On Tuesday the boys and I went on a little trip to West Virginia. We visited one of my best friends in life of all time and her lovely family. Our kids met when they were up in NYC in March, and became fast friends. So we wanted to reunite them and also meet Baby Cole who was born about a month ago.
It was my first time traveling with the boys solo. This lady was terrified because I let the boys walk up the stairs by themselves.
They were such good kids. Traveling with Julian especially was super easy. He was helpful and patient and all around good. Arthur was Arthur, but a very good Arthur. It helped that he fell asleep 10 minutes into the flight.
Once we arrived, everything was good. Great, in fact. The kids were so happy to be together again.
Here are some of the highlights:
Julian had his first experience with sparklers!
There were bugs everywhere. (no pictures, thankyouverymuch.)
We went to a lake! The countryside in West Virginia is so beautiful. We played in the lake all day. It was lovely.
We played at different playgrounds…
And then, one of our favorite things, we went on a hike. Nature! Amazing.
We ended up walking in this amazing river. None of the kids busted any teeth, and all of them got wet.
We found a crayfish. (“Look! A lobster!”) It was so amazing. I know the boys will remember this for a long time, and I will surely never forget. Such beauty with such wonderful people. And all happy hearts.
After the hike the kids got to sit in a firetruck and police car. Clearly Arthur’s expression shows that he knows he kind of belongs in the back…
We went to a great pool. It was almost empty, although I don’t know why. It was so nice. The kids played and played, and Julian is getting braver and better at swimming. Arthur is just completely fearless. And he’s great to have around in case you’re wondering what is not allowed at the pool: “No hanging on the rope, no climbing on the lifeguard chair, no hanging on the rail, no climbing up the slide.”
Other highlights included hanging out on our friends’ deck with cold beers, South African accents, sitting in the kitchen after the kids had gone to bed, cuddling the baby, and delicious meals cooked by Carryn’s husband John. And last but not least, sharing a room with my boys. They had comfy air mattresses, and I had a big bed. They went to bed easily and slept well. At night I would hear them both laughing in their sleep. Sooner or later one of them would snuggle up next to me, and it was wonderful. And best of all, everyone slept in in the mornings. I mean…why can’t this happen at home?
Low points were the fact that I was sick as a dog all week which was particularly depressing because I didn’t get to smooch all over Baby Cole as I had intended to do. I was really, really sick with the worst cold in ages.
Also depressing beyond comprehension, the news. Ugh.
And last but not lest, driving. I know most people do it, in fact every day, but we are so not used to it. The kids get impatient immediately, and Arthur chimes from the back, “I hate riding in cars.”
But oh man, what a wonderful week it was. I loved seeing the kids together, to hear them play and be friends and argue. I loved seeing my friend and catching up and meeting her new babe. There is just something about these tiny, new, helpless humans. It’s so special.
How crazy and beautiful our lives have been…South Africa, Germany, South Carolina, New York, West Virginia. I can’t wait for the next chapter in this series.
(I can’t believe I did not get one picture of Carryn and me. So here we are, 10 years ago on July 15, 2006, in Coney Island. We kind of look the same now. Except with more wrinkles.)