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Katrina Willis "Table for Six"
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Ever since I can remember holding a pen, I remember writing. Words are my constant companion, my solace, my connection to humanity. I write because I must, but I also write to share a common experience. If one of my sentences makes you feel like you are not alone in this wide world, then I have done my job. We have so much to share as human beings, don’t we? Thank you for letting me share my words.
What I Did On My Summer Vacation
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What I Did On My Summer Vacation

May 15, 2014 | 10:23 AM

Do kids still write back-to-school essays about their summer adventures? If so, this is what mine will say in August: Nothing.

It won't be entirely true. We'll do Some Things.

We'll sit by the pool and paddle-boat on the lake. We'll fish and watch movies and build bonfires and roast marshmallows. We'll chase the dogs around the neighborhood when they discover yet another way to escape from the backyard. We'll visit the library and read and go for walks. We'll eat on the deck and welcome out-of-town visitors and shop at the Farmers Market. We'll catch a Mud Hens game and try some new restaurants in Toledo. We'll weed the garden and mow the grass and continue to work on eradicating the dandelions. We'll celebrate George's 12th birthday and Mary Claire's 14th. We'll leave time free for last-minute day trips and quick overnights. We'll admire the hydrangeas and play Ping-Pong in the basement. We'll probably go camping at least once. We'll visit some colleges and attend a few concerts. We'll turn the music up loudly and sing while we're cleaning the house. We'll laugh. We might argue. We'll probably argue.

But here's what we're not going to do...

For the first time since they were old enough to go, we're not going to send the kids to camp -- sports, music, drama, or otherwise. We're not going to have them play on any travel teams. We're not going to fill their days with private instrument lessons and summer school classes.

For one thing, all those activities are crazy-expensive (x4). We're pinching our pennies for a family trip to Europe next summer (#EURO2015!), and that price tag isn't insignificant. But we've also spent two out of the last four summers packing and saying goodbye and moving across the country and re-acclimating.

Sometimes life becomes too much.

We need to breathe. We need to settle. We need to be.

When August 2015 rolls around -- sooner than any of us expect -- Sam will be leaving for college. This Table for Six will become a Table for Five. I cannot even imagine the change in energy that will occur when our Big Kid with the Big Personality begins his Big Adult Life.

So for the next couple of months, I'm going to enjoy him. And his siblings. And all their friends. I'm going to listen to their laughter and their loud video games and the 1,486th viewing of "The Sandlot."

It will be a good summer.

It will be our summer.


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