Fall has officially landed on us in the form of cooler temperatures and pumpkins popping up on porches around the neighborhood.  Summer is beginning to seem like history.  Looking back, it was a good time for our little family.  The boys seemed to flourish. 

It was a blistering summer in the mid-Atlantic but we did our best to keep cool and made lots of use of the kiddie-pool.  Over the last few months, the family dynamic has evolved as our tiny infant has grown into this active, mobile baby and the challenging toddler has become an engaging–though still challenging–little boy.

The last gasp trip to Maine was the main event of our summer.  We all experienced so much in that short time, it seems like it’s worth sharing again.  Maine is a kind of magical place for us with my sister.  She is the ultimate Auntie: patient, wise, loving, and has great toys (a Jeep, boats, guitars and a beautiful vacation home on an island).  Heaven has a special place for Auntie Lou.

There was no agenda, just a week of figuring it out with the kids in tow.  We spent time on the beach and went to the marina for dinner.


We spent afternoons taking naps

and eating crackers on the dock.


We hung out in one of the best playgrounds ever.

We were not without animal friends, but they decided to avoid the three-year old and infant commotion that had invaded their space.

Cats were in the rafters

and dogs up on the backs of sofas.

There was the jumping

and jumping

and more jumping.

There was guitar playing

and more guitar playing.

There was boating.

Then there was the drama of the pool.  It was both the scariest experience around water with T and the most amazing.  On the first day, he slipped off a step and went completely underwater for a few seconds until I could fish him out.  It was disturbing to me (the image is embedded in the back of my head) and could have ruined any future water experiences for the little guy.  But to our amazement the next day he bravely took a step towards the edge of the pool and asked to jump in.  After addressing my new-found anxiety of T near water, I complied.


Eventually it seemed silly to swaddle him in the oversized life jacket.  What happened next makes for one of the more memorable moments of my life as a father.  He leapt off the pool deck, jumping higher, leaping farther each time.  The series of photos makes him look like he’s flying or maybe that we are locked into this beautiful water dance.  It was an experience I will never forget.

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Often when we go away, after a week or so, I am ready to come home.  I can’t say that about this trip.  I loved being with my little family and my dear sister.  I felt a little sad upon our return. 

It seems that I was not the only one who wasn’t ready to come home.  When we started unpacking, I noticed that one of the bags was missing.  It was filled with the boys’ clothes, a few toys and Lumpy.  Of all of the stuffed animals that our boys have, he is probably my favorite.  The little moose was lucky enough to have been selected as one of the few animal friends that got to travel with us on vacation.  When it was time to come home, he got to ride with us up in the cabin of the plane.  What we didn’t know is that Lumpy had no intention of coming home from vacation so soon. 

Somehow after our arrival in Baltimore, our little moose companion slipped onto another plane headed for Akron.  After a few days, the nice people from the airlines called to say that he and the little black bag that he was hiding in, had been located at the airport there in Ohio.  Then he managed to slip passed the gate agent and board another plane bound for Atlanta.  In Georgia, the airline folks caught up to him again and called us.  Before I could reach them, they decided not to risk any further trips to cities beginning with “A”.  Lumpy was slapped with a FedEx tag and shipped directly to Baltimore.  It took us another week before we could retrieve him from the FedEx facility by the airport.  When I asked him about his travels he remained silent and a little forlorn. 

Lumpy came home and another summer is over.