Yesterday was one of the best days we've had in a summer that has been hallmarked by nice days. Not only was the weather beautiful, but events transpired to make an already pleasant day even better.
We went to 10:30 Mass, which meant that my husband and I got to sleep in until 8:00 and the girls got to sleep in until 9:00. Which if you know teenagers, it is REALLY IMPORTANT that they get to sleep in until 9:00, or they walk around with beady eyes and snarled-up expressions on their faces, moaning about how ti-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ired they are until you think you're going to go mad.
The church was hot, so we sat near the back, and although the cantor's music stand completely covered my view of Father, we did have the dual benefits of sitting in a cool draft from the air conditioning vent above our heads and being the first ones out afterwards. Receiving communion, as always, was a joy and a consolation and the highlight of the day.
Being as it was the last Sunday of the month, it was brunch day at my grandparents' assisted living center in New Castle. Despite what Grandad says -- soup too hot, eggs to cold, coffee too weak, oatmeal too smooth, meat too tough -- the food is delicious and we ate at two long tables with most of the family, including my aunt and uncle, a cousin, Pat, Angie and the kids, Nanny and Poppy and Mary Elizabeth's brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew. We made up quite a party and there was a lot of laughing going on.
While I was sitting there eating some mashed potatoes and chicken, I was inspired by a sudden idea: Since my family was planning to go to the pool after leaving the assisted living center, I thought it would be a snazzy plan to take Kieren and Dayden back with us to swim and eat dinner. (I wish we could take Kiersi, but she's too little for the big pool and Dayden is too big for the little pool and I can't watch both at once, so maybe next summer. It hurt her little feelings that the boys were going to come with us, leaving her behind, though. *sob!*)
Kieren and Dayden were pleased with this plan, so the six of us piled back into the van and drove home to change into our swimsuits and pack up more stuff that you'd ever dream possible -- the blue burrito and funoodles and a cooler and swim bags and towels and goggles and bottles of sunscreen.....We looked like a herd of pack mules from the Grand Canyon as we trudged our way across the parking lot.
The water in the pool was deliciously cool on our hot skin and we swam some races both with and without the funoodles, all of which Kieren won without any effort at all. We also played several games of Sharkey and enjoyed ourselves like dolphins until my husband and I were both waterlogged and slightly breathless.
The swim club's snack bar serves the best soft pretzels in the world -- all salty, with a side of hot pepper cheese in a little cup -- so all of us had one as a snack, except for Dayden, who preferred an ice cream. I happened to look at him as he was eating it, and he had a perfect circle of vanilla spread from the tip of his nose to down below his chin. I love the enthusiasm with which seven-year-old boys eat ice cream!
We stayed at the pool for three hours, which flew by like magic, and my husband called our favorite pizza place from his cell phone to order a giant pie. We took that home and I passed around the paper plates and everyone dug in, the kids at the dining room table and my husband and I lounging on the couch watching SportsCenter.
After supper, Meelyn and Aisling wanted to show Kieren Michael Jackson's Thriller video, followed by Billie Jean, which they think are the funniest things they've ever seen, especially Thriller, with the special effects that look like they came out of the seventeenth century. My husband and I did some amazing 80s dance moves for the kids, which practically had the three of them rolling about on the floor, clutching their sides with the tears rolling down their cheeks.
My husband's bony hip hurt my hip when we were doing the bump and I had to take some ibuprofen.
We had the boys home by 8:30 so that Dayden could be in bed by 9:00 - he has to get up very early to go to day care with Kiersi and apparently, he is not a morning person.
My husband, the girls and I prayed our rosary on the way back home and came in and put the dogs (who had gone with us to take the boys home) in their crates, water the flowers, and head upstairs to bed.
At some point in the night, I woke to the pleasant, cozy patter of summer rain against the windows and snuggled the sheet closer under my chin, put my feet on my husband's legs, and drifted back off on a cloud of sleep.
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