It was a weekend filled with flowers, sunlight and welcome harbingers of summer.

A weekend of sprinklers and speckled sunshine,

And, as ever, lots of boys running around.

And there was a little peanut of a girl doing her best to keep up. Somehow, with all those brothers and boy cousins, she does just fine.

(Don’t you think she will have it made in high school? All the girls will want to be her friend. Ya’ know what I mean?)

There was time to dry off on a warm driveway, seeking relief from a cold sprinkler run.

Much to Paul’s dismay, there was plenty of HFCS in the form of Memorial Day cookies. Which made this little 2 year old pretty happy.

Happy enough to try another. (Sorry, Colleen!)

It was a weekend with a last-minute plan to run over to my favorite wildflower field in Vernon for a quick photo shoot.

Now, you may wonder how I managed to get these 3 to do a little shoot while they had their cousins over.

Well, it was fairly easy.

-There were summer clothes that they really wanted to try on. And though it isn’t what exactly I would pick for photos, I went with it.

-It lasted 3 minutes or less.

-And? The best part? There’s a beautifully clear stream right next to this lupine field. So we brought their suits.

Which maybe made them slightly happy.

It was a weekend full of little boys with big smiles.

It was a weekend with lots of chatter from a little girl, and plenty of ‘It’s cooooold!’ while she trudged downstream.

It was filled with little voices pleading for just a few minutes more, even after the sun had gone down.

It was finishing off the night with Drumsticks on the driveway.

It was a weekend of surprise, of leaving Sunday after church and asking the kids if they’d like to go on a ride. Which turned into getting to the bottom of the hill, sitting at the stoplight, and Paul telling the kids that we needed to talk. Which made them think they were in trouble. Until he said, “We’re going to Vermont overnight, staying in a hotel, and going to Northshire tomorrow.” Let’s just say there was a lot of excitement at the intersection of Route 83 and Butcher Road Sunday afternoon. And I’m still wishing I had recorded their reactions. Completely ebullient. And it was then that I thought, “It’s kinda’ fun to be a parent.” (Usually.)

There were swimsuits, and splashing-

And smiles across the board.

There were two boys who grinned pretty much the entire time, saying they were still in shock. There was a little girl who got up close, put both of her hands on my face, and whispered, “This is the surprise of my life.” Which made us smile, too.

There were drives through the Green Mountains, and a stop in a tiny village for a tinier parade. I think it lasted 4 minutes. Which we found to be quite sweet and yet quite humorous. And iconicly Vermont.

There was candy thrown. Which also was iconic. Because it was Halloween candy. I’m sorry, but I giggled and giggled over that. Not sure why, but I found it absolutely and completely hilarious. The kids didn’t care, though. Not even a bit.

And then, there was Northshire. Now, if you asked the kids, they would tell you that was the best part. Better than the candy, the perfect weather, the swimming, the parade. They call it just that one word, ‘Northshire.’ As if it’s a town, a destination. Which, I guess, for them it is. It has a reputation all its own in our family. And each time, it lives up to its expectations. Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont. Go. You’ll be glad you did.

There was a little boy with eyes glazed over, intent on returning to his book, lost in his distraction.

There was an (unnecessary) sense of urgency, a fear of not getting to see everything in time. There were hours spent in one place, eliminating, reading, deciding, planning and counting money, figuring out how to get the most of their wallet’s contents.

There may have been a set of parents who enjoyed it just as much as their children.

It was a weekend filled with the sometimes-typical. See, the sun is shining beautifully outside, and these three are on the couch reading. I can usually make two of them aware of the weather, and say, ‘Hey, guys, don’t you want to go out and play?’ and they do. But that middle child? ‘No, thanks, Mom. I’m reading.’ “Okay, Connor- but at least read outside…” That boy makes me smile.

The weekend slowed down with another trip to another river, sitting in the soft light of sun at evening. Just how we like it.

There was another rather typical moment. Oh, if you only knew how much this exact thing happens on a daily basis-

It was a weekend of remembering, and feeling thankful. For the sacrifice of others, for the beauty of New England, for time spent as a healthy family. A reminder to not take things for granted.

And then it was time for it to end, to make our way back home.

Which, after all, may be our very favorite place.

June 1, 2011 - 6:58 am

Kris - Looks like a wonderful weekend! (…and wonderful photos, too). Northshire is the best. :)

June 1, 2011 - 10:29 am

Ellen - I guess I should have gone to Manchester on Sunday. We might have crossed paths. :) It looks like you had a wonderful weekend!

June 2, 2011 - 10:27 am

Vicki - What a post! I love your daughter’s “surprise of my life” statement and the fact that the highlight of the weekend was a trip to a bookstore. It doesn’t get better than that! What a lovely family you have!

June 3, 2011 - 11:28 am

Cheryl - Northshire has been a favorite of your father’s for many years! The independent book stores are the best!!

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *