This morning, I stood in front of the calendar and wondered how two full weeks of June already have passed. Since the semester ended in May, we've had birthdays and house projects and visitors and end-of-school festivities and a smattering of short road trips embedded between the typical days at home.
The inability to easily settle into a predictable routine seems to be the one predictable thing about summer. It's like the last leg of a road trip when you're back on residential streets again, but accustomed to highway driving, you still find yourself moving faster than you ought to be.
That being said, let me downshift and share some highlight from our recent travels because, my oh my, we've been places.
Three weekends ago we visited my family in Pittsburgh, where we discovered a park that still had one of the most amazing playground attractions ever created. I don't know its official name, but my children called it the spinny-thingy. My mother called it the merry-go-round. My husband called it the concussion-maker.
It's as awesome as it is potentially dangerous, which, come to think if it, is precisely why it's awesome. Flirting with danger in a controlled environment is the stuff of childhood.
The following weekend we attended a wedding in Williamsburg, Virginia, which took seven hours, two rest stops, and -- thankfully -- only one urgent toddler bathroom break in the weeds on the side of the highway to reach from our home in Pennsylvania.
The morning of the wedding, the girls put on their flower girl dresses, I fixed their hair, and we left the hotel at 9:30, which was plenty of time to arrive for the pre-ceremony pictures with the bride and bridesmaids at ten.
Or so we thought.
Unbeknownst to us, a bike race was scheduled on the two-lane road that led to the ceremony, and we found ourselves driving at an alarmingly slow pace in its wake. Cars were ahead of us. Cars were behind us. There were no turn-offs. Minutes were ticking by.
This is not good, my husband muttered, and a moment later he spotted a connecting road. Without second-guessing, he pulled onto it and announced, I'm trying something.
I'm not entirely sure how it happened -- I think it had something to do with God bending time and space and street intersections on our behalf -- but we arrived at the designated location at 10:15. My husband dropped us off in the parking lot, I hastily waved goodbye, and we rushed into the house exactly as the bride was exiting her room.
Of course, I acted entirely casual and collected, like we had been there all along.
I was slightly less collected when we moved outside for pictures and my five-year-old walked underneath a tree, unknowingly trampled berries that had fallen onto the ground, and then accidentally stepped on the front of her own dress, staining it with purple berry juice. (If this ever happens to you, do not question, as I did, how a child can walk on the very dress that she is wearing. The child will have no logical explanation to offer. Your efforts will be better searching for a Tide to Go pen, which will work miracles.)
After the photographer had finsished and the bride and bridesmaids got into their cars to drive to the ceremony, I realized one final glitch: in our haste to get the pictures, my husband had dropped us off and driven to the ceremony by himself. Without us.
And that's how three flower girls and their mother end up hitching a ride to a wedding ceremony in the back of the photographer's pick-up truck.
During the ceremony, Reese maturely carried her bouquet, Brooke and Kerrington dutifully followed with the Here Comes the Bride sign, the bride glowed, the groom pumped his fist in the air after the official kiss, and I sat back in my chair to soak it all in, one very thankful woman.
Earlier this week our travels continued when my husband scored a great deal on two tickets to a practice round of the US Open. After arranging childcare for the day, we woke at an ungodly hour on Monday and drove to Philadelphia, where we spent the morning and early afternoon walking the eighteen holes of Merion Golf Course in the rain.
What can I say? My husband loves golf. I love my husband. It turned out to be an unconventional, but long-awaited and greatly-enjoyed, date for us, despite the overzealous precipitation.
Just yesterday I found myself on the road again, this time to Delaware with a heavy heart, to attend the funeral of the father of a dear student in our campus fellowship who passed away unexpectedly.
Last night when my head hit the pillow, I felt sad and worn down from the day's events, and perhaps the cumulative miles. The sore throat that I had attempted to ignore all day had erupted into a tight cough and my thoughts raced unproductively, as they tend to do when you've been drinking caffeine all afternoon to stay alert while driving. I finally chugged a dose of NyQuil and waited for the caffeine and cold medicine to duke it out in my system until sleepiness prevailed.
Today, I spent the day with the girls, holding them a little more tightly, hanging a little closer to home, and consciously slowing down. Some days there should be no rushing at all.
Our travels, at least for this week, are over. There's no better time to be grateful for home.
Looking for a good read for the upcoming summer? Check out Then I Became a Mother on Amazon. Available in both paperback and Kindle editions.