Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Last week I took the girls to Lake Placid, where we united with much of my family for a few days. We traveled as a threesome. Getting there involved a plane, a ferry, and a car: a patient excursion. I booked this trip a little last-minute, more as an exercise for myself than for the enjoyment of the kids. Friends told me, You're crazy. I knew the girls would relish the attentions of their uncles, aunts, and my parents once we arrived. But this trip was more about me as a mother. I needed to see if I could do it. To see if I had the patience, the endurance, the composure (the adrenaline?) to make it through the tantrums and the wiggles and the are-we-there-yets to our destination. And we did, and I did. Was the trip perfect? No. Where they well behaved? Some of the time. But despite a woman on the airplane who asked me to "put something in your child's mouth, please," it really wasn't all that bad. Really. 

And then we got there and it was wonderful. There is nothing like a midsummer trip away from the heat and humidity of Washington to revive a dormant gratitude for nature. The air tasted like filtered water and the skies were a frieze of seemingly motionless cumulus. We were surrounded by evergreens and our ears filled with sounds of the lake lapping at the docks and distant motorboats. There was nowhere to be, no schedule to keep. We picked wildflowers, made sun prints. There was boating and lemonade. Sprawling, idle afternoons turned into long-shadowed evenings. With dusk came bonfires and s'mores and fleece blankets. And while I hardly slept a wink (Genevieve and I shared a room) and have returned with a terrible cough, I'm really happy we made the trip. Our earliest experiences teach us who we are, and I want the girls to experience a summertime beyond the neighborhood pool, beyond the air conditioning. And now I know I can give that to them, be it in Lake Placid, or elsewhere.

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