I am especially proud of Ian and Sam. They've grown so much in the past year and it has truly shown in their maturity and behavior this Summer. My sister Lori took them with her to visit the parents of a friend from middle and high school. My kids were exposed to a very upscale house and environment where a formal lunch was served. As Lori put it, they even had chargers under the china. Lori reported back to Jeff & me the kids were perfect and their manners top-notch. Not only was Sam exposed to a lunch that was far from kid-friendly, but she held it together and politely ate a small amount of food served to her. Lori had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches packed for Sam and Rachel as back-up, but didn't feel comfortable breaking that out of her bag at this fancy lunch.
Additionally during this visit, Lori and company hopped in two golf carts to make the 10 minute drive to their country club pool. Ian very politely said to the host, "I know in a million years you might not answer yes, but my mom always tells me that it never hurts to ask, would it be ok if I drove the golf cart?" Guess what? She loved so much that Ian took a chance and asked, that she did say "Yes". To say Ian was over-the-moon-excited is quite the understatement. He couldn't stop thanking the friend for this wonderful gesture and couldn't stop telling his dad, me and everyone else that would listen that he got to drive a golf cart in a neighborhood with street signs, speed limit rules and other cars. At one point, Sam chimed in from the background saying "Ok already!!! We get it. You drove a golf cart!" Ha!
Hearing of their afternoon at my sister's friend's parent's house makes my heart fill with joy. It's one of those moments when you feel as a parent you are succeeding.
My sister wishes Ian and Sam could stay with them always. I am not sure who is more in love; Rachel with her two cousins, or Ian & Sam with theirs. It is very endearing to see them interact. Almost makes me want to have another child...almost.
Meanwhile, back at home base, Jeff and I are making the most of our kid-free time and getting to do things that would normally require a babysitter. We had a lovely night in Old Town, Alexandria and got to experience an Escape Room (so much fun!), dinner at a very yummy restaurant, sat by the waterfront, and got ice cream. The next day, we saw a friend perform in the play "Music Man". Its fun to make dinner only on the nights you want (just once so far!) .
Each night, we end our day FaceTiming with the kids and finding out what adventures they've been up to. They've done a good job rotating and staying with all the different relatives. They don't get bored and it's nice they have this time to develop special memories without me involved.
Summertime is magical.