The Summer of Crowds

It's the middle of summer. Last school year is a distant memory and next is creeping toward us slower than the sun sets on these long summer days.  My summer is so filled with people and though I pine for a few moments alone with my thoughts, a non-sticky doorknob, and just to spread my arms without clocking someone in the face I know how blessed I am to be surrounded with all of these crowds of people.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed by all of the needs and feelings and bodies around me I remember the most brutal conversation I overheard between Jude and a friend of mine who was single at the time.  Jude asked, "Where is your husband?" She said, "I don't have one." And he asked "Where are your children?" She replied, "I don't have any kids yet." And Jude, ever the empath, blurts out before I could clamp my hand across his mouth, "You have nothing!"
Geez, I need to teach more social skills.  
But anyway, I have something. I have a ton. I'm hugely blessed and here is my accounting of my giant crowd of blessings this summer.

1. Tie dye crowd headed to the pride parade. M10, J8, S7, BL2, Ph1 and Moonshadow the cat.

2. Dirty crowd after 8 hours in the car stopped at our favorite diner in Reno on the way to SF.  Black Bear Diner! Is there anything messier than a toddler on a road trip? But we made it, all five of us plus the cat. AND! We got "what well behaved children" at the restaurant which is what makes these trips bearable.

3. Grandpa Crowd, post swim attempt to read them a bedtime story. We have the greatest grandpa. He loves to swim with kids, read to them, take them places and go on adventures.

4. Patriotic Crowd. We turned it out for the 4th this year. Best pic I could get.

5. Giants crowd. All of my sibs and their fams went to the Giantes game in San Jose for the 4th. We are a giants family.

5. Modern Art Crowd.  This is one of my favorite pieces at the DeYoung museum. It's the charred remains of a black church that was burned to the ground by a racist arsonist. 

6. Hippie crowd at Haight Ashbury.  These are our roots, we love to visit the neighborhood where Janis, the Grateful Dead and Hendrix all hung out. Moment of pride was when in a t-shirt store my children could identify every important musician from the 60's by their picture and they could sing their songs. Parenting A+.

7. Hiking Crowd. We hiked every day last week. It's hard to keep track of all the fun we have.

8. Swimming Crowd. Look at these beings I created and have kept alive!

9. The America Twins. Peaking in cuteness and in messiness.

10. Museum Crowd. Underwhelming exhibits but fun with the kids who understand better the art that covers our van, Further. There were picture of the original hippie van that the Merry Pranksters (Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, etc.) drove across the country on a psychedelic odyssey and all the Fillmore concert posters from the shows their grandpa Jim saw there during the 60's.

11. My Beacontown crowd had some wedding ceremonies this week. Part of our camps included using the school parking lot to create a town where each kid was in charge of a parking space. Sam was the rabbi.  I also painted like 25 kids with henna.

12. Candytown Crowd. For art camp the kids wanted to make a town out of gingerbread houses. Instead I bought a bunch of Tupperware from the dollar store and they made them into candy houses. It was a hit!

13. Grateful Dead Crowd.  One of my life goals happened this summer when the Gift and I took Mimi and Jude to see the Dead and Company.  Apparently they don't go by the Grateful Dead without Jerry, but it was still the same wonderful experience with my little hippie family (well, some of us) and we danced all night.  I loved it.  At one point Jude said "The music matches the beat of my heart."  May I never forget that moment with my boy.

14. Bigger hike Crowd. Last weekend Danny took the babies and Mimi all weekend so the boys and I went on a solid hike to Cecret Lake. It was gorgeous. Near Alta, covered with wildflowers.

15. Football Crowd.  We were blessed to have Coaches Alex, Hoyt, and Geoff come teach the kids how to play football. I learned a little bit too. They loved dumping the water on Coach Alex after they won the scrimmage.

This is how we plan our days:
16. Wizard of Oz Crowd.  The first week of camp was theater week and we put on an entire show! The kids chose their parts, their costumes, planned the show and performed it. It was one of the best weeks of camp yet!

17. Driving back from SF Crowd. Driving 5 kids and a cat back from CA was daunting so the Gift flew out to drive us back to Utah. (Trying out that pseudonym. Haven't landed squarely on one for this beautiful man in our life.)

18. The KSL Crowd.  Mimi was filmed for a feature on KSL's morning show this month. I don't think it has aired yet but I'll link it when it does air.

19. Booty shaking Crowd. The purpose of this picture was simply to document my five kids doing a booty shaking dance while waiting for the Gift to pick us up from the pool.

20. Bike Crowd.  Few things make me happier than a pile of neighborhood kids' bikes outside my house and a kid with a mitt ready to play some sandlot ball.

Yes, it's been a very crowded summer. It's not my season to read my book or get a leisurely pedicure.  But it IS my season to be surrounded by tons of people having fun and for that I am very grateful.  


One Fish said...

Love all of this. I want my kids to come to your camp!

lavidalaura said...

I wish there had been a camp this awesome when I was a kid... how magical!