Accept our fondest, Happy New Year! and delete, or pull up a cup of Joe and read on . . . in four parts.
PART II Summer Vacation
And so I ended a sanctuary of order, and freedom within limits, and all that good stuff, and went home to . . . . laundry, broken sheetrock and . . . the rest of real life, and began preparations for the summer's big vacation: a whirlwind tour of Grandma's in Ohio then Deep Creek Lake.
It was perfect. We got a house across the street from a sweet neighborhood park on the lake. We celebrated Kit's seventh birthday early so she could have her big day with Daddy. Jack swam freely for the first time. We climbed on slippery rocks, and played and swam, in Swallow Falls. We even brought home a few monarch caterpillars. ( "Slinky" survived, and one afternoon just as Jack and I came home from school we got to witness his grand metamorphosis. Truly stunning.)
Enjoying the big open spaces of the rental house, John instituted a new Fleming pastime: Daddyfighting. All opponents respectfully bow and look deep into the eyes of their opponent (Daddy), then let him have it. Great spectator sport.
So, we arrived back in Bethesda, car full of kids, dog, sand, food (mostly scattered around the floor of the car) and a milkweed plant.
Yes, arrived just in time to meet Maureen and John who would babysit that evening while John and I met Una and John, and Fran and Roger, who'd taken the train into Georgetown so we could have dinner together before John left for Baghdad in five days. They were also there so Pop could paint the basement and help put it back together since the tile floor would be finished and I was starting my internship/assistantship the next day.
Did I ever mentioned we're not really good at transitions? I guess that's why we tend to skip the actual transitioning part of anything. (See: "consider taking a breath between events" just before "meditate" and "do more yoga" in 2011 New Year's Resolutions.)
The dinner was great. The basement floor wasn't finished, nor would it be, prompting me to take two personal days in my first month of employment just to paint the walls and move the furniture the contractor had complained was too heavy BY MYSELF. Don't mess with a woman who needs her playroom back.
And so that Friday, August 27th, John left at 9 pm. By 10pm I was in Suburban Hospital's friendly ER with Gabby who'd fallen off the swing at 5 and had us all convinced she had fractured her elbow, even the doc who casted her. By 2am I was home painting the wall in the laundry room where the new washer and dryer would be delivered the next morning, the old one having been deemed useless by the contractor when he moved it. (Long story short, Gab took the cast off two days later out in the baby pool in the backyard, threw the wrap in a heap, and went to climb the monkey bars. No I am not kidding. )