We just got back yesterday afternoon from our annual Memorial Day trip "up north" to the family cabins, a trip that regularly coincides with Joy's birthday. I've just changed the "Introducing Joy" sidebar to reflect her new age. Eight. Hardly seems possible -- eight years old!
We celebrated with balloons and bubbles and little cupcakes in the cabin. We'll have further celebrations at home, and shopping for a big-girl birthday bike as soon as we get our post-holiday act together to do so.
As Memorial Day trips go, this one was relatively uneventful, especially considering our track record of muddy departures and explosive avian visitations. (Well, JoyDad did have to do some work on breaking out a beaver dam that was flooding the road. But we'd had warning so that was expected.)
Our party was smaller than usual, just the four of us and GrampaK. The weather was pleasant for the end of May, mostly cool with a couple of rainy bits but at least one warm-enough-to-swim afternoon. We did our traditional walks in the woods:
and spent a lot of time on the screen porch watching the hummingbirds come to the feeder:
(When I posted this one on Facebook, I captioned it: "Secret for a long-lived relationship -- always respect your partner's side of the hummingbird feeder.")
You can tell that your daughter is growing up when she wants to drive the boat!
Not to worry, folks, it's safely docked.
One of the basic experiences of life up at the lake is the lack of running water. We bring drinking water along, but wash water for the dishes and floor and ourselves comes from an old-fashioned pump just a little ways away from the cabin. This weekend I had a startling realization -- though we'd been bringing Joy up to the cabin at least once a summer for her whole life, and sometimes more often than that... we'd never taken her down that short path to "help" pump water. It's been part of Rose's experience since not long after she could walk. But with Joy, early on I suppose it felt like too much of a hassle, and then later we just sort of had our fixed routines and always expected to come back from the pump with a full bucket in each hand, and no hand left to hang on to Joy lest she make a dash for the lake.
This vacation I finally realized what had been happening. And Joy and I went to have fun with the pump.
So easy, to get into these ruts and hold our kiddos back. We've got to do better than that.
We will not have another trip to the lake without a trip to the pump for Joy -- which she enjoyed to the hilt, my sweet water-loving child. We've got to keep examining, and listening, and doing better.
Happy birthday, my sweet eight-year-old!