weekend report: the family, the ocean
Every year, my saint and his family head to Ocean Shores, Washington. It's completely not enough time, but it is one time a year that we all finally get to be together (aside from Christmas). Last year, we all watched Jenn's prego belly with anticipation, but this year, we all got to hold our lovely Olive Jade. She is 6 months old, and cute as a friggen button. I took my journal and books, but truly, there was nothing more I wanted to do than casually leaf through magazines and spend long hours after meals just talking with my family. They truly nourish me, each of them in their own ways.
Mom and Dad because of their great adaptability as parents. They've made the transition from raising their kids to having an adult relationship with them. They engage our ideas as peers and refrain from unsolicited advice or correction, deciding instead to release their fears and buoy us into trusting ourselves as humans. I find this remarkable; time and time again, it has made me seek them out for advice and wisdom. These two could seriously write a book about parenting.
Brian and Jennifer because of their "automatic setting" (to borrow my friend Andrew's phrase) of optimism and happiness. I am not wired this way, so it is really quite nice and importantly balancing for me to be around them. I see them continually embracing life with a trust that in the end, things will always be okay. Despite being different from my own mental process, I find it refreshing, I guess. They've had a baby this year and it's just been really endearing to see them come into themselves as parents as Olive comes into herself as a human. Olive is remarkably hungry for life, and I just love to stare at her while she attacks her toys and somersaults herself in your arms. She is a continued source of laugher and sheer joy to us all.
Tim and Julie because they absolutely know how to have a good time. The phrase, "throwing caution to the wind" might not truly capture their ability to play. When I was taking a yoga class, the teacher encouraged us to find a spot on the wall to practice handstands. I am rather uncoordinated at handstands, but she assured us that the benefit was in playing, not in achieving. Once I could imagine myself as a child, unaware of my own silliness, I could see what it might mean to really play again. I think of this when I think of Tim and Julie. She is 26 and has had a rather shitty year, but she'll run out to the ocean like a crazy person, not caring about anything but pursuing the wind in her face and the sand kicking up below her. Despite this carefree nature, they both still have immense substance.
Abbey because she is so eager to please and well-behaved.
And my saint. My saint because when I reach into the far-off places of my imagination, both past and future, I cannot dream up a man more suited to loving me exactly as I would wish. Nothing in me has ever settled down to be with him...or settled at all for that matter. Plus, he is my favorite person to take an afternoon nap with.