Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Cape Cod Downtime and Parade July 9, 2017

On Monday, the sixth day of vacation, the kids were pretty tired. Seamus really enjoyed the baseball game and wanted to check the scores for all the teams the next few days. The game was fun, but for me it was a challenge. Harlan was not at all interested in sitting in the bleachers watching the game. I gave up and took him back to the house for bed. That ended up being the best possible choice! When I asked them what they wanted to do the next day (meaning Monday), Seamus wanted to play ping pong, read, and rest. Gilbert wanted to rest and have me read to him. Ha.

Well, as per their wishes, we did take a day of down time. We went to a playground (are you sensing a theme?) in the morning and rested for a good chunk of the rest of the day. Porter got to go to the beach by himself with Grandma and Grandude, which he loved. We really laid low. I think the most exciting thing Seamus and Gilbert did was go to the fish market. Patrick and I escaped to Orleans for a quick getaway with Harlan. We all needed the rest.

Tuesday was the Chatham Fourth of July Parade; we had done it last year, and it’s amazing what one year of experience with something will give you. We felt comfortable just getting a place to park and then we set up in some shade near the Chatham Anglers field to watch the parade. The older boys wanted to go to the edge of the street to yell for candy and swag. I think they’d love Mardi Gras! They were yelling, “Here Here!” and then “Thank you!” when they got something. It was kind of obnoxious, but I overheard a group of people nearby marvel to each other, “Those kids are having the best time.” We were all psyched when they got a beach ball and chip clip. The parade and the floats were fun. Porter and Harlan managed to make it all the way through too. I thought we’d have Baseball game part two on our hands.

A couple of other views of the tie dye.

Seamus and Gilbert played mini golf and drove go karts on Tuesday afternoon, and basically had the child’s dream life the whole trip. Porter didn’t nap Tuesday, so Patrick took him out for a kayaking lesson. He got pretty good!

Patrick says, “Uber Kayak needs some help with child labor laws!”

We were all sad to leave, but we got up Wednesday at four am (not that much earlier than Harlan had been waking us!) and headed home. We had a pretty uneventful drive and we got home at 3:00 pm.

As I reflect on the vacation, it definitely felt like vacation, in that I relaxed. I even had some time to enjoy myself and blog. I loved experiencing new and familiar things with the kids. We ate great food, spent time with family, and have many things to talk about with the kids. They’re so excited to go back next year and revisit and do new things too. I’m glad that life is feeling a smidge easier now that Harlan is bigger and Porter is more capable. Gilbert’s finally come out on the other side of his difficulty regulating his behavior, and Seamus is aware of his competitiveness and can regulate his expectations of himself a little better. Everyone tries harder to make the family unit run smoothly.

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