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.