Should we blame Shakespeare as Labor Day looms when he writes in “Sonnet 18,” “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date”? Perhaps. And though the media is always quick to add that Labor Day is the “unofficial” end to the summer, as a school teacher, it is indeed about as official as it comes.
So, as Don was on vacation this week, we decided to truly get as much out of these halcyon days as possilbe with a long weekend away. We started in Boston at the Children’s Museum where we were met by Christina and her adorable 15-month-old godson Jordan. Trying to photograph children in a “chidlren’s museum” proves difficult because they move at warp speed and sometimes faster. But we were able to snap a few.
We then drove on to Rochester, NH, to stay overnight at the Anchorage Inn, a motel that made life very easy for us–a parking space literally a sidewalk’s width from our door, plenty of room, and a continental breakfast. Our ride through North Conway to Story Land was riddled with traffic, but that was to be expected. So, we enjoyed the sights and tried very hard to spot moose along the way. (We had to settle for a plastic one at the gift shop later that day!)
Story Land was everything we imagined–and probably more, since our imaginations are pretty limited compared to the thriving ones of Oscar and Edgar. This is a park geared specifically for the five-and-under crowd, and it did not disappoint. The boys rode a swan boat, a pirate ship, a train, and rides galore. There was even a circus that featured–thankfully–predominantly human performers. (One act highlighted the antics of some pretty amusing cats.) We might have made it out of the parking lot before the boys fell asleep but just barely!
We arrived back at the hotel Saturday night with two sleeping boys who never woke up even when we changed them into their pajamas–which I promise you was anything but a graceful undertaking. Sunday morning was a leisurely combination of “Sesame Street” and muffins; but by 11 AM we were ready to go and headed back to Boston to visit the New England Aquarium. Oscar was enthralled by the sharks as well as the “Diagnostic Laboratory” and the 3-D IMAX movie, through which he sat silent, attentive, and still–all the while donning some pretty spectacular 3-D glasses. Edgar looked for clownfish, kissed a harbor seal through the glass, and talked to the penguins. He also ate the following for lunch (and I hope his pediatrician, who told me after he gained only 1.5 pounds last year, “Feed him!” is reading this): a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an entire fruit cup, a blueberry yogurt, some chicken from Don’s sandwich, and chocolate milk.
I have never been a fan of the close of summer, and now that I am a parent of two young children, it is particularly hard to let go of the easiness that summer represents. I remind myself that as a teacher I am VERY fortunate to have this time with my children, and, of course, I know it to be true. For that reason, I try never to take that time for granted. But when Don, too, is on vacation, the boys are able to sense another layer of ease, of togetherness. We are learning to travel well together and have a lot of fun together. Our weekend getaway went by way too quickly but it allowed us to bask in summer’s warmth and revel in what is our number-one priority–being together as a family.
If you would like to see the full album, please click on the following link and select “Slideshow.”