In a blink of an eye my son and daughter have gone from diapers and pacifiers to wake boards and paddle boat excursions. At thirteen and ten years old, their ability to help and participate in cabin life has dramatically increased over the past year.
The first weekend of the summer season is always the most labor intensive. Muscle power is necessary for lifting dock sections, putting in the boat lift and slide, and launching the speed boat. In summers past I have been guaranteed to nurse sore muscles after all the physical work. My son and daughter usually helped in running errands but not in the actual lifting. This year I ate at a Twin Cities fast food restaurant before heading to the cabin. By the time we reached Paynesville I was sick with food poisoning. Since I was ill most of the night, I slept most of the next day. To my surprise my children and husband had easily handled all the work. Their strength surprises me daily.
When my offspring were babies and toddlers I could count on spending two or three days doing laundry, packing suitcases, and shopping for groceries. In contrast, this past weekend my kids packed their own suitcases and I didn't shop for groceries due to a busy schedule. On the way to the cabin I asked my husband to stop at Tom Thumb for a few items. My daughter and I quickly filled a cart with groceries and we came out with four bags of food for the weekend. Kristina knew exactly what we needed for meals.
Carrying out all the suitcases and other items used to be a production. When the children were small it seemed that we brought half of their rooms each weekend. Now, a few minutes before we leave, they each make a few trips to the van and we're done. Once at the lake they unpack everything in a matter of minutes.
Brian and Kristina have always loved to play cards or games. At the cabin we have a ritual of playing "Liverpool Rummy" with my aunt and uncle. Over the years the youngsters have needed less and less assistance from the adults. Now, when Kristina has twenty cards in her hand, is talking about an unrelated topic, and acting as if she's not paying attention, we know she's about to win the hand and probably the game.
Brian has been in a growth spurt for the past several months. The change in his size is more noticeable at the cabin. When he comes out of the water on top of his wake board, he looks like a giant. In his work boots, he is eyeball to eyeball with my husband. Last night his grandma handed him a serving bowl to place on the top shelf because he could reach it easier than she could. If he continues to grow at the current one-half to one inch per month we know who will be painting all the high spots on the cabin!
As I reflected on all the changes we have experienced with the children, I watched my daughter playing by the water. She sat at the top of the slide, a backdrop of clouds as scenery, singing at the top of her lungs, "The sun will come out tomorrow...!" Her exuberance towards life affirms that she and her brother will continue to incorporate all the changes in their lives toward a new view from the lake.
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