If I had had my camera handy, I would post an image here of a treasured moment from my day. But since it wasn't handy, I'll just have to describe it. A big, strong daddy, with his grinning little blond boy on his lap, driving an old red tractor (1957 Farmall Cub). The little boy's hands are on the wheel, and he is steering the tractor, weaving from side to side around the yard, with a bit of guidance from Daddy now and then. The air smells like pine trees and freshly mowed grass. The weather is perfect, just a bit cool, a relief from days and days of oppressive heat and humidity.
Today was an all around good day. Nothing special, just a nice, laid-back day of all of us hanging out together in the yard. Max had a great time this weekend helping Daddy do all kinds of "man stuff" - yesterday they finished planting the garden together, and today Max hung out around the garage while Shane tinkered around, and then they collected sticks and loaded them into the tractor cart, then unloaded them by the fire ring. Max watched as Shane built a bonfire and then helped toss sticks onto it. While they were doing that, I strolled around our property with Emmett in his spiffy new (to us) backpack carrier, given to us by a new friend from one of the homeschool groups we joined. We have just over three acres, and it's sort of shaped like a bowling alley; it's about as wide as a good-sized double city lot, but it goes really far back, and is partly wooded with some winding paths, so it feels very private and peaceful and secluded. It's what most attracted us to this place when we bought it. The house is kind of small and just OK... but the yard is paradise. I know my boys are going to have all kinds of fun together here as they get older. Eventually we'd like to build a tree house in "the far back" as we call it. I've always wanted one myself, and they are gonna have to kick me out of it often! Anyways, after Em & I took our mini-hike, it was getting late, and he was getting tired and fussy, so I put him to bed. I came back out and we made an exception and let Max stay up well past his bedtime, the three of us just sitting by the fire watching the sky getting darker and the moon rising and getting brighter.
It makes me so happy that Max - and Em too, when he's bigger - are going to grow up with all of these wonderful memories of living here, surrounded by nature, hanging out with Daddy and learning how to be men. They really are lucky, lucky boys. I am especially thankful today because Shane hasn't been feeling great lately - he's been struggling with chronic pain issues for years and has been exceptionally miserable for the past few weeks - but yesterday and today he's had a couple of much-needed good days. Hopefully this trend will continue!