Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Suncadia with the Kids

Our foyer was a bustle of activity. Pillow cases stuffed with clothes, hairbrushes, and a few miscellaneous toys landed with a thud in front of the door as each child hurriedly tossed 24 hours worth of belongings from the top of the stairs.

"I can't find my other shoe!"

"Did everyone use the bathroom?"

"How long will it take to get there?"

It was amid the chaos of heading out the door on day three of our vacation that I found Halle in the kitchen. She was standing in front of the refrigerator, nervously searching the floor.

"Mom, my hamster wanted to get out and play and I WAS watching her, but she ran under the refrigerator."

Guilt, worry, and defensiveness were clearly raging a fierce battle within my six-year-old; it appeared to be working out to a three-way tie.

"SHE wanted to get out and play!"

Okay, maybe defensiveness had a slight lead.

During the next 15 minutes everyone took turns announcing a better plan to catch Madelyn, the-world's-chubbiest-hamster.

She scurried under the refrigerator.
Up the back of the refrigerator.
Across the top of the refrigerator.
And down the back again.

This went on for some time until finally she could resist the strategically placed dried corn no longer.

With the hamster back in her cage, we finally hit the road, this time headed east, across Snoqualmie Pass.

Although Wes and I get away to Suncadia a few times a year, we haven't taken the kids with us since before Lyla was born. We knew they would have a blast pool-side, racing back and forth between the two giant water slides.

We also took time that afternoon to hike down to a swimming hole along the Swiftwater River.

Wes kept a close eye on the kids to keep them safely with him in the eddy. It's not called the Swiftwater for nothing. I've never seen a river barrel along so fast.

We ended the day sometime around 11 pm on the balcony, all eyes fixed to the north and west, watching, waiting for another lightening streak to dramatically cut through the black expanse.

Hushed voices and stillness created a sharp contrast to how our morning had begun. It was one of those little moments when I want to freeze time, when my heart is full, and I can't take it all in fast enough. Gathered there all together, the kids quietly asking what makes thunder, talking about Ben Franklin, and wondering why those people were standing out there in the middle of the golf course, I was filled with gratitude for my family and every minute I get to spend with them.

"Whoa! Did you see that one?!"

"Yah, I think it's getting closer."

"You know it's getting kind of late. Maybe we should head to bed."

"Awwww...one more? We'll all go to bed after one more good lightning streak."

This conversation repeated itself several times before we all gave in, eventually falling asleep to the fading rumble of the passing storm.

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