Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Get Back To It

There comes a time of year, every year, that I get a little sad. I hate to see the summer season come to an end and this year specifically it went all too quickly.

Each year I hang on by the skin of my teeth until the bitter end. But alas, there eventually comes a time when I find myself needing that fleece robe after my morning shower, the thought of hot soup seems inviting and the piles of sand and saltwater windshield grime no longer seem fitting for the family car.

Earlier this week I reluctantly pulled the beach chairs and sand toys out of my car trunk as if to mark the finality of my favorite time of year. I placed these items that have been used on an almost daily basis in a spot in the garage which will become their home for the next ten months--nine if Mother Nature is extra kind.

As one ages, one learns and I know that as certain as the shift in seasons, the sadness of farewells often give way to new births.  The season of Fall certainly lends itself to this in a myriad of ways:

*Comfort in getting back to the regularity of things
Debra and I have once again started up our regular weekly play date. 
*Accepting that some losses only symbolize growth
(Mommy cried. Hunter saw himself in the mirror, broke into a huge grin to which he exclaimed,
"Look Mommy! I a new kid!")

 that create a multitude of excitement.
 and "before we know its"....
 *Hot beach days slowly turning to breezy beach play days
*New challenges that await us
*Learning that amid all of the ups, downs, sleepless nights, bumps and curves of life, surviving another year leaves us seeing only the good stuff when we look back.
*Also realizing that those experiences make you wiser and your knowledge can one day be a gift to someone else.
 *Wardrobe changes and exploring our ability to make our own choices
(Thanks Aunt LeLe for our pretty pink dress!)
or not.
 *Discovering new things to laugh about
(As you will hear, my Southern accent has clearly not left the building.)
*Accomplishing new milestones
(Each of my kids has worn this bib the first time they ate rice cereal. I miss my Alma Mater and the friends I made there--thanks Linda J for this bib!)
(She's going to be a great Mommy one day.) 
 (Little Miss is enthralled at watching herself on my phone and also has 
a new found fascination with Band-Aids. One on her toe, each elbow, her right knee, left foot....)
Yes, the end of summer is bittersweet; however, I'm wise enough to know that another summer is just on the horizon and I'd better soak up every bit of what the upcoming seasons have to offer because time, memories and moments just go all too quickly.
(I found inspiration from this photo on google but could not find the originator to give credit so let me know if you do...)

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart." 
~Celia Theater

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Love Letter

"What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories."
-George Eliot

This is a love letter that has been long overdue but I couldn't let any more time go by without telling you how I really feel. 

Thank you for coordinating your work schedule to brave our family schedule. 
Had you not been there, I doubt I would have survived the trip.
But we did and it went down as one of our best.
I love the way you treat my littles as if they are as special as your own, 

and invite them to dine at your table
so they can quietly observe and take it all in, learning new and exciting things from you.
Thank you for taking them under your wing 
and introducing them to an independence that I wasn't quite ready to share. 
Because of it they are braver and stronger in the water.
You continue to teach me valuable facts of life; such as:

fear becomes a small letter word when family backs you up, 
reading in the nude can be fun and we'd enjoy life a lot more if we cared much less about what others think of us,
you don't have to be older in order to be wiser in how to best love
size is certainly no indication of how quickly one can command attention in a room,
turning forty looks more fabulous than ever,
and Styrofoam cups really aren't wasteful especially when you double them up.
I've also learned there's a wealth of insightful information to learn from a mother of four and cousins of many,

and that a cold beer is best enjoyed in the afternoon alongside a lake and big smiles.
Thank you for reminding me that although we aren't all blessed with the same talents as you, these gifts are always enjoyed best when we share them with others. 
They always seem to have more of a trickle down effect this way...

Thank you for being a strong family leader,
who keeps us grounded in faith in a God who is much bigger than our problems are, 
for always having the best of inside jokes,
brightening my days with your constant smile and positive energy,
introducing my son to imaginative alligator adventures,
and teaching him new games marking yourself as a household name.
It warms my heart how you delight my littles with inventive stories and Cowardly Lion impressions, 
inspire them to play hard,
 and encourage them to soar.
Even when you're not around I am always reminded of your infectious laughter, bear hugs and warm spirit.
 Thank you for always providing the best of homegrown, slow cooked Southern food (grits, fried fish, caramel cake and oysters!!) and for not forgetting the importance of Crisco and fine manners.
But, most of all, I am in love with you being a part of special memories that we will never, ever forget.

This all comes from the bottom of my sweet Southern-loving heart.

I love you Dad, Julie, aunts, uncles, cousins and all the goodness in between. I am truly blessed to call you family. Until next year...

"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses."
-Joyce Brothers