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The Sweetest One

The other morning, Vinnie was up before me, off to do a presentation for Thrive with his best friend.

I cleaned up after the kid’s breakfast, and as I collected orange peels in my palms and as I loaded the dishwasher, I thought how very strange it felt, to be home…without him.

Over the past three months, we’ve spent nearly every day, together. We’ve driven over two thousand miles, together. We’ve slept in tents. We’ve slept on cabin floors. We’ve swam in great lakes. We’ve sat by crackling fires. We’ve had long, winding conversations that start out about nothing, but end up about something. We’ve parented, together. We’ve shot weddings together. We’ve eaten at diners at two and three in the morning. We’ve gone to concerts. We’ve danced in our kitchen. We’ve played corn hole in our backyard while dinner grilled. We’ve done museums. We’ve done arcades. We’ve laid out beneath the stars on a giant trampoline and watched meteors dart across the heavens. We’ve run through puddles at night, while lightening turned the sky purple over our heads. We’ve done crosswords, sitting in traffic, and sitting in a cabin by a lake, when he gently encouraged me to choose rest over work, to choose to enjoy the small, quiet moment on an otherwise busy trip, over editing or writing.

What started out as an attempt in late May, to see the positive in his job loss, to see it as a blessing and a gift of time with his family, with me – has turned into a very real joy and comfort and peace. So much so, that I feel my heart sometimes doesn’t have enough space to hold it all in. I’m bursting.

We have less money than we did last summer, but we have less stress.

We have less to do, but we are doing more. And we’re doing more, together.

In short, what could have been a summer of anxiety or fear, has instead, been the best summer of my life. I’ve spent it with my best friend.

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This has been the best summer of my life, because, together, we’ve summered the summer out of summer, with our children.

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And so, I had a moment of gratefulness, there in my kitchen the other morning, for this unexpected gift we were given, in having this season to share together. But, I also closed the dishwasher, and was a little heavy with the knowledge that, soon, life will move us forward again.

It always does – and I know that just as fast as these months have past, there will be a morning, years from now, when I’ll look back at this blog post and see these pictures and have tears welling in my eyes, smiling in the memories, in the rich goodness of this life we’ve been blessed with.

I don’t know when he’ll find the right job, or what hours he’ll work or what his commute will be like. But I do know, that I’m going to miss this chapter.

It’s been one of the sweetest we’ve written.

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