Sunday, August 13, 2017

You Have Arrived.

Colonial Williamsburg.

Jamestown Settlement and Powhatan Village.

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
Traveling backward and forward in time as we visited living history museum after living history museum exhausted our feet and filled up our brains. We learned new things and reinforced previous understanding by walking the streets and encampments and engaged the people around us in conversation.

I think smoke was coming out of the boys' ears. And there might have been an incident or two of total breakdown and rolling on the floor.

It was time to stop. To decompress. To process through all the information of the past days. And there is no place better to unwind than at the beach.

So we plugged the address into my GPS and waited for that red target to appear and the voice to let us know, "You have arrived."
We not only arrived at an adorable purple cottage with a little slice of heaven just steps past the back door, we arrived at the perfect spot to just sit. To be together and to enjoy each other after days of pressure and agendas.
We arrived at a place where a kid doesn't have to worry if he is allowed to touch. Or to laugh too loudly. Or run.

The kids had arrived.

And at 40+ I've finally arrived at a place in my life where I don't care.

For the first time since the twins were born I put on my bikini.

And not the one with the cute retro high waisted bottoms.

I put on my bikini because I'm 6'1", dang it, and one pieces don't even fit me that well and I'm tired of picking my bathing suit out of my crack. I put on my bikini because tankinis kind of drive me nuts, the way they flutter up around my middle when I'm actually in the water.

I put on my bikini because I'm tired of believing that stretch marks, extra skin, and a "broken" belly button are things that need to be hidden. This is my body. And it is a body that stretched and grew 3 babies -- 2 at the same time, for goodness sake. And if I can't admit that 15 pounds of twins growing inside me might have stretched out the skin on my stomach and left me with an outtie rather than an innie, well, that's just dumb.

I put on my bikini because it's important for me to believe that my body is normal. That my body is nothing to be ashamed of. And it's important for my boys to know that, too. Normal is not what they will grow up seeing on TV and in the magazines. Normal comes in all shapes and sizes. Reality ages and gets stretched out.

This is what reality looks like. In a bikini.

I have arrived.

(But not quite at the place where I will be posting a photo of myself in a bikini online)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Little Pink Houses/Ain't that America

 On we drove on this crazy field trip we have been on. It was not a long drive, and the kids managed a snooze through an entire state. Perhaps it helped that that state was Connecticut and is pretty much only a blink wide. But they still slept. I had to force them to wake up to wave at New York as we drove by.

We almost wished for another couple of days on the road so that we could have stopped to explore that city too. Almost.

And then we drove on to the city of brotherly love. Good old filthy-delphia. To start the next chapter. The one in which we see lots of houses where important people lived and worked.

We've trekked from place to place checking out all these houses.

From Benjamin Franklin.
 To the current presidential administration.
 To George Washington.
 To Thomas Jefferson.
To James Monroe.
To James Madison.

To the homes and cities of friends scattered here and there around these historical locations and all the fascinating conversations that have been a part of those too-brief visits.

There have been stops at museums and other historical buildings along the way, too, but the thing that has really stuck out for me. And I think for all of us. Is the fact that these people. These people who had brilliant ideas. Revolutionary ideas. Who did great things.

Had flaws.

Big ones.

For some, almost unforgivable ones.


Despite their flaws. Despite the parts of their lives, the aspects of their world views, the bits of their stories that are unpleasant. Or that I disagree with. Or that shock me. Or that I find flat-out horrifying...

In the midst of all that.

Were ideas and actions and moments that changed the world for the better. And the ugly parts don't change the good that was done.

It can change my view of the men...and it certainly reminds me why it is dangerous to idealize, to idolize these real, these flawed, individuals.

But it also changes my view of my own place in the world. And that of those around me. Despite my (our) many flaws, ugly bits, inconsistencies in world view, there can be so much change, so much good done.

We don't have to be perfect or to have it all together in order to see something in the world that needs to change and speak out for that with boldness and revolutionary ideas.

Thank goodness.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Oh, the Places We've Gone!

A quick stop for lunch on our way to Boston left us with some great inspiration for the next leg of our adventure.

And an adventure it was.

It was a nonstop, action-packed, cousin-filled, crazy three and a half days that somehow felt like both a blink and a lifetime at the same time. I can't explain it.

It began with lobster and steak and s'mores and a "driveway-in" movie.

The next day, there were spooks and haunts and true historical tales and visits to memorials for our 9th great grandmother, who was hanged as a witch in Salem.

"Let Goody Martin rest in peace, I never knew her harm a fly,
And witch or not - God knows - not I?
I know who swore her life away;
And as God lives, I'd not condemn
An Indian dog on word of them."  -John Greenleaf Whittier

After we had done all we could manage and seen as much of the town as humanly possible with the munchkins in tow, we decided it would be a great idea to go to the carnival. 
Because. Childhood. Y'all it ends so quickly. Sometimes you just have to ride the rides.

There was about 500 miles of walking as we first toured Boston Common and the Public Garden then walked the entire freedom trail, including the 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill monument. Sing along with us, now, as we Follow the Yellow Red Brick Road with Sweet Caroline.

Please remember that this was 3 adults plus FIVE CHILDREN UNDER TEN YEARS OLD.  We must be crazy.
If we weren't then, they might have driven us there now.

Then just for fun we basically did the whole trail again while riding on a trolley.

After that, I'm pretty sure our feet were about to fall off. And the kids' brains could not possibly absorb another historical detail. We all needed a break.

So what did we do?

We hopped in the car and drove to New Hampshire. Because they have pretty lakes there. And mountains. And more cousins. Who have kayaks and are gracious hosts who don't mind having their own vacation crashed for an afternoon. And it was glorious. 

A perfect ending.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...