This picture is from Sunday, June 29, 2014, walking the pups to the ponds behind the house.
I want to write for my own personal memory that today, July 1, 2014, was maybe one of my most favorite days ever. There are a certain number of days that live in my memory forever as “pretty perfect days.” Most of them involve some combination of summer, water, and loved ones. Today I met my mom and dad, my sister and brother-by-law, and my niece and nephew at Oquaga Creek State Park and we played ALL DAY! I haven’t played that hard in a long time. I have the sunburns to prove it. We did a hundred jumps off the dock: cannonball jumps, ninja jumps, silly walk jumps, belly flop contests. We played catch, swam like sharks, made pools, ate tofu salad sandwiches, and generally lazed about. We summer-timed it so hard. Then I went out for pizza dinner with my sister and her family. And we had to say goodbye for the next few weeks.
My niece Evelyn is my heart. She has a name after my own, and from the moment she was born, it’s like some cosmic rope grew, and a truth now exists that she and I are connected and it will never not be so. She and I are the Rose Show and she is my shadow, and I am so happy to launch her off my knees in all the lakes, or play countless games of tic tac toe on place mats. She is fearless and forward and she knows it.
My nephew is a little more difficult. He is shy, and a little slower to join. He must be coaxed and cajoled into new adventures. We have to act like it’s no big deal, he can join or not, like whatever, I totally don’t care. On Sunday he took the leash to walk my gentle dog Eddie for about 5 seconds before I paid attention to it, and he quickly handed the leash back to Eve. When Eve and I took our shoes and socks off to dip our feet into the pond, Lex wisely watched us for about 10 minutes (it was a severely lopsided dock) before he joined. When I suggested a jaunt on the paddle boats, he immediately protested, “but we don’t have our life jackets.” He agreed to paddle boating only after texted permission from his mom. Today he was wary of the deep end (10 feet, or 12 because of the rain according to several youths on the dock), of its imagined “slimy things.” He swam slowly, following his dad, his mom, his grandpa, his sister, and me.
But once he got out there, once he gets warmed up, that kid is so cool!! He jumped more times than anyone! He owned that dock. He was out there for hours, collecting rocks, making up new jumps, perfecting his cannonball and jackknife, adding to his ninja cannonball (ninja-ball), and just generally holding court. There were so many older kids on the dock, and Lex just didn’t seem fazed. He had so much confidence, and was so in the zone. He really impressed me, and I was super proud. He is growing into such a thoughtful and cool little man. Also, he remains polite and kind at all times, which is pretty much the most important part. He is a self-contained little person, and I feel privileged when he lets me into his world of comic strips, and jokes, and sweet, sweet jumps. He was the Rock Star at Oquaga Creek today.
I have said it before, but it bears repeating: being born into this family has been my greatest blessing.