Little Things

 

I just returned from a fabulous trip to the mountains in Ellijay, GA with my children.  The first time I have ever rented a cabin like this for a vacation.

We have done the beach trip so many times, and that’s fun, don’t get me wrong!  But as a single mother of three… a trip to the beach can be exhausting.

Typical beach vacation day goes like this…. Wake up, at 6:45ish to take the puppy and senior dog for a walk, do some laundry (quietly as to not wake the kids yet), have my morning tea, welcome the first sleepy head with hugs and kisses, start the bacon cooking, welcome another sleepy head with hugs and kisses, start the biscuits and grits, welcome another sleepy head with hugs and kisses, start the eggs, serve breakfast, take the dogs for another quick walk, find 4 bathing suits and get them on, start smothering us in sun block, get the towels from the dryer, pack snacks, drinks, first aid kit, cameras, phones, chairs, figure out who will carry what to get to the beach, plop down, soak up the sun for 5 minutes, hear “I have to go to the bathroom”, leave everything on the beach and hope its there when we come back, drag three kids back to the house so one can go potty, get back to the beach, soak up another 5 minutes of sun, hear “I want lunch”, abandon ship again and go make lunch, plop back on the beach, 5 more minutes of sun time, hear “I’m tired and my bathing suit is full of sand”, pack it all up, head to the house for the night, sort out showers and bathing suit washing and take dogs for another walk, start cooking dinner, sort out the cranky kid problems, serve dinner, clean up the dishes, get jammies, tuck kids into bed and then collapse in a heap.  Repeat.

This vacation was a little different… keeping the fire going in the fireplace was the toughest thing I did.  We went on some wonderful hikes down to the lake and along the way Jacob picked me a flower.  I stopped to take a picture.  The love a mother has for her boys is so special… his grubby little fingers offering me such a beautiful, tiny, delicate, little flower.  Boys can be so over the top rowdy 99% of the time, but yet other times you see their hearts on their sleeve… and know how special they will be to someone one day.

 

Life Passions

pointeFor as long as she has been able to walk, my daughter was on her toes.  As her mother, I was concerned that she didn’t actually have an entire foot, but rather only toes to glide through life on.  As she grew, so did her desire to dance.  Coming home from ballet class and telling me that she suggested new combinations to her teacher for the spring concert.  And then proceeding to demonstrate the new combinations as I maneuvered around her in the kitchen to get dinner made.  All the while her keeping in time to the music… that’s only in her head.  And all in the same thought… she also tells me, “I’m going to dance on Broadway one day, just wait and see.”

Fast forward a few years and she has now started on pointe… truly dancing on her toes as she has dreamed of doing for so many years.  It’s certainly not for the faint of heart.  She came home from her first pointe class with two bleeding toes, ON EACH FOOT.  Not just a little blood, but bled all the way through her wool toe covers and then through her beautiful satin pink ballet slippers.  Tears and all, I asked her if she really wanted to do this, that she could stop if it wasn’t what she wanted to do.  She stopped sniffling for a moment, looked at me square in the eyes and said, “I want to do this, I won’t stop now.”

And from that point on, I don’t ask, she does it and does it well.  She has figured out all the ins and outs of toe protection, partially on her own by trial and error and partially from talking to the professionals at the dance studio.  She knows just how to wrap, protect and bandage her toes so that they have minimum damage.  I am amazed at the maturity level she has when taking care of her toes.

Watching her muscles grow more defined, her posture become more perfect and her heart grow larger with her passion for ballet and the arts is truly astounding.  If we all had such a passion for something in life, even just one thing, and then could retain that passion for a lifetime, how wonderful would all our lives be?  She may not stick with ballet for life, or ever dance on Broadway, but to have a passion for something like she does at the age of 12… I would venture to guess it’s a trait in her soul that won’t be easily broken, no matter what the passion is for… it will be for something and it will be relentless.

Generations of Summer

IMG_5815Even though this picture was only a few years ago, the memories are from a lifetime… well at least my lifetime so far.  My grandparents house on the water was a haven for summer.  The ride down from Smyrna to Savannah was always longer getting there than the ride home, even if it wasn’t really possible to be longer in reality.  My sister, two brothers and I took the, “Are we there yet??” to the extreme.  Knowing all that awaited us was more than we could bear.

Seeing my Granny in the den standing at the sliding glass door waving us in with her fiery red hair was all we needed to see to know that we had arrived.  We couldn’t get out of the van fast enough to get to the door and run right past Granny and make a b-line for the coat rack.  She always put a little something special for us in the trunk of the coat rack.  It could have been a single crayon for all we cared, it was more the anticipation of what in the world would be awaiting us this time!

Everything we did from the time we arrived until it was time to leave is ingrained in my head forever.  From shrimping, crabbing and fishing all day and then feasting on it in the evening…. to the heated gin rummy games with Granny at the little red table in the kitchen.

And then there was Grandpa.  He would sit in the den, with his BBQ Frito’s, gin and his football game.  The four of us would sit and try to learn the scoring and fouls and penalties… but mostly we just wanted one of those delicious smelling Frito’s that he kept well out of kid reach.  The rare occasion that he shared ONE with us, you’d think it was gold.  I’m not sure a Frito ever tasted as good as it did when my Grandpa would succumb to the stares and begging and give me one.

I now get the pleasure of sharing the same memories with my children in the same house.  Watching my mom and children play games at the little red table in the kitchen… just like Granny would have done.  My trying to convince the kids that the mud really does feel good when it squishes between your toes while you hunt for fiddler crabs in the marsh.  And following my dad’s rule and jumping off the dock and swimming for all your worth against the tide, back to the dock… just to prove you’re a strong swimmer and don’t need a life jacket anymore while out on the dock.

Life gives you only a few of these places in one lifetime.  A place for family, memories and even some learning.  The eastern great egret sitting on the rail heading to the dock symbolizes the peace and serenity in a place such as this.  To be so lucky to have this in my lifetime and then to be able to pass it to another generation… my own children’s generation… immeasurable.