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The alarms wake me up at 5 AM every morning.  Sleep really is a blessed escape from idle cares and at 5AM I was not ready to come back to them.  I decided, however, to get up and do something, to put my pesky thoughts to some use.  The house is quiet in the hour post-sunrise, and I’ve missed the sounds of the early camp mornings.

We were up late from being at the drive-in last night.  This is the third time this summer we’ve gone as a family and I can’t imagine ever getting tired of doing it. There’s something cozy, fun, and adventurous about vacuuming the van and packing it with blankets.  Anticipation and atmosphere are half the fun of going.

On movie nights like this I feel completely accepted.  Our family is together, and these are the incredible people I’m doing life with.  The smelly, unkempt camp kids, the rowdy boys in the back, the mom and dad banter ever-friendly more than not–these are the times I treasure and cherish, the times I feel most at home in the world.

I found myself trying to woo my teenage son with with food.  We’d had leftover turkey and cheese sandwiches for supper, and I knew he would eat again if I asked. “You wanna go to the concessions and get something to eat?”  I suddenly didn’t care how much the soda or pretzels cost.  All that mattered was making that connection.

My husband handed me three $20-bills from his wallet.  I still feel shock at the sight of money, at the ease that comes from having extra money to spend.  I remember wanting money for the fair and my dad saying, “I wish I could hand you a twenty and say ‘Go!'” My husband handed me three twenties and sent us on our way.

He stayed behind with my daughter who was snuggled in the van rereading Harry Potter.  The little boys were off on a playground somewhere and I could see the yellow specks of their shirts on the slide.  As my son and I returned from the overpriced food stand–sweet joy to my ears!–he opened up his story with the words, “Hey, Mom…”

It isn’t cool in life to be weak and dependent, but neither is it possible to be the strong one all the time.  People need people, and I’m thankful God places the lonely in families.  It seems stereotypical to say men provide, but my husband likes to, and my dad always wished to.  The men in my life have always provided something I needed.

There’s a part of me that still feels like a kid in these times, like I’m the recipient of something good, something I never could have provided or conjured up on my own.  I know it isn’t this way for every woman, but traditional marriage has been a blessing to me.  I was blessed to grow up with two parents living and still under one roof.

Whatever your family looks like today, friends

Love, love, love, and enjoy them.

 

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