When I asked the question, “What’s next?” in my last post, it was a legitimate question about my professional life. Looking at it this evening, however, I have to laugh, because what came next was a complete and utter whirlwind. A happy, social, whirlwind filled to the brim with people I love, to be sure, but not exactly a couple weeks of introspection. Where are those blog posts I promised? The ones about how I’m heading in new directions? Perhaps those will come in the next few weeks. Or maybe when the boys go to school in September and I (theoretically) have time to think.
Truth is, each day of these past two weeks has deserved its own blog post, Wonderfriends. I had all of one normal day at home with the boys after I finished work in July before I flew out to San Francisco for 4 days. While there, I had not only the joy of spending time with some wonderful members of my family and old friends from our years in California, but I timed my trip to attend Vicki Forman‘s reading from “This Lovely Life” in Corte Madera last Thursday night and Shannon Rosa‘s party celebrating the book the following night. I therefore had the privilege of hanging out with Vicki and her fabulous daughter (yay, Josie!) and delightful husband Cliff, Shannon‘s incredible posse (so happy to meet Leelo and his rockin’ sisters), Susan and her awesome guys (one of whom impressed me with his mad Wii skills), Christa, Chris, and Ben (I met Ben! Adorable Ben! And he kissed me on the lips!), the fabulous Drama Mama and her beauteous daughters, Gwendomama (with that tow-headed sweetheart of a son), and Jennifer and her hilarious husband. Imagine my good fortune! Imagine the laughs and food and conversation! And seeing those wonderful kids I’ve followed on their mothers’ blogs for years, all swimming and playing — together. It was fantastic.
So there was that trip. The boys were at a previously scheduled 4-day session of Camp OmaPops in Libertyville, where they partied with their cousins and chose to sleep in sleeping bags on the floors while their parents took advantage of Daddy’s stint at the Clift Hotel (hello, fancy!) for work. The children didn’t even notice we were gone. In fact, they were too busy to talk to me each time I called and so I didn’t actually speak to them from Tuesday morning until Sunday. Go figure, they’re getting older. (Cue the happy dance.)
I flew back from San Francisco in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, mere hours after my parents had arrived here in Chicago to visit us from California. And so what followed were 4 fun-filled days with my parents and the boys here at home. (My jet setting husband left on a business trip again as soon as I had been home 24 hours.) Although we had one big outing to the Field Museum, we spent lots of time just relaxing here at our house, playing “Pokemon battle” (my parents tried very hard to get into this – they get a lot of credit), hanging out at the beach down the street, and chatting. There were walks to the park and Chipotle with Papa, stories and sand castles with Nana, and the best “pre-birthday” party two boys could ask for. The long faces on the last day were very impressive. Lyle asked them to stay for a year, but Baxter glumly noted that if they stayed a year, we’d be so used to them being around by that point that it would be even harder to say good-bye. So we had to let them go, despite our sadness.
That was yesterday. Last night the four of us had dinner together for the first time in 10 days, which we celebrated by not cooking; Matt brought home burgers and we had a picnic at the beach.
And so what did I do to relax and unwind today? Good question! I’ll tell you: I hosted Beach Day ’09, our 3rd annual summer beach party with Matt’s whole family! (Sad to say, Matt had to be at work.) Yes, there were 16 of us here at the beach today – all 8 cousins together, having the time of their lives. I had pizzas delivered to the beach and an ugly-ass Ice Age cake back at the house to celebrate a bunch of the kids’ birthdays. It was a perfectly perfect day – 85 degrees and sunny, no humidity. A blast all around.
If you’re exhausted just reading this, don’t be. It might be appropriate for you to have concerns about my sanity, but I’ve loved every minute of it. I’m heading in to work tomorrow to see a few clients and then I get a well-deserved quiet weekend. Matt is road-tripping with the boys to St. Paul, MN tomorrow to spend a long weekend with some great friends of ours (members of the Libertyville Four). I personally would not choose to drive our darlings 7 hours by myself twice in one weekend, but if it’s all about a positive attitude, he’ll be fine. I know they’ll have a fantastic time there and I’m hopeful the boys will get to see the college where their parents met.
As for me, you’ll find me here unearthing my home office, throwing out crappy toys when the kids aren’t here to see, reading on the couch, reading at the beach, reading in bed, seeing some friends, and maybe even blogging some more. All in all, a damn fine weekend ahead.
And when the kids return, things will be a lot quieter. No more overnight guests, no road trips, no jet-setting. Just a few weeks of normal summer life at home with the kids before school starts. Tonight, that sounds just about right.