The kids and I are in Northern Michigan, hanging out in my homeland for two weeks.
I haven't lost my temper with Fruit Bat and Kitty Cat at all. Not once. Despite that they can't seem to adjust to the 3-hour time difference, they've been flexible and sweet and have proven they are mostly good company. I'm proud of them.
I've run into people I haven't seen since high school. I watched a woman walk down the sidewalk, a hat in her hands, with a strip of hair lining the lower half of her skull. The rest of her scalp, covered in soft fuzz, was exposed to the summer breeze.
We've fed fish and pigs and "helped" my dad at his farmer's market. We've gotten sand in our ears and mouths. We've splashed in sprinklers and flung a frisbee to and fro, watched a small-town parade and swirled orange sparklers through a twilit night. We've ogled fireworks from my parents' porch, three miles from the bay where they were detonating. It was perfect. The sultry wind was wild and we could see dark silhouettes of trees lashing, set off by red and purple lights.
I've sorted through old photos, the ancient, chemical smell of the paper shrill and pleasing all at once.These days are big. Heavy with meaning.
I'm trying hard to appreciate this time, while the kids are young, but old enough so I can breathe and think (sort of) and my parents are young and I, compared to what the future holds, am still young.
I'm afraid, though, I can never give these weeks the reverence they are due.
Only in retrospect, will they shape themselves into memories, some clear, some not, but all bearing the weight they deserve.