The Summer of Yes

It all started–as many of the best things in my life have–with a backstage conversation with Willis during strike, this time about our families vacationing together at the beach.

It was a wonderful idea. And a ridiculous idea. And a terrifying idea.

We did it anyway.

A and D Running on Beach

Say yes to running and yes to sandcastles!

Sharon composed a beautiful post about her experience on the trip, which you should read.

Sharon Laughing 3

Say yes to taking your camera into the sea!

But I will say that many, many friends, with all kinds of kids and all kinds of families, have told me how much her writing meant to them. Because all of us, to one extent or another, self-limit what we and our children do.

I constantly say, “I can’t have friends over because the house is too messy. I can’t take my family to that performance because my kids are too loud and too fidgety. If we travel with our friends they will see what we are really like and they won’t be our friends anymore.”

We took a chance. We did it anyway.

E hugging M

Say yes to waves and yes to friends!

And soon we found ourselves in a whole summer full of yes.

We said yes to a new house.

We moved not north, as we had long planned, but west, to a place where we can turn left and head into a pretty, historic town, or turn right and be in the rolling Virginia hills of wineries and horse jumping lessons.

This led to many other yeses; new schools, new neighbors, new friends, new opportunities.

My husband said yes to a new position at his company.

I said yes to taking greater chances with my writing and art.

Betsy Mermaid

Say yes to being a mermaid!

It is all terrifying, because we’re just starting to emerge from three years of awfulness; of parents and aunts and uncles and friends critically ill and dying, of sick children, of so much more than I’ve shared on this blog. Of the unimaginable piled on the unimaginable.

To have hope takes a lot of courage, and a lot of love. And fortunately we’ve been surrounded by people who have given us generous helpings of all three.

Sunrise on Assateague

Say yes to getting up early, and/or staying up late.

There are seasons of life when getting through is the best one can do; survival is more than seems possible, some days. Last summer, the worst summer of my life, I could not have imagined, would not have believed, that this summer would be one of the best. And yet, even with all the sadness I still feel, it has been.

So here’s to the Summer of Yes.

Running on the Beach

Say yes to this bucket of cold sand-water!

I don’t know what fall will bring. But I do know that I have been changed for the better, because we took the chance on a crazy, impossible adventure with friends who also took a chance on us. And our wildest hopes and expectations were exceeded, then smashed.

A Splashing

In the very best way.

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