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Vacation Countdown

I’ve kept my eyes peeled these last seven days. Watching him. Her. Them.

And for each of their sakes, I’ve tried to see it all. A kid in a kayak. A kid balancing on a stump in the water. Two kids flying off the pool deck with goggles on–For the forty-seventh time. An underwater handstand. A driftwood teepee. A putt-putt hole-in-one…or hole-in-whatever.

I’ve kept tabs on the keys to the car. The keys to the condo. Grandma’s UNO cards. Where he flings his wet swim trunks. Her retainer. What’s for lunch.

But the laundry soap? Not so much.

Which means she’s sleeping in her swimsuit. And he’s making do in a pair of sweats.

Tomorrow, though they’ll drag their bags to the car in disbelief that our week here is over, and I’ll be piling them in with relief that we made it. That I made it. Made it without Husband who couldn’t make it, but wanted us to have fun anyway.

And.

Sigh.

I suppose we did.

For about four minutes…it was enough to just be here. To trade our rain for someone else’s.

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To be satisfied with even a streak of sunshine.

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But then when the sun took a three-day hiatus, and we burped hot chocolate, lit fires and zippered ourselves in fleece, we realized–eventually–that none of that mattered. Not the drizzle. Not the clouds. Not the goosebumps.

Not so long as there was driftwood. And sand.

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And a log to saddle.

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A log for two to saddle.

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Sometimes fun meant getting new hair. Or having none at all.

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Sometimes fun could be enveloped in a single word, drawn with hearts around it. Cousins.

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Or in the independence of our own kayak.

Though we might have lasted ten minutes at a stretch.

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Or four or five minutes in the canoe.

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But of this…

We could never tire.

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Rocks on log on water on sand.

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Bottom on log in water with stick.

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Because this is happiness.

A whole mess of driftwood.

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And so is this.

Cousins to share it with.

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And it doesn’t matter what you share.

A canoe.

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A sandbox. A hide-a-bed…

It’s just better with cousins.

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But when it’s only us again.

With our driftwood.

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And our paddle…

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The lake…

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And the sand…

It’s still pretty good.

Good enough that we’ll miss it when we’re gone.

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