We’ve started a family gratitude journal that we all scribble in after dinner. And day after day, the names that accompany these faces…

Our crew

…are written, over and again.

There are twelve weeks of summer vacation. Display that on a giant calendar beside a list of all the stuff you want to cram on it and it doesn’t seem like a very long time. Week one is already gone! We spent it making cookies, planting flowers, building tents, and playing in the yard at home, at ball fields, playgrounds, and Tuscora Park with our best friends. Also, there were fireworks.

Teeter Totter

Slide

Riding the rides at Tuscora Park

Kelsey and Jack

All of us on the train

Jack makes a friend

Fireworks

Jack tried it at Story Time today at the library by activating the emergency exit door and it worked pretty well. Additionally, he earned the distinction of being the only kid to squeeze his multi-colored, Jello-filled sensory bag with enough ferocity to puncture it and set his rainbow free. Given a piece of contact paper and a selection of colored cutouts to stick on it, he chose everything yellow.

Jack and his Story Time craft

My sunshine boy.

It began on Friday with the dance recital.

Recital Ready

Julia tumbled.

Julia's 2015 Dance Picture

Phoebe tapped and plie’d.

Phoebe's 2015 Dance Picture

And after a four year break, Lucy returned to the stage for her second-ever dance performance.

Lucy's 2015 Dance Picture

You’ll have to ask Dave how it went. Since I’d been to rehearsal and seen the show already, I agreed to be the one to remove Jack should he become a distraction, which he did. We walked the lobby, my boy and I, where he acted as host to all the other restless children that stopped by. He’d say hello, show them the water fountain, invite them to play. And for the first time in eight years, Dave saw a show.

The piano recital happened on Sunday.

Mr. Palmer, Julia and Lucy

Lucy played London Bridge.

Lucy's Spring Piano Recital

Julia played the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonatina in G Major.

Julia's Spring Piano Recital

And Dave listened from the hallway with Jack.

We’ve gotten out the giant bubbles.

Big bubbles are best!

Bee and the giant bubble

Bubba's first giant bubble!

And ball season has officially begun. Lucy’s team kicked it off with their first game (and first win) last night.

Up to bat

Also, her first ever home run!

Score!

Julia’s team has their first game next week, and Phoebe’s team begins playing the following week. That’s three teams and thirty-two games. (Two games down, thirty to go!) And then, there will be tournaments!

This season marks Dave’s eighth year of coaching. Our kids have never played ball on a team their dad didn’t help coach, which hasn’t always been an easy feat. We are so very thankful he has a job and work schedule (along with some sleep deprivation and strategically planned vacation days) that have enabled him to pull it off. Because it’s his passion – not just ball, but teaching the kids to love playing the game. It’s something between them and him that I can only sit on the sidelines and feel honored to watch. It’s a strong thread in the fabric of our family and there’s enough of it that they can wrap themselves up in it and feel secure, long after the season is done.

I like to imagine a future once the kids are grown where part of coming home includes an enormous family game. I’ll lead the cheering section with the smallest of my grandkids and then serve a Martha Stewart level post-game meal where Dave will give out the game ball.

These are the good feelings I need to hold on to over the next eight weeks – for when we lose, when we’re tired, when we’re stressed, when it’s hard. Because, truly, it’s worth it.

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