me. The kids enjoyed the swam boats in the Public Garden and the Duck Tours past all the historical sites, ending with Braedan steering the amphibious truck in the Charles River. A rainy afternoon at the New England Aquarium, followed by an always-too-short visit with my college roommate and her kids at Quincy Market. When we woke up to rain yet again on Thursday morning, we decided to hit the road early, skipping the planned visit out to Tufts, which was really just for me and would have only been a bunch of brick buildings and grassy hills to everyone else (and probably another ice cream cone for good measure).
All in all, it was a perfect blend of beautiful nature and beautiful city, from cartwheeling in the sand along the ocean to running down the path along the Esplanade. Friends and family, old memories and new memories, good food and, well, … ice cream.