It was wonderful. The day started with quiet time and some phone calls: one to my mother and one from Eldest Son. Then, one by one, the rest of the family roused themselves out of bed. We prepared a delicious brunch together that included homemade cream biscuits and country gravy, scrambled eggs, waffles, and some of the best fresh local strawberries ever, topped with whipped cream.
Then we just hung out as a family, enjoying each other's company, and trying to come up with a plan for the rest of the day. Several ideas were nixed because we didn't want to take the probably-coming-down-with-chickenpox children anywhere that they might infect anyone else. (In fact, we had a lively debate over whether the spots on one child were actually pox or something else. Besides, shouldn't he be feeling more sick than he is?)
We finally decided to head down to the beach with our assortment of vehicles: truck, two dirt bikes, and two quads, with the idea of the boys finally teaching me how to ride a quad. They were full of eager encouragement. My first ride, on relatively flat sand, was not much fun for me. The crazy thing seemed impossible to steer and control. I couldn't seem to get the hang of the thumb-controlled throttle. Every time I hit the smallest bump or incline, I was sure that I was going to fall off or crash. My second ride went much better --- I was actually getting the hang of the thing. Then I took a break so that we could head into the dunes and watch Child #3, who is really no longer a child, fly over dunes with his dirt bike. I couldn't decide whether, as his mother, I should be proud or alarmed at his accomplishments. After that, it was back to safer sand so that I could get in more riding. I think the boys were hoping that I would catch on to their enthusiasm. "Soon you'll be riding on the dunes!" they claimed. Haha. I putt-putted along, like a little old lady, while tiny kids zoomed past me on their quads. I fully expected some random 4 year old would take pity on me and stop to offer me tips.
After a fun afternoon, we headed home, and the family prepared a delicious dinner. We also looked at the pictures we'd taken just hours before at the beach. To my shock, I saw some pictures of Youngest Child, Baby of the Family, flying through the air on a quad at what looked like an alarming distance from the ground. He might be turning 11 soon, but he's still my baby. Sigh...
But, all in all, it was a great day. One of the highlights, besides all the fun and good food, was discovering that Child #4 is now taller than me. That means that half of my children have passed me by. That's a good thing!
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