All that touching and hugging and primal needs for each other can be really exhausting. Especially when your past 5 days included not one, but ALL of the following:
~ Great America with 3 kids and 2 grandparents. Roller coaster rides that your 4 year old is plenty tall enough for. Spinny rides that your blessed mother agrees to take your eldest on so that you don't puke before the end of the day. Gorgeous 80 degree-sunshiney day with just enough heat to let you enjoy getting soaked on 3 different water rides but not so hot that you have to listen to whiny and overheated children. 3 kids that never broke down (at least, not a complete melt down) or complained too much. A day spent walking and eating churros and screaming at the top of the Eagle's crest and fixing broken sandals (with a hair tie!) and racing to get that very last ride on the Demon before it closed. Watching my kids' sun-kissed faces light up in the twinkling lights as we limped and dragged ourselves to our car. Just a lovely, perfect day at the amusement park.
~ Riding a train to Chicago. Piling my 3 children and a spare buddy alongside myself and Patrick into a cab to visit Navy Pier. Munching on Garrett's popcorn while watching a wedding on a yacht just off the pier. Enjoying the chance to expose them to a short and family-friendly musical at the Shakespeare Theater. Being thrilled to find coupons for the Haagen Dazs ice cream shoppe at the back of the show's booklet so that we could all enjoy an icy treat. Racing to catch our train home and falling asleep to its lulling rock and shake only to jolt awake and see your 4 year old sitting on top of the chair's BACK.
~ Spending the 4th of July marveling over the past decade and how your niece (born just before midnight, 10 years prior) has grown up so quickly in front of your eyes. Eating burgers and sipping wine coolers while avoiding a full-on dunking in my parents' pool. Scooping ice cream for scrambling cousins before heading off to the fireworks show. Laughing so hard that my sides hurt at the 4 youngest cousins' reactions to the pyrotechnic show. "Oooohh!! That's the best show EVAHHH!"
~ Cleaning and cleaning and cleaning the house with a newly re-belted vacuum cleaner that was so long-awaited that I actually had DREAMS about receiving the belt in the mail.*
~ Assembling the brass bed from my 16th birthday for my own daughter and watching her face absolutely light up with joy. Patting myself on the back for not crying as I carted that crib mattress out of my last child's bedroom for the very last time...
*Yes. Dreams about vacuum belts. It's no longer a debate if I am old; It's official.
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