“And in the middle of the lake the woman I'd spoken with floated on her back, eyes closed, as if nothing in her many years had ever gone wrong.”
― Anthony Marra, The Tsar of Love and Techno
We spend the week in Northern Idaho, at the lake. We stay at the cabin we have stayed in for 20+ years. Two of our boys and their wives are with us; there are also two dogs and one puppy. It is heaven. However, it is challenging too.
There is a mixup with our dates, and the owners have not opened the cabin yet from winter. It is dusty and nothing is working right. Mouse droppings are scattered here and there and I vacuum every nick and cranny the best I can. There is no hot water for the first 24 hours and I feel as if I can't get things clean. The toilet is leaking and I find myself, in moment of frustration, in the bedroom crying. For so many reasons, I am a mess.
We have not even had Baker a week yet. I worry about the long car ride, and wonder if he will sleep. At the cabin he is all over the place, curious and chewing; I can't take my eyes off of him. He rolls off the dock and into the water one day, and he has a few accidents. I worry he is too hot or maybe seasick from the constant movement of the dock. I am always checking him for ticks and worry when something does bite him, even though he ignores it and it goes away. He is full of life and interested in everything. Not wanting to infringe on anyone's vacation, I refuse to ask for help and find myself worn out.
It is my kids who settle me down. Katie hands me a glass of wine, that first night, and makes me leave the kitchen. "Everything is fine", she says, "we are going to have so much fun". I take the wine and head to the deck, hoping she is right. One day I tell the boys they are in charge of grilling burgers for dinner, only to try and take it over when the time comes. They scold me and tell me to leave the kitchen, go sit, they have this covered. I here them laughing and talking in the kitchen and I feel myself relax, because they do have it covered and they do a stellar job. I even let them do the dishes.
I watch Brandon marinate steaks and pork tenderloin one night to grill for us. Unlike me, and the hundreds of meals I have cooked in this cabin throughout the years, he is enjoying the process. My goal has always been to feed everyone and get the mess cleaned up. I am reminded again to slow down, to enjoy each moment. We are all together, the weather is amazing, and yes, we are having so much fun. And, there is butter involved with the steak and fresh herbs.
The lake is beyond beautiful and the water is just how I like it. Clear and cold.
Each day I dive into that cold water and swim back and forth between our dock and the neighbors. I dive deep, where the water is freezing and open my eyes and marvel at the sun-rays shining down into the water. I test myself out to see how many forward summersaults I can do (three), and shoot for two backwards. I float on my back and take deep breaths, letting myself relax into the water. I am reminded of my childhood, my parent's, and my boys. I think about all the summers I have spent on the lakes of Northern Idaho and I let go of the bits and pieces of my broken self I find within each day.
It dawns on me that I have come full circle.
I marvel at my son's marriages, both of them full of love and respect. I see strong partnerships and lots of support. I see kindness and give and take. It fills me with gratitude, because really, isn't that all we want for our kids. I stand in awe of the strong woman their wives are, confident and loving, because I sure don't remember being that way at their age. They bring out the best in my boys for sure.
I step back and let go of control and relax into a perfect week. Baker survives, in fact he flourishes. He masters stairs and sleeps all night. He meets his first deer and goes huckleberry picking. He does not pick up any nasty virus or get seasick.
Did you happen to catch my first post on ViewFinders? To say I was excited to be asked to join this group of talented woman is an understatement. I hope you will pop over and take a look.
how was your week?