our Maine week

I bagan blogging 4 years ago when we – Tim, Eleanor and I – moved to Tanzania and I wanted a way to let our family and friends know what we were up to without writing the same damn email 2 dozen times. Since then, my commitment to blogging has waxed and waned, but lately I’ve felt some renewed vigor. It’s noteworthy that my interest returned just as Tim left to return to the place where this all started

As I did then, I plan to do now: turn this blog into a means of sharing my life with the people I love. This time, however, it’ll mainly be focused on one person. One person who three little people miss dearly. These three little people are changing daily, and saying all kinds of things that crack me up (and that would crack their dad up too). They are also three little people who hare having a blast with their grandparents and experiencing a Maine summer. Tim should know all of this. 

But where to begin…

Nicole seems to be doing great, considering that she has three very rambunctious and energetic young kids on her hands. Last week, of course, was the first week with my parents and I working in the house with them, and there were days when all three were down in the office “working”. Eleanor, as you know, has her own desk in the office and she’s worked really hard to create one for Oliver too. Most mornings she tells us that she “has a lot of phone calls and emails and Oliver has a lot of phone calls and you [meaning me, Kiyah] have a lot of…well…{she thinks about this for a second}…work to do too so you have to come in and sit down and be quiet.” I spent most of Tuesday afternoon sitting on the floor to type because it was easier to let them work. They really were very diligent. 

They love the yard…love, love, love it. Eleanor especially has made several different homes for herself in various parts of the forest or along the rock walls. She even created a dress shop where she measured and dressed us all for a wedding (between my parents). I was the bride’s mother, she was the bridesmaid, Oliver was the ring-bearer, and Alice was allowed to hang out (but she wasn’t really part of the wedding). The plan was for all of us to be pulled to the wedding in different carriages drawn by white horses. Everyone except Grandpa, who was the groom. His was going to be drawn by sheep.

We’ve done a ton of grilling, had some early morning (and mid-afternoon) soaks in the hot tub, ridden bikes, watered the garden and harvested strawberries. They also had a blast on Thursday with your parents. When I showed up to get them they were all hoping around the house like the Kangaroos they had seen at the zoo.   

Alice is fascinated by the bear in my parent’s room. She wants to say hello and good night to it every day. She also likes to pick its nose. She’s saying several words now – including oatmeal, hello, and bye-bye – and she makes very clear when she means “yes” and when she means “no.” She will also tell you what a fire truck and snake say. One of her favorite things to do is to rearrange the chairs on the porch. This morning I sat with my coffee while she did this, over and over and over, for a good 20 minutes. (And yes, she was wearing two different shoes, both Oliver’s.)

As I shared with you, I want to do what I can to make the most of a Maine summer so we packed this weekend with activities. We went to Flatbread for dinner and walked along the railroad tracks. Oliver used the word humungous over and over to describe the train. He was overwhelmed with excitement. The ferry to Nova Scotia also docked that night after dinner and we all stood transfixed as it docked. Oliver still talks about it. 

Saturday we spent the day on the boat, motoring down the Songo river, through the locks, and up into Long Lake. It was a beautiful day – not too hot, not too cold. Only a few of us braved the water, but your two daughters made up exactly half of those who did! We had to pull Alice kicking and screaming from the river to warm her up. Sunday morning we ventured out to Two Light’s State Park, where rock throwing took center stage. You were missed.

I think about you all the time, it’s hard not to when I see these little ones. I was particularly impatient on Saturday after the river. It was a little long for the kids, and they were antsy and the boat is too small to have antsy little kids. I wasn’t proud of being impatient, but am trying to cut myself some slack. I don’t get up every morning like we used to, probably because it’s not as much fun when it’s just me.  I started running. Yesterday on my run I thought about how hard I thought this would be and how, at least for now, it’s easier than I anticipated. That doesn’t mean that I want to do this ever summer, but despite thinking of you all the time I don’t hurt for you. I hope that doesn’t sound callous. For me, it is actually reassuring; a sign of grown-up love. I much prefer experiencing things with you, but it’s nice to know that I can do it without you for a little while. Even if it is a little less gracefully. 

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