Last Thursday afternoon we piled in the car and began our first adventure of the summer. Yes, we start our summers before the calendar does. We headed to the eastern shore of Virginia to spend the weekend with Katie's side of the family celebrating a collection of birthdays and anniversaries that occur this time of the year. I knew the trip would be a good one the minute I heard the amazement in the boys' voices as we crossed the 20-some miles long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Many of their "awesomes" and "cools" captured very well my own thoughts as I imagined the engineering plans and the years of labor that came together in a miraculous construct that now transports thousands of people both over and under the bay to the peninsula on the other side.
Once across the bay we stayed in a large house called Almost Paradise. And it was. A large pool, hot tub, theater room, a deck as big as our house back home, and much more made it luxury living for us. More than the accommodations, though, it was pure fun spending a couple of days with my in-laws.
The boys had been looking forward to the trip for several weeks. In fact, if every week had vanished that Elliott wished out of the way of the day of our trip, April would have been a 30 day disappearing act.
Elliott and Ian looked most forward to fishing. They knew Uncle Ward was bringing his boat to the bay, and grandpa had been filling their imaginations with images of the fish they would catch. Not your ordinary fish, either, but sharks and marlins and whales.
I've had enough fishing experience in my life to understand that fishing doesn't always result in catching. For me it rarely does. But I'm thinking the boys envisioned their fishing experience would be similar to the iPad fishing experience they had on the trip over. Every 30 seconds Elliott was shouting out the weight of his recent catch. He broke a couple of world records and supplied three local Red Lobsters for a month with his haul. But when the real fishing began claims of records became moans of cynicism - "we're never going to catch anything."
It was a great opportunity to teach them the actual definition of "fishing" - to search or attempt to catch. They ended up being part of a crew that hauled in a couple of good size croakers and a mullet, but when I tried to tell Elliott last night that they caught a bunch of nice fish, he gave me that same look he gives me when I try to convince him that green beans are the secret to all superpowers.
In the end the real haul was family and fun. There might have been records broken on that front; I feel like I've dodged a bullet that we've been home for nearly 24 hours and neither boy has asked me to download the iPad app that simulates the sounds of human gas-passing. It was central to a bonding experience they had with Uncle Ward. I do have to admit it was pretty funny to witness.
The trip was a great reminder that the foundation of every human is family. I am grateful that our boys' foundation is firm, and that the opportunities to build on it are plentiful. And fun.