It pains me to no end, but I spent this weekend packing away our summer tank tops and shorts, replacing them in our dresser drawers with pants and long-sleeved shirts. What hurt the most, though, and I mean really hurt, was deflating all of our water wings, inflatable tubes, and baby floats we used at the pool the past four months and packing them into a box that I took downstairs to the garage.
Seriously. It was awful! We had the best summer ever together as an actual family. We couldn’t get to the pool soon enough most days, and it seemed once there that we could not stay long enough. Several guests spent time with us basking in the sun and water, too, which made it even better. My parents, sister, niece, a handful of friends and their children…we even rented out the place for Vincent’s fifth birthday party!
I wasn’t sure if we’d get to the pool again after we returned from Florida, but we did get in a couple more visits. This past Friday was our final afternoon; we even took the last hanging flower basket home with us that pool management was giving away.
I can’t even talk about how the box that George shipped home from Florida with our beach towels and souvenirs inside arrived last week…when I opened it up, there was sand from the beach scattered within, and I inhaled the beautiful scent of beach, sand, and suntan lotion. The last scent of an incredible summer.
Of course, I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating. A little over–the–top. Dramatic. I am those things, honestly. But I am serious this time. George is not around very often due to his fishing schedule and the never–ending work of boats, engines, gear, permits, taxes, regulations, and planning. When G is home, he often is not actually “home.”
But—for the first time in about a decade, he was really “home” this summer. I treasured and savored each moment of the sunshine, George, the children, my parents, my friends, and all that was good. And there was lots of good. I got to watch G forge a relationship with his infant daughter, whose first five months of life he missed. I love watching the way Valerie smiles at George now when she sees him, rather than crying and looking frantically around for me.
Today I am vacuuming the house, filling out PTA paperwork, and getting ready for Vincent’s surgery tomorrow. I’m doing what I always do when I have a “patient,” which is pull out what the kids call the “bed couch” (hideaway bed) and fixing it up with fresh sheets, blankets, sleeping bags, and lots of pillows.
Vincent goes in tomorrow to have some work done on the matter of his eustachian tube dysfunction, and he’ll have two weeks of recovery ahead. They have warned us repeatedly that the first week will be painful for his ears, nose, and throat. Lots of milkshakes, popsicles, smoothies, and jello to come for my sweet buddy! Movies and reading books, too.
We hope that this surgery goes far in fixing a lot of damage that has accumulated over the past five years. We set all of this up earlier in the summer and then set it aside until fall, choosing to focus on enjoying the blessings of sunshine and family that were at hand.
Now, even though I’m dragging my heels in saying goodbye to sunshine and the luxury and rarity of having G and his attention around, I know that now is Vincent’s time. We’ve been waiting for this a long time.
Wish us luck tomorrow and please keep Vincent in your thoughts and prayers!