I’ve been quiet here. We spent a week on the Cape with my parents and sister. We rented a house with space enough for all of us (3 bathrooms & an outdoor shower!) and were close enough to the beach that the hauling of gear was not so strenuous as to dissuade us from beaching it up. Another year of swim lessons meant that the girls were confident and strong in the water. We brought our tech things, but filled our time with sand and waves and the kinds of things that make everything else seem low tech and artificial. It was, in a word, perfect.

I need to work through some of what happened, the gentle, but discernible shift in our soon-to-be-4th grader, the way Finley is clinging to her baby of the family status, while also taking a huge leap away from us, and Ave, stripping back the angst of middle childom and unveiling a piercing beauty and vulnerability that drive me to tears and a desire to swat at anyone who comes too close.

The next week and a half will reveal more, for now, snippets of an unforgettable week.

Buckets and shovels akimbo
Rickety staircase now empty and grey
Laughter caught forever in dunes

I am knee deep in laundry, still finding endless amounts of sand, fluttering down from every little thing and remarkable still peppering each bite I take—a small price to pay for a stretch of time that seems to put the hand of my beginning and the hand of my future together, fingers intertwined in such a way that it feels as if somehow, somewhere, they’ll always be together.

Good night, summer vacation, good night.