We've been home from Auntie Diane's house now for about 15 hours. For 10 of those hours Laura was asleep. The other 5 have been filled with a constant refrain. "I wanna dough smimmin' aden!" can be heard coming from the smallest of the crowd - and the one who amusingly spent the least amount of time in the water. But I guess that's largely why she'd like to get back in!
We spent the afternoon and evening yesterday at Auntie Diane's. Don and I knew we were going but we left it a surprise for the kids. We told them that if they got the house picked up and the vacuum run in the morning, we'd go on an adventure in the afternoon. They kept asking where we were going. Matthew desperately wanted to think we were headed for Cedar Point but I kept assuring him we'd not waste the admission for only a half day of fun - and we wouldn't take Laura with us either. Then they both guessed a park pretty close to Honey and Poppy's, the rec center, and even Swings 'n Things. But all we kept telling them was "You'll have to wait and see."
When they couldn't stand it any longer, they begged for some clues. So we gave them the following: We are ALL going as a family. It is some place sunny and there are lots of other people. (Sunny and of course Sonny... I couldn't resist) It wasn't enough for them. They wanted more. Not knowing how I'd give them more without their very productive brains figuring it out meant we would not budge. They lived with that and their constant guess of the local park for awhile. Then we made a fatal error.
Don was in the basement getting our swim bag ready to go, planning to squirrel it out to the car without them seeing when I decided I'd lost enough weight that I needed to try on bathing suits. Jonathan, who knows no boundaries, happened to come in to the basement while I had on the one that fit the best. He began to put a few things together. *sigh* Don and I planned how to foil their attempts at solving the mystery so I grabbed a pair of trunks that didn't fit anyone at the house and headed upstairs. I told them I'd been cleaning out some buckets in the basement (well, I did go through the swimsuit bucket and got rid of a lot that they've outgrown so it counted) and wanted to know if they knew who owned the pair I was holding. They started in with "We're going to the rec center!" and "We're going swimming!". So I had to deter them. I offered the following: "Boys, I can assure you that this specific item (pointing that the too large for anyone here trunks) is not involved in our afternoon adventure." (I learned this technique from my Mom and Dad but more on that another time...) Jonathan tried to pick that apart with the comment "that specific one but not all swim suits" but Matthew let it slip on by. They threw out their swim dream and went back to hiking or some such. Boy, we're good! :):)
As we all climbed in to the car they asked once again where we were headed and we relented with "North". I think I repeated that for a good ten minutes before we gave up and gave them a few more clues. Knowing Auntie Diane was planning to get dinner from Boston Market I said "Well, at some point we'll be going to Boston today, too." It didn't help them a bit. So we reviewed what they knew: We were all in the car together. We were headed north to some place sunny where there would be other people. It wasn't much. So I thought quickly. I added "Once we arrive at our initial destination (Auntie Diane's condo), you'll be 'dyin' (Diane - get it?) to go to the next spot for our adventure (the pool). Don looked at me like I was nuts and groaned. Hey, it was as good as I could get. However, after not too much more time in the car they'd narrowed it down to the probability that we were headed to Auntie Diane's or Grandma Jan's for the day - possibly to head to the beach from there. Man, they are good!
Grandma Jan, her neighbor Dorothy and of course Sonny all gathered with us at Auntie Diane's. We spent over two hours at the pool and while the sun was shining on us for about half of that time, there was a breeze so you either wanted to be under the water, or out of it and wrapped in a towel. Then we headed back to Auntie Diane's condo for a bite to eat. She slaved all day, well okay, she worked very hard finding the phone numbers for Donato's (the kids got a supreme pizza) and Boston Market for the rest of dinner. We ate. We talked. We watched the kids play ball, entertain the neighbors and in general have a great time.
We headed home after 8, ready to hit the hay and rest up from our day. It was good to visit with our family again. And I know we added at least one more memory to all of their family memory banks. Laura won't soon forget it, either.
"I wanna dough smimmin' aden!" Yes, that's at least the 100th time this morning. *sigh* I sure hope we get to go back soon! I'm sure the kids do, too. :)