It Was The Summer.

It was the summer in which Henry realized he could use his newly vaccinated arm to his advantage.

“Watch out for my TB injection” he’d call as they all ran towards the ball knowing/hoping it might slow a few of them down.

There were the inevitable tears. Someone punched it, someone knocked it, someone laughed at it. Naturally they all did it on purpose. I know this because he told me – many times. Clutching at his arm like a wounded soldier he’d tell of his outrage and sorrow.

It was the summer that I simultaneously broke a tooth and dinged a hire car. What a great day that was. If only I’d insured my tooth like I’d insured the hire car.

It was the summer that Annie nearly choked and Fred just about lost a finger.

It was the summer that we inherited G and Uncle Andrew’s childhood lego. “Dad, this stuff is sooo old, its like, vintage, like really old. Like, as old as you!”

It was the summer that Henry reminded us that even though someone nearly choked, or lost a finger, or a tooth – well, have you seen my TB injection?!

It was the summer we fell in love with Meerkats and celebrated the first birthday of a chimpanzee. We did this while pretending we weren’t really there to say goodbye. As we drove away the little travellers called out “See you at Christmas!” while I tried not to make eye contact with my father. Don’t say goodbye, never say goodbye, goodbye is too finite.

It was the summer where everyone grew an inch and a half and asked if we should put Mum’s height on the wall so we could see when she started shrinking because that should start soon.

It was the summer the little travellers learned about humility in sport. They fell in love with the cricket even though it broke their hearts. They lost their minds while watching the football, and raced inside to let me know when they’d hit a six or taken a specky. They worked on Olympic gymnastics routines and raced the length of a yard. Jeans were ripped, shirts were stained and hair grew.

It was the summer where saying goodbye to Grandma and the beach, and then accidentally leaving behind a show bag under a chair at the airport meant two and half hours of airborne sobbing. The woman next to us thought it was incredibly sweet that saying goodbye to Grandma had caused such sorrow “Are you going to miss your Grandma?”she asked sweetly “Yes, and I’m really going to miss my supersize sour worms show bag.”

It was the summer we talked about priorities.

It was the summer where everyone gathered their stash, put together another bag and handed it to Henry Hotdog before he got off the plane. It was never mentioned again. Unlike the TB injection.

It wasn’t even summer, and it didn’t matter. Sleeping bags, flannelette sheets on Granny’s beds, lazy mornings and endless hot chocolates meant constant warmth. We visited friends often. We stopped for lunch, stayed for dinner and came back again for breakfast. We had sleepovers and trips to the movies and giggles that reached hysteria.

It was the summer of playgrounds, beach walks, geocaching and rock collecting. A summer of boat building and cooking. I watched the little travellers grow closer to our beautiful neighbours and when the customs man asked if we’d left anything behind a little voice said “Sally and John.” Proving that it does take a village, everyone can have a place in a child’s heart, there’s plenty of room.

It was the summer that we were reminded that it could all disappear in an instant. A draw of the breath. Gone.

It was the summer that I needed to write down. Now that I’m knee deep in school supplies, shopping lists and what would you like in your lunch box.

It was the summer to be grateful for this unique life we get to live.

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