A Day Without Cars (Day 4)

We rolled into town around 11pm with half asleep and cranky kids. The boys wore themselves out protesting our Prince rock-block and were quiet for once. Then they saw their cousins Alicia and Larissa.

One of the best things about marrying Zeb is becoming part of his family. I met his nieces when they were little girls, perhaps 5 and 6 years-old, and now Alicia is off to college and Larissa will be entering her senior year in high school.

Until I met them, I’d never known any children except in passing. I have loved them for so long and watched them grow and change with rapt curiosity. My sister and brother-in-law did everything right.

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Watching the fog lift off the porch before anyone has gotten up.

I first came to the Lake House the summer just before I got pregnant. I brought my nursing babies here after epic cross-country flights and tried to coax toddlers into the water. I’ve felt jealous of Zeb’s siblings as they were able to read books, knit, play cards and relax while their children entertained themselves, and I was trapped in the house with a sleeping infant or angry toddler. I’ve paid my dues.

This year, it has all paid off.

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Full-on childhood exuberance

I remember doing everything to cajole them into the water, it lasting a few minutes and then being over. They would cling to the ladder, the stairs, to me, everything but just play and swim. I can’t believe how life has changed.

They are the age their older cousins were when I first came here. I remember sitting with Alicia and Larissa as they did their summer studies, slapping their pencils down and running straight off the dock. Pure joy.

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Doing the 7 Minute Body app.

What I love about the girls is that they are always game for working out. Both are accomplished athletes and I offset the Gin and Tonics by desperately trying to keep up with them on long bike rides, swimming to the point and back and marathon water treading sessions. I downloaded a funny work-out app and challenged them to do it every day with me.

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Side planking it out.

I don’t look as good, but I can can best them in push-ups and pull-ups.

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Alicia has always had an affinity for children.

Sucks to be her!

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Larissa patiently watched over them while they waded in the shallows.

The best childhood past time, collecting shells from the shallows. I feel like I have been transported back in time to a world untainted by technology.

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Blue was a trooper on the drives and spent his day crashed out on the porch.

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So did I.

I haven’t felt this relaxed in ages. My nephew arrives today, also college-bound, as well as the oldest of the cousins. It will be a full house. I can’t wait to participate in their reindeer games.

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