Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Our little paradise

One thing I will always remember about my childhood is that my parents took us places. And that was no small task. We outnumbered them two to one. Somehow, this did not scare them one bit.

I am lucky enough to have married a man who has the same attitude. We take the kids with us everywhere. You name it, they've been there. Places that most parents of young children wouldn't dream of taking their kids along to, we've gone, sometimes three on one. We routinely grocery shop with three kids, actually. And just yesterday I took Fiona and Owen into the bank with me to wire some money. Some days it's just easier than sticking around the house.

We've been going to the lake once a week or so in the warmer months for more than four years. It's a lovely little spot out in Chatham County on Jordan Lake with a swimming beach, a bathhouse and a playground. When we started going, I was pregnant with Danny. Jim and I would get sandwiches from Harris Teeter, eat with our toes in the sand and later float around on rafts in the placid, quiet lake. Because of our work schedules, we could go at odd times, like Monday evenings when no one was around. It was, and still is, like our own private, redneck country club. As each child came along, I was sure this tradition would die out. I mean, how on earth does one manage one, two and then three small children during such an outing?

Somehow, we've managed.

These days, the ride is just as nice as being there. The kids are strapped in and can't bug us, sometimes they even sleep on the way. I get to talk to my husband, take in the scenery, check out the progress on everyone's vegetable garden on the way. I won't lie to you, though. It's a little extra work for us, getting dinner packed, getting three kids out the door, setting up and breaking down our spot, watching two kids in water wings while one of us is holding a baby. And someone is always crying on the 20 mile ride home. But as my husband pointed out recently, it's better right now to work a little harder once a week or so for a mini-vacation than try to take a real, week-long vacation with three children. Vacations are a lot of work and expense and, really, there's only so much fun and novelty that the little ones will tolerate. And we've got lake-going down to a science by now.

My folks came with us once this summer to see our little paradise for themselves since we've never once taken a photo of this place. This week, however, the need arose for photographic proof of our family's quality time. Danny had "homework" for preschool. Actually, it was homework for mommy. His class is making their family pages for the class book. He is supposed to bring in a note from mommy and a photo of something his family likes to do together. So yesterday we packed up and went to the lake for one last summer fling. And this time, we took the camera. We didn't get in the water, but the kids were just as happy playing in the sand and on the playground and running down hills and climbing up steps and checking out the bathhouse and the payphone.

Here are some photos of our lovely spot:

The Lake

1 comment:

Kelley said...

Those pictures are great! Awesome action shots and great lighting. Looks like paradise in a place and in a life :)