treetop adventures~cousin dinner conversations~almost catching two bass~pool~doing the "Uncle Peter"~ doing the YMCA as they were coming down the big slide~hot tub~Chris the lifeguard (a different Chris)~pick up basketball at the gym with the crazy dude~flips off the diving board~bungy jumping~batting cage~mini golf~playing spoons~scategories~sleepovers in the loft~fishing~catching the biggest sunny ever~using Molly's sunny to catch the bass that then got away~the hotel for sunnies~Nealon comedy night and talent show~Mikey's jokes~ playing pool~ping pong~ziplines~Nealon baseball game on the beach~playing PB & J~family dinners~badminton~track ball~Sunny Cove~Uno~painting fingernails~hide 'n seek~outlet shopping~Friendly's~ a baby deer on the beach~Timmy's and Dad's race around the Timber Trail circle~watching ALF~watching Shawshank Redemption until 1:00 in the morning with mom because she had never seen it before~singing "Call Me Maybe" at the cousin dinner table every time someone walked by on the road~driving home in a torrential thunderstorm
These are their memories. These are their stories. Some of these things they have done year after year. Some of them are new memories unique to the 2012 trip. But what all of these memories have in common is that they all are memories with family, with cousins that they only see a few times a year, with Grandma and aunts and uncles. When I asked Molly what her favorite part of the trip was, she said it was the cousins dinnertime conversation. Since we are such a large group, at dinnertime, the adults eat in the dining room and the kids all eat on the screen in porch outside. When I asked Molly what they talked about at their dinnertime conversations, Molly just looked at me and said, "I can't tell you...I can't tell you any of it." And as she said that, both Ryan and Timmy shook their heads in agreement. I love that the cousins had a space just for them, a place to be themselves with one another, a place to tell their jokes without parental ears listening.
After a week of being almost completely "disconnected" from electronics, last night the boys were in the basement playing xbox, Shannon was at a sleepover, and so Molly and I snuggled in bed with a movie. We watched UP. I love this movie. I have a number of favorite parts but there is one that really resonates with me. Russell, the little boy and Karl are walking along with Karl's house tied to them both. Russell is talking about his dad and tells the story about how his dad used to bring him to his badge ceremonies and afterwards they would get ice cream and then sit on the curb and count the cars. His dad would count the red ones and he would count the blue ones and whoever had the most won. And then Russell says, "It might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff I remember the most."
As a mom, I am always trying to create memories with my kids. We have our summer bucket list of things we want to do. I have a list of places that I would like to visit with the kids someday, if not this year, next year or the year after that, just like Ellie and Karl wanted to go to Paradise Falls. But sometimes I need to be reminded that it may be the "boring" stuff that my kids will remember the most. I look at the kids' list from the Poconos and some of it may fall under the "boring" category...pool, fishing, dinner conversation, basketball. These are all things that they could have done at home, everyday summer stuff. But what makes it special is that they were with family, they were with their cousins and aunts and uncles and grandma. That is what makes these memories special...doing the things you love to do with the people that you love to do them with the most. Then all of a sudden the "boring" stuff doesn't seem so boring after all.
It's was cold at the beginning of the week.
Aunt Kathleen and Timmy both won a dollar from Uncle Paul for getting a hole in one.
Molly doing a little dance while Timmy tried to get her fish off the hook.
Striking a pose even while fishing.
Ryan's fishing pole...always a bird's nest.
Jessie trying to reel in a big bass that ended up snapping the line and then got away.
The memories they make today are the stories they will tell tomorrow.