sleepover.

Tonight we have three kiddos in this house. Bravery, Asher and the incomparable Miss Ayzia. It was an epic day.  Took the boys to the beach early, where the clouds hid the sun and the water is already back to freezing (Hubbs was shocked, "why are yall cold? the water feels amazing!" I was like, babe, look around. you're the ONLY person here NOT in a wetsuit bro.) a breakie filled with hot chocolate and chocolate chip french toast (whilst I mumbled on my egg white veggie omlette, drooling at the scrumptious chocolate fest across from me in jealous disdain), a surf shop party, back home for a hot tub party, one epic meltdown, a bike/scooter/skateboard bonanza (sidenote: While cooking dinner, I overheard Hubbs outside teaching the kids to ride. Ayzia was apprehensive as she didn't know how, he replied, "You got this. girls can do all this too, it's not just for boys." #proudfeministmoment), then rest and repeat it all over again tonight.

It really was so nice. just me and Hubbs and the kiddos who were having the time of their LIVES. No fights, no drama, just laughter and enthusiastic obedience (which is like, unheard of, as any parent will attest to). I made them all listen to Greek music and clap, then we told scary stories by the campfire, with cold watermelon juice dripping from our chins. It's summer as it should be. Only....it's not.

The last time both kiddos were here, my Amelie was here too. It's so weird, to have these family nights and just have someone NOT be there.ever.again. She won't be here ever again. It's like missing a body part. One morning, you just wake up without a hand. poof, your hand is gone. or like, your lung, b/c I often feel like I can't breathe sometimes when I think about this "fun" we're all having, with no Amelie. I cry a lot under my sunglasses (thank you Drew, my cuz @ Vons Zipper for enabling that, for realz. I now have a pair in every spot to ensure when my eyes well up, I don't have to display it to everyone around me, b/c I don't want to be exposed or asked about it all the time, but I can't help it).

Ayzia wanted to sleep in Amelie's bed tonight. I was honored. I felt, aww, Amelie would be so happy. A little girl SHOULD be sleeping in that amazing room. Only....she's not. But then Bravery insisted Ayzia sleep next to him. and being the darling child she is, she, of course, readily obliged him. Fact is, he is missing his sister. it's totally obvious from the outside. But at home, it's heart wrenching. He's been asking about Amelie every day since Hawaii. He begged to see her the other night. I just kept telling him to close his eyes and she'll come to him in his dreams. Crying, in anger towards me, he replied, "I DID close my eyes at school today but she didn't COME!"

Luckily, Ayzia is like another sister in many ways, so her presence comforts Bravery. Having Ayzia here in this house, holding him, being the big sissy, doesn't just help Bravery, it helps us all. For a hot minute, I have a little girl I can kiss and nurture, Daddy has a little girl he can motivate and empower, and the hole in our hearts has less room to spread.

As I write this, they're cuddling together--Brave holding his stuffed animal he named "Bastogne" and Ayzia holding two of Amelie's stuffed animals. Both children clinging to toys of loved ones gone.

The Hubbs is finally able to rest peacefully, without waking up drenched in sweat or moaning from stomach aches. I once saw on his computer his Google search of "what does stomach cancer feel like" because his guts were in torment for two years. In such chronic pain and fatigue, he was convinced he was sick with something more than emotional anguish. Now I see him lie asleep, clutching the pillow in endearing repose.

and then there's me.....clutching my bottle of Solar Recovery Spray. my skin is so sunburned I look like Magda from Something About Mary. just sayin. #beachlife #rookiemove #ishouldknowbetter #leatherface

 

 sleepover 04/2016. Amelie was having pirate booty for breakfast.

 sleepover 04/2016. Amelie was having pirate booty for breakfast.

08/2017. summer, where did you go?

08/2017. summer, where did you go?

The boys hated the cold water. so in an attempt to get them back in the ocean, I ignorantly declared, "let's go get wetsuits!" We have two at home, neither would try them on. Yet, at the surf shop they loved it and called themselves super heroes. Then I realized why Hubbs was laughing so much. I looked at the price tags--that orange one is $250! and Brave's was $150! say wha???? YIPES. I just said,  omg take those off immediately, we'll go to goodwill later.  All the while Hubbs smiling and shaking his head with a  I told u so  smirk .  i mean, come one though--look at those adorable expressions. #worthit

The boys hated the cold water. so in an attempt to get them back in the ocean, I ignorantly declared, "let's go get wetsuits!" We have two at home, neither would try them on. Yet, at the surf shop they loved it and called themselves super heroes. Then I realized why Hubbs was laughing so much. I looked at the price tags--that orange one is $250! and Brave's was $150! say wha???? YIPES. I just said, omg take those off immediately, we'll go to goodwill later. All the while Hubbs smiling and shaking his head with a I told u so smirk. i mean, come one though--look at those adorable expressions. #worthit

Taken 04/2016. Look at that face of pure joy on Amelie. We were having an outdoor movie experience and she was having a ball. All the kids ate chicken and rice, and she could only stomach her favorite snack, Pirate Booty.

Taken 04/2016. Look at that face of pure joy on Amelie. We were having an outdoor movie experience and she was having a ball. All the kids ate chicken and rice, and she could only stomach her favorite snack, Pirate Booty.

Fireside scary stories.

Fireside scary stories.