Category Archives: vacation

It’s the end of summer

At the end of each summer, I always feel YES! THEY ARE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL! There is usually a happy dance that quickly follows. Sometimes there is singing. This summer for some very weird reason is different. 

This summer was freaking fantastic. 


Sure there were some hiccups.There was the scare that Boo would have to have a second spinal surgery. There were meltdowns when she was on break from her program. This year there were more joys.

We had company just about every weekend. Seriously the sheets in my guest bedroom have never been washed so often.

When we were not company we were in Vermont. Twice. Once for a family reunion and once for the best ever family vacation where we were a normal family for a brief time.


I had a visit from my best friends from Junior High School and from High School. They got to meet. It was epic. As in spending the night until 2am drinking wine and connecting. And forgetting we are all over 40 and had to get up with our children in the morning. Early the next morning. I knew they would get along. I do not know how I go so long in between visits from both of them. We all agreed we have to be better about reaching out to one another. That although we know we are there for one another, we have to remember to reach out and be needed. 


I did not embarrass myself in any of the obstacle races I ran. Although I did end up in the ER for stitches after a dish-washing mishap. 

Boo rocked her MRI. She rocked it so well that we learned her spinal cord is perfect and she will not need to have a repeat surgery.

I did the ALS Challenge my way, explaining why I felt it was so important that the Challenge be more than just dumping ice on your head. My friend explained to me that it was supposed to be both: donate AND dump. When we looked back over our friends “challenges” though we realized how often the AND was left out. So I stand by my Challenge. Donate and dump ice. Please. Now. 

Abby had not one but three sleep overs. We all survived. My trick? Only one child can come over. That has been vetted with play dates to make sure they are not monsters that will destroy my house.

Boo’s summer program was the entire month of July and some of August. A blessing for all of us. I am deeply grateful for the teachers and specialists who gave up their summers so my girl will continue to thrive.

As I look over this summer I believe it is the first summer since I became a mom that I was present. That I didn’t use work to escape but to pay the bills. I was in the moment. Whether working with Boo to understand she could not have one more muffin or discussing if we would get a bunny. In a moment of weakness (or motherhood bliss) I said maybe. But it’s better than saying maybe you can get a pony.  


At the end of each summer I usually rejoice.

This year I mourn the end of summer. I want to be back there, in Vermont with my family. I want to be back there around the fire pit with friends. I want to be there on the beach watching Boo dance. I want that moment that she was whole. I want to wake up with no agenda other than to bask in the sun.


At the end of each summer I always feel exhausted. This summer I feel fulfilled. It’s a good feeling and one I will remember to recapture.


Finish the Sentence Friday

How would you finish the sentence: At the end of each summer I always feel….

document.write(”);

The Land that the Internet Forgot

You might have noticed I’ve been, ahem, quiet the past week or so. I had a very good reason. I visited a place where the internet hasn’t been invented yet. It’s the best vacation ever. 
Every year we take the girls (and Bailey) to the mountains of Vermont with 20 or so friends. It was great. It was filled with the sound of laughter. And because I am not an idiot, it was also filled with the sound of Sofia the First on Boo’s IPAD. There wasn’t internet but thank the Good Lord there was power.

And bathrooms. And showers. 

There was also seven days filled with friends, freedom for Abby, river rafting, hiking and just getting away from it all. This was our morning view. As in roll over, open eyes and see paradise.

There was also a husband and nephew who decided to go kayaking in the very LATE afternoon. Of course not having any cell service meant no one could check in and let me know that the river was a tad longer than expected and they would not be meeting us at the designated spot/time. Thankfully I did not need to find service and call David’s sister to inform her that I lost her favorite brother and son (who may or may not be her favorite depending on the day). Both boys were returned before the search party was created with hilarious stories of their adventure.

Bailey: Bye Dad, hope to maybe see you again

When you camp with 20 of your closest friends and there is only one child Abby’s age who happens to be her favorite friend, you make her summer. She and her friend were allowed to travel between camper #1 through camper #20 as long as they checked in. We heard, as she ran past: going to Mrs. George, going to Mrs. Black, Going to E’s Nana, Going to HERE. For one week Abby gets to have fun, not have to include her sister and experience being a kid of the 70’s when you were outside all day and every person in the neighborhood was responsible for you. No TV, no electronics just fresh air, rafting, playing in the river and being a kid. 


Boo is included not because of an IEP but because she is adored. There was also ice cream, fireworks, the best community dinners and enough laughter to wish next year could come faster than Christmas.


We hiked a waterfall. Well, we hiked. Boo had to be carried for 5 of the 6 miles as the terrain was a little unsteady for her. The last mile home she hit the flat ground running and I wished she would let me carry her again.


The reason, though, that this is the vacation I look forward to every year is that this is the one week where we are together. No distractions. No fire radio going off at all hours of the night pulling David away from his family. No Words with Friends pulling me away (okay, his is more important). There was no fighting over bedtimes, eat your dinner or practice your flute struggles. There were no therapy appointments, doctor appointments or similar tortures for Boo. 

For this one week we are a family off the grid surrounded by our friends enjoying the same experience.We are, for six too short days, a normal family. 

It was so hard to come home. It was harder to go back to work and stop being mom for 40 hours a week. I miss my girls. The minute we came home I found myself on e-mail, David turned up the fire radio, Abby had to be reminded to practice her flute and Boo returned to her appointments. 

Of course we have to return to the real world. As difficult as it is some days. Our vacation week reminded me that we have to remember to unplug less often and plug into our family more.