Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vacation plus Reality, with Pictures

A beautiful morning in Great Barrington
We are here on vacation, in a setting so idyllic it makes my heart zing every time I open my eyes and look around. My in-laws' beautiful Great Barrington house.

Boys actually playing together in pool = big win

And yet it is impossible to just relax and let myself be transported, for I am tethered to so much (phone calls, phone calls, phone calls about my mom). I didn't even make it into the pool yesterday. Though the boys did (all three).

3 guys in the pool
Coming back here, year after year, we have developed some traditions.  I spend as much time barefoot as possible - and take a picture of my feet in the grass, to remember this time by. Check!

I took some lovely portraits of the boys:

There was the 3rd annual watering of the car, an anticipated event now. This year Ethan did not fully join in, but he helped Jake fill the can. Cooperation at its finest. And the old beast is (marginally) cleaner, so there is that.

We had our walkabout in town, replete with a foraging session at the candy shop and a tour of Toms Toys, the lovely independent toy store on Main Street. I remember buying them Thomas trains there. (How fast they grow up. Sigh.)

Spinning the pinwheel outside Toms Toys
We found a local ball field and the guys had a game of catch. Thank goodness there was a basketball court there too.

Indoor diversions? Screens screens screens. Plus a 500 piece World Map puzzle Ethan and I worked on for 3 days. The Indonesian islands nearly killed us, but we got it done!

And then there is the new...

A this Greek restaurant, Ethan ordered the grilled SALMON off the kids menu and proceeded to eat it and ENJOY it. Anyone who knows what a picky and stalwart "kid food only" eater Ethan has been over the years is now probably thinking I was hallucinating at last night's dinner.

But no, it was real and he was thrilled that we were thrilled. As Jacob likes salmon, too, this means there is now something I can actually cook for a family meal that is healthy and everyone will eat. Not having regular family meals, the way I did growing up, the way I assumed I would in the family I created is a never-ending source of guilt and sadness for me.

This will make it easier to achieve, at least once a week. Salmon. Whew!

Ethan awaiting incoming ball
Underlying and overlaying all this classic vacation stuff, however, is my mother. All that I have to do for her in the next few weeks is a weight on my shoulders. How lonely she is in this week without my visit, a stone in my heart.

Compound that with feeling so sad and guilty that we never brought her here on vacation with us. Last year would have been the perfect year, after my frail and unmovable father had passed, yet when she was still hale enough herself to travel, to swim. Now is too late, she is so diminished.

I spot a hummingbird flitting amidst the morning glories outside the kitchen window and think "Oh, Mom would have loved to see this!" I would cry and cry about it, if I didn't need to make breakfast and put on my happy face for the boys.

Watching the kids cavort in the pool whilst in my PJs? Priceless.
So this is us on vacation. Just trying to have a little fun. To not think too much. And I'm determined to rest up a little bit before the shitstorm of caretaking that's going to hit upon our reentry on Friday.

Wish us luck, once again. Thanks. 


  1. Enjoy the moment(s). And don't dwell on those pesky Indonesian Islands - they do it on purpose.

  2. Even though it's hard to let your mind relax, don't lose sight of the fact that your body is regenerating during this break, and a little bit of self care will go a long way. you will be better able to caretake and parent afterwards, even if you do need to play catchup.

    Oh, and blessings on the family meal, I feel your pain! I often wonder how 2 adventurous omnivores like D and I bred a strict vegetarian and a picky "plain foods" eater, but we did it.

  3. I wish that my kids ate salmon (pout), but I appreciate what a tremendous victory that is!

  4. such gorgeous photos, enjoy your last day of vacation!

  5. LOVE that you got some time in the green grass with a blue pedicure. You have pretty feet!! And I so deeply share your sense about the lost art of "family dinner," sacrificed on the altar of "I don't eat that, I don't eat this, we can't have that..." I'm reduced to "tacos" made with Ortega packets of MSG-laden crap and hamburger meat. Blech. And *I* don't like that. These pictures seem to me to be a sort of SquashedMom giving herself some oxygen before turning her attentions to everyone else (again, still).


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