The new masthead says it all: New Englapalooza was a complete gas. Five states in 10 days, clear(ish) weather, gracious hosts, sweet corn, sunblock, and a car with enough sand in it to gag a bedouin. The boys are starting to look the way boys should in summertime: tan lines, freckles, and bug bites.
Oh, yes. The bugs. We've had a really wet spring in the northeast, so the bugs have had an extraordinary opportunity to grow large and conversational. They're like pets, coming and going as they please. But when you show enough temerity to invade their space, which is Everywhere Else, they are not shy about exacting their pounds of flesh, a few ounces at a time.
The masthead is a silhouette of Robert, the Seven-Year-Old Wrecking Machine, on a rope swing in New Hampshire. I owe that swing a debt of gratitude, because after Day 8 Robert announced he was ready to head back to the city. Because he missed sitting around watching Star Wars and building LEGO warships. Dad the Ogre had to state calmly but firmly that we had a plan, and we were sticking to it. I understood, though, because eight days is one of the longest stretches that Robert has ever been out of Manhattan, and he's already taking on telltale characteristics of the Entitled Applecentric. On Day 4, he lamented that there was no place to get a "good bagel."
Enter the rope swing. It was Robert's first encounter with one, and he began slowly, gingerly gliding into the lake from the second step. By the end of the day, however, he was up at the top step, flinging himself outward, limbs splayed, blaring out the Indiana Jones theme. Suddenly, we were leaving too soon, and Dad the Ogre had to take him back to the city. Where the only rope swings presumably have someone's neck in them.
So now we're back. And it's no longer 75 and breezy. And I no longer have a designated spot to park my car. And I'm feeling very grateful, because I'm not sure how many times the three of us will be able to take off for such a long stretch. But the good news is that Mama has a new full-time job, so the boys will be with me all day, every day, for the next four weeks. Look for us to be out and about, marveling at how docile the bugs are.