Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday: Summer Part Two begins...

One advantage of teaching in the public schools is summer vacation. (This is only true if you budget for them, and you don't have to work. Otherwise it's a disadvantage.)

Summer vacation for me runs from June 18th to August 30th... some kind of sweet retreat.

Part 1 of  "My Summer Vacation"  was playing host to my oldest daughter, Joanna, and her family. They left last Saturday after a five week stay.

On a day hike!

"Five weeks!" you say. "Ouch."

I say, "Five weeks! Awesome!"

My wife and I went to lunch today, and I was asked by a waitress we know how my summer was going. I said, "Great!" and then told this story to illustrate it...

Joanna and her husband John planned a short (4 hour or so) day trip to a local park and small zoo. Irvine Park is the oldest regional park in California. It boasts among other things a small kiddie train, a small lake with paddle boats, ancient oaks and elms, plus the zoo.

I was invited to tag along, so I did. After the 30 minute drive, we arrived. The twins were sleeping so I volunteered to stay in the mini-van while Joanna, John, Abby (7), and Rachel (4) rode the train. They left the van running, the A/C on, and Grand-pa Don in charge of the sleeping twin boys (7 months).

The boys soon awakened, and I spent the next hour entertaining them with smiles, noises, songs, and empty water bottles. You might say, "How boring!" But I say, "Golden moments to treasure."

New sun glasses for the girls!

The rest of our visit to the park included the zoo and a picnic. Both events contained many golden moments. Some men may have been bored to tears. I was almost moved to tears as I recounted to the waitress one small part of the day.


Because I'm that guy.

Fun on the Slip 'n Slide!

I enjoyed raising my own kids, and now to have the opportunity to get to know them again as grown-ups with their own spouses and families is indeed.... priceless.

That was Part 1 of my summer. Now I'm making to-do lists and getting things to-done. I'm enjoying that too, but I do miss the Haan family bustle.

I mowed the backyard yesterday, and I missed my two helpers who would rake the grass into haystacks and play in the piles.  Abby and Rachel are enroute to their new home in Maryland, but the memories of their visit linger...

Good times. Good times.

The Trip to Maryland Begins!