First off, Houston’s recovery is going amazingly well thus far and he has a niceÂ attitude to boot (which is saying something, since big bro’s usually quite pooty when he’s sick). Honestly, Houston’s biggest complaint these days is his itchy left arm. Yeah, casts are very unforgiving in that regard.
As far as the fall goes, Houston explains,Â “It just felt like a growing pain. That was it.” I assume he was in physical shock right then due to the severity of the injury. It’s just an awesome thing the way God made our bodies capable of coping with such immense pain.
Asher & Houston, a.k.a. Big Hashy, get rowdy after seeing a Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball game for Houston’s 6th birthday!
And the couple instances that Houston’s elbow has hurt him during this week’s recovery, he describes that too as “a growing pain” sensation, but with a “burning” feeling. Luckily, those episodes have been rare and fleeting.
Since the healing seems to be going fairly well, Houston and I met up with the J-Crew at the Science Center’s brand-new aquarium (shhhh, don’t tell Gabe and Zeke, who are still staying with Gramsey and Papa). I was a tad apprehensive about the outing, but Houston did a great job of using his noodle and playing it safe.
Our season before the broken elbow was bustling and brimming with fun. As the quote fromÂ William Carlos Williams says in this blog’s title, summertime’s magic has a way of doing that, despite the heat and the almost daily downpours of rain.
“But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever.”
— A.A. Milne
Houston’s birthday was on 6/26. He got to pick the outing for his celebration and Houston chose going to a Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball game. Stephen worked a half day and then we headed downtown with the birthday boy,Â brothers and Houston’s best bud, Asher, to catch the daytime double header.
Zeke works hard washing Daddy’s car, which was Stephen’s Father’s Day gift from the 3 Amigos & Mommy!
It was an extremely steamy day, but luckily, Daddy bought us shady seats behind home plate. All the dudes behaved impressively well, especially considering the heat and the lengthy playtime, and learned a bit more about America’s Pastime by drilling Daddy for some play-by-play information.
Houston and Asher even got to participate in someÂ between-innings entertainment on the field with bat dog, Miss Babe Ruth. Each was supposed to try to coax the black lab over to grab a baseball, but she kind of brushed past the both of them. Houston ended up winning a shirt and “Big Hashy” got to be seen by all on the stadium’s big screen.
That evening, we had neighbors Dixie and Maddie, as well as CC buddies, Alex and Olivia (who also live nearby) over for cake and ice cream. Asher stayed for a sleepover, rounding out the day’s birthday activities.
Gabriel relaxes in Miss Heather’s pool back in mid-June; he no longer needs the inflatable dolphin, since he & bros swim like fishes these days!
But the festivities continued on whenÂ Aunt Dina and Cousin Kara rolled into town the following day, staying till 6/29. It’s always great seeing our Virginia crew … thanks for the fun visit, girls!
“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”Â — Ralph Waldo Emerson
From 6/30-7/5, we took our greatly anticipated low-key family vacation to Surfside Beach, SC. We stayed in a hotel (mostly paid for with points from Stephen work travel days!) and didn’t do much more than play in the surf and sand, hit the hotel pool and hot tub, and eat out at good restaurants.
It was particularly relaxing for me, since there was no laundry, no dirty dishes, no housework period. Ah, how incredible it is to use a fresh towel every day when you take a bath … or have someone else prepare your meals and deal with all the clean up.
The weather was tempestuous the first part of the week. Huge, dark clouds would roll in and rain (and sometimes hail) would pour, yet beach-goers kept on doing their thing. It’s like we all collectively shook our fists at the sky and said, “Stormy weather can’t chase us away from our vacations that easily!”
They ain’t scared! … Houston & Stephen are steadfast in battling Surfside Beach’s onslaught of summertime storms.
One turbulent storm, though, gave the kids quite a fright. The temperature dropped in an instant and violent winds battered the beach. In fact, Stephen had to hold on to our canopy with both hands and I with one, while my other arm wrapped around our shivering, cold and scared boys.
We survived, were no worse for the wear and just kept on plugging away at vacation. Ah, such is life at the beach.
Independence Day “ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade … and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”Â — John Adams
Of course, the 4th of July featured some impressive fireworks, most of which were amateur shows put on by other vacationing families. But from our hotel balcony, we could also see the faraway professional fireworks displays north over Myrtle Beach and south over the Surfside Pier … pretty cool to be able to view such aÂ patriotic spectacle while wearing pajamas!
Gabriel, Zeke & Houston pose for the obligatory shot under a palmetto, the state tree & enduring symbol of South Carolina. And yes, according to brothers’ shirts, I suppose Gabe did it!
TheÂ 3 Amigos swimming really blossomed while at the beach.Â Before vacation, the kiddos has been working diligently on their aquatic skills: at Miss Christie’s community pool; in our neighbor Miss Heather’sÂ above-ground pool; with our CC pals, Miss Rissa and her kids (the aforementioned Alex and Olivia); and at the Y with Daddy.
And with each water adventure, the boys improved by leaps and bounds. And that was no exception at the beach. They swam confidently in the ocean, tackling waves and handling their few tumbles in the water like such brave, determined dudes.
“The water is your friend. You don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.”Â — Aleksandr Poplov, Olympic gold-winning swimmer
And their aptitude for swimming continued to unfold and impress in the hotel pool, with Houston pretty much “officially” swimming and the twins being not too far behind. Way to plug away at it, darlings! I promise to take y’all for lots of indoor swimming at the Y when summer’s over and Houston’s arm is healed.
Gabriel & Zeke try to befriend one of the peacocks @ the Science Center, where we love to visit outside sunny days or inside on rainy days.
June was particularly challenging on the home front because Zeke decided to make a (thankfully brief) return to the dreaded stage of toddler tantrums. They weren’t daily, but their intensity certainly harkened back to theÂ age-2 episodes of yore.
One day, Zeke started to have a meltdown when leaving church on the last day of VBS, that is, until he saw the baptismal fountain/pool. He looked at me, smiled and simply said, “ItÂ washed away my sin, Mommy!” And so the freak-out had run its course. Amazing!
That was such a miraculous happening that we joked about making our own baptismal at home in order to help Zeke gain his composure, if necessary, at our makeshift holy spot. Interestingly, the tantrums started to subside around this time, and all has been happy on that front ever since vacation.
Perhaps seaweed was the clincher, but Zeke’s aberrant behavior began to turn around @ the baptismal fountain last month & was near-perfect @ the beach. Way to transition, Z-Bird!
Last but not least, I want to send a shout out to Granny for her constant visits to help us with the 3 Amigos, giving us some much-appreciated spare time to tend to our to dos and also to cherish each other as husband and wife, not just mom and dad. You’re awesome, Granny!
And a huge thanks goes out to Gramsey and Papa, too. We are truly grateful to y’all for taking Gabriel and Zeke for the last six days and nights, so that Houston could heal as best as possible this first week since surgery. Our Virginia posse rocks!