My mind is full and tired tonight, a healthy and exciting full and tired that's usually accompanied with summertime. It's not the kind of 'full' that's marked by deadlines, grunt work, and essays to grade, but one that's like a pottery wheel, spinning in circles with ideas, and adventures, and inspiration --- all working to form into some kind of creative masterpiece. It's a little overwhelming, but so rewarding, as if I'm dancing in this wide open creative space, an empty palette, all mine to fill with memories and magic of summertime.
I carry the torch of tradition around here, and with that comes a lot of responsibility. When I think back to my childhood summers, I have so many simple, wonderful memories. Memories of walking barefoot in the carpet soft grass, watching Dad hit golf balls across the highway, then trudging through our backyard to hunt for his hit. Memories of sitting on the back tailgate of the truck, listening to the Twins on the radio and eating ice cream with Nestle's Quick before bed. Memories of toast with cinnamon and sugar for breakfast, salamanders with yarn leashes, rock collections in Von Maur boxes, and bike rides to the library after lunch, and little league games and grilled burgers at night. These memories make me want to travel back in time to those days and savor that easy contentment of childhood.
And now, twenty-some years later, as I sit with the windows open, listening to the neighbor boys up way past their bedtimes, throwing footballs in the street, I wonder what Cruz will remember about his childhood. What adventures will he cherish and look forward to each and every summer? What little things will represent contentment and happiness to him? What traditions will he hope to pass on to his family someday?
This weekend, we made messes. We went on adventures. And I think we began some traditions that will have a place in our summer treasure box for years to come. And although Cruz Man might be too little to remember the specific events of this weekend years from now, the smile on his face with each new experience leads me to believe he's pretty happy to be along for the ride.
...we had a birthday dinner for Daddy and Uncle Gabe Friday night, a walk down to the baseball diamond where Daddy learned to play, and up the sledding hill where he broke his leg and was rescued by the school custodian. We drank a few Summer Shandy's, sat outside, and sang 'Happy Birthday' two times in a row before devouring some yummy cupcakes from Scratch.
...we made messes. A box of old wedding memorabilia as I reminisced about our wedding day, and our summer bucket list printed on poster board and taped to our chalkboard wall. I painted Cruz's book shelf, Beau stained the deck, and Cruz helped paint a surprise for Daddy's birthday tomorrow.
...we started a new tradition --- a birthday tradition. In honor of Beau's birthday, I wanted Cruz to be part of the celebration and festivities in a way that's special and exciting for him. Off to Dollar General we went, where I let Cruz grace the aisles at his own speed, surveying the goods and picking out his very own present for Daddy's birthday. He did good, and I think Beau will love his pick tomorrow night. I think this will be a fun thing to do together every year, to see what he picks out and how it changes as he grows.
...we celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary with an afternoon at the carnival. Lemonade shake-ups, funnel cakes, and a petting zoo at My Waterloo Days. Cruz was mesmerized by the sounds, the rides, and the carnies, and had some fun running around with the chickens and goats in the petting zoo. Beau decided he'd like a pet goat, Cruz stuck his foot in the chicken's water, after stepping in goat poop, and I made friends with a donkey that looked like Eeyore. To each his own...
(on me - tunic: Old Navy (I snagged this for $9.95 this weekend and love it. I wore it as a long shirt with skinny jeans, but could also work as a dress, swimsuit cover-up, or over leggings).
...we went for a walk down Main Street, stopped for a pizza pie at Tony's, and ended the night with a glass of wine, some yummy cheese and fruit, a game or two of cribbage, and our wedding video.
...we finished the weekend off with a garbage lid of barbecue, Beau's choice of birthday dinner with my family. We passed around baby Hayes, watched the birthday boy settle into a meat coma after devouring his plate, and laughed as Cruz went to town on a cornbread muffin.
Life is full of happy moments.
(toast with cinnamon and sugar)...
Gearing up for a busy week ahead. Some fun family birthday time in honor of Dad tomorrow, and a Tuesday full of packing, picking up, turning in keys, finishing laundry, buying travel shampoos, and digging those passports out of storage.
Welcome, June! What was on your happy list this weekend?!