Monday, April 27, 2009

A Weekend Apart

On Friday night, the Lutzes loaded up the big green passenger van and headed for the shore (or "down the shore" as they say in these parts) for their first full family overnight. (Ronan tried to stowaway but was quickly recovered.) Everyone was excited: the Lutzes were looking forward to being alone in their new shore house (Erika and Hilary cheered that 'just the Lutzes!' were going), and we were looking forward to being alone in this house. We were so excited, we bought real bacon to have for breakfast on Saturday (the Lutzes don't eat pork).

Saturday morning we were up and out so fast we forgot to cook the bacon. We headed to Washington's Crossing, a state park where, well, you can probably figure it out. The sheep shearing festival was on, and the kids watched an old-timey man shear a sheep with sheep-shearing scissors (as opposed to mechanically); the sheep sat quite still and the pelt came off in one large blanket. Then we saw how the wool was washed and combed, dyed, spun, and woven. There were colonial hearth cooking demonstrations, and the kids played with colonial toys.

Then we drove a few miles to Yardley, where I wanted to check out a water ice place for an article I'm writing. We had lunch in a local diner, then we ate the best water ice in Philadelphia. (Seriously. Go there.)

While walking back to the car, we all talked about what a nice day we had, capped off with some very tasty water ice. Declan informed us, out of the blue, that he wanted to move to our own house, one right next door to the Lutzes. Matty and I eyed each other nervously but neither of us knew what to say. Declan didn't seem to have anything else to add, so we let the matter drop.

By Sunday, however, the Lutzes were back and I don't think Declan ever wanted to leave. After he got home from an early birthday party and Erika returned from Hebrew school, the two were inseparable, playing in Erika's room for most of the day.

As much as our arrangement works for us, I think this weekend reminded all of us how important it is to take some family alone time as well. Not only do we all appreciate the time alone, but we appreciate each other all the more when we return.

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