Chocolate or Vanilla? There is No Wrong Answer

This vacation has been very GO! GO! GO! until we got to New Hampshire and it then it was STOP!

I’m used to perpetual motion but relaxing? Not so much. But I’m working on it.


I did cartwheels with Alicia and Larissa when I met them 13 years ago. We’ve still got it!

For instance, the Frye family got to witness hell freeze over when I sat down and played a few hands of Bridge for the first time. This is something I haven’t done in the 13 years I’ve been with Loony because it just takes so much time.

But the rules! Oh my god. THE RULES! And the sitting in one place for more than five minutes! I only do that when I’m blogging.

For the first time since I started bringing my own children to these reunions, my kids are able to entertain themselves and leave me with a little time to stare at the wall or the back of my eyelids as the case may be.

The boys are spending a lot of time with the cousins. They always start off acting all shy, but it is only a matter of a few minutes before they insist on being in physical contact with them at all times.

The cousins are great with the kids, they know how to just be with them.

Scrotus has always had a special connection with Alicia

They have always had a special connection

I usually have an agenda of some kind when I’m with my kids which often leads to stress.

Agenda = Expectations

Kids are expectation assassins. Agendas are spontaneity killers.

One of the moms I admire the most (Hi Marci!) is the most spontaneous mother I know and she’s damn sexy; I crush hard on Marci. I often ask myself what she would do in a certain situation and the answer is almost always chocolate. Or breakfast for dinner.

I took my boys for ice cream today and was about to steer them in the direction of flavors that I like. Then I stopped myself.

This time I got what I want and they tried whichever of the 72 flavors they wanted.

Who cares if it’s gross? What’s the worst thing that could happen? They can have some of mine if they don’t like theirs.

Given my current level of inactivity, that would be a good thing.

Scrotus didn’t think the blue food color added much to his ice cream (a nice conclusion to arrive at on his own) and Testiclese thought the Neon Bear sprinkles didn’t taste like much, but were fun to look at.

I could have told them this and been a big fucking bummer, bequeathing future therapists two lifelong clients that like to rehash how their mom was such a control freak that she never let them pick their own ice cream flavor.

I think it is a natural parental inclination to try to anticipate what your kids would enjoy based upon what you like the best.

It makes perfect sense to be this way about infants and toddlers. But for someone with a voice? While you want them to try new things, you can’t dictate what they will prefer.

Chocolate or Vanilla is practically the definition of personal preference based upon nothing but a simple, “I just like it more.”

I thought about a comment Cao made on this post where I reported on a near parenting breakdown,

“I think one of our hardest lessons in life is we were not put on this Earth to be Entertainment directors for our children’s lives. The world outside is vast with so much to see, experience, and learn, all it takes is curiosity.”

I have to learn the difference from wanting the kids to benefit from my experience versus micromanaging their lives. Ice cream is low stakes; it’s a good place to start.

Ice cream and lobster rolls with Alicia, Larissa and Perry. I love how our relationship has grown over the years.

I stole off to get ice cream and lobster rolls with Alicia, Larissa and Perry on our own, too.

The boys are man-crushing on Perry, and who can blame them? Their favorite pastime is waking him up. Perry suffers it majestically.

I love, love, love walking in the morning although I really miss my favorite walking partners, Blue and Tabby, so I take pictures.

Hampton is a gorgeous area.

My father and I spoke on the phone during one of my walks. He just returned from China and witnessed driving past of 25 story tenements–one after another–for an hour.

It is simple luck of the draw that I was not born into that life, that instead I am here, breathing fresh ocean air and beholding beauty.

Again I reflected on our ravenous appetite for cheap goods and how an entire population has been relegated to this life so we can have cheap party favors. The pollution, the industrial waste, the abuse and unsafe working conditions have been shipped overseas for disposable junk. It’s madness.

I digress.

I feel very different today than I did the day I arrived. I’ve slowed down and I’m enjoying the vacation and the people I am with. All of them.

And this place, wow.

Maggie and Pablo arrived, although their stay was fleeting. They have wedding arrangements to see to.

They will marry on Saturday. After that we'll head home.

They will marry on Saturday. Don’t they look perfect for each other?

Becky (sister to Maggie and Ellie) also joined us for a night but left with Maggie and Pablo to help with the coming events.

Maggie and Becky

Maggie and Becky

All the Frye siblings are very close. It gives me hope that one day my boys will drop the competitiveness and enjoy the benefits of having a brother.

Maggie and Pablo brought sparklers to the shore. I remember loving sparklers on the 4th of July, but given the Front Range’s experience with fire, you’d get thrown in jail for busting one out. The boys have never had the pleasure.

This is their first time playing with sparklers.

Thank you Maggie and Pablo for thinking of everything.

The reunion wraps up in a few days with the wedding and the long drive home. Right now I’m very happy and full. I have always been grateful for Loony’s family but I’m feeling even more lucky to have them in my life.


Cartwheels in my underpants. Why not?


6 thoughts on “Chocolate or Vanilla? There is No Wrong Answer

  1. “I could have told them this and been a big fucking bummer, bequeathing future therapists with two lifelong clients that like to rehash about how their mom never let them just have what they wanted, even just ice-cream.”

    Astute! And a MARVELOUS! post with amazing pictures. (Sorry I don’t have better adjectives to equal your eloquence.) I’m so happy for you and your extended family! (Read at 6 AM in SLC. You come first.) LD

  2. You are killing me with the lobster roll pics. Looks like you’ve had so many lovely adventures. I am just starting to learn the trials and tribulations of travel with kids… At least I got my Atlantic Ocean fix in this summer before I swore off ever taking Ferris anywhere again ever. Smart move- not putting yourself at the mercy of the airlines!

    • I dunno, a 32 hour drive is pretty hardcore. My kids are great in the car (thank you Audible!) but I wouldn’t do it with a really young kid. This is our 3rd year doing this, Micah was 5 on our first trip and I must say that it has gotten much easier.

      It is great having our car, tho. This year we couldn’t take the Blue Dog, but it is fun traveling with him. He sits between the boys and acts as referee.

      I just had another lobster roll. I think my favorite one so far was on the Cape.

  3. Cartwheels indeed, & why not? Nice legs! Seriously though, love the pictures of your boys and of all the kids. How great just to see them simply having fun! And to see your taking some R & R. Love to you all, drive safe on your way home…

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