While I love, love, love traveling with my family, I have found that adjusting to real life has been a bit more difficult that last few times we have gone away. The re-entry is rough, and I find myself dragging as I try to play catch up.
We have been home for about ten days and have not stopped since the airplane landed. The kids had one final week of school to get through, Cole was involved in a lacrosse tournament in Park City, I had to fill in for a few days at my old office helping an old colleague who is battling breast cancer, not to mention bills to pay, laundry to finish, and celebrating Father's Day. We were home an entire week before I actually had time to go to the grocery store and take a deep breath.
But oh, what a time we had. I have never seen such a beautiful place, so green and lush. Our family stayed in two southern style mansions complete with front porch swings and french doors. Our homes bordered both the golf course and the beach. I felt like I was living in the pages of Southern Living.
While I could devote an entire post writing a travelogue about the beautiful beaches, golf courses, dolpin cruises, gator sitings and warm waters of the Atlantic ocean, I have two memories of this trip emblazoned on my heart.
Kiawah Island has over thirty miles of bike trails begging for exploration. We all rented bikes...including a very sturdy tricycle for my mother and a baby buggy for Mr. Miles. The second morning of our trip we all headed out for a bike ride. I stayed at the back of the pack enjoying watching most of my entire family delight in the company of one another, young and old alike. We watched for gators, heard the trill of red cardinals, laughed and raced and were in awe at the beauty surrounding us.
On our last night on the Island, sunset found all of us at the beach. My brother Mike was in the ocean, fully clothed, boogie boarding with Rachel and my little niece, Emily. My brother Brian, nude except for his undies, was skim boarding with Cole and his Cousins. Tony and my brother Jon were playing football with a few of the boys. Christee was helping Miles collect shells. The beach was practically deserted and we had miles and miles of sand all to ourselves. I don't know if it was the light cast by the setting sun, or the laughter carried on the gentle breeze. It may have been the calm lapping of the waves against my toes or breathing in the warm sea air. I don't know what it was really, other than for the first time in a really long time, I felt peaceful.
I felt hopeful and calm, and remarkably, I felt the healing begin. I felt profoundly grateful for each of the 17 people on that trip with me, and for the three nieces and one nephew who couldn't come with us. I have an amazing family. Still.
Thanks mom, for the reminder, for each of my three brothers and for working so hard to make us each feel so loved. I love you!