We took the kids swimming over at Tommy & Carol’s yesterday; it was a refreshing way to spend some family time after our first week of camp. I love seeing the sparkle in Judah’s eyes when he’s up to something – like squirting Roger and me with a pool noodle while we were sitting in the sun beside the pool. I loved watching Wesley put on a snorkle mask and dive for things – and I’m amazed to see him do flips in the water and show me how he’s learned to swim on his back. I was always scared of the water as a kid; so I love seeing my children becoming little fish like their daddy. Malin found a yellow rope, and spent a good bit of time winding it around the pole of the ladder. I still don’t know if she had a purpose for that; but before we left, she had to spend an equal amount of time unwinding the rope from the pole so she could put it away. Strange. But… hey – she was happy. Avery had a grand old time just swimming around in her floaty swim-suit; when we left, she felt triumphant over the fact that her head never got ducked under the water.
It didn’t rain on us while we were swimming, but the camp had a nice little rain shower while we were gone. As we drove home in the sunshine and the dampness, Roger spotted a rainbow above the hills. It was pretty faint, but everyone managed to get a glimpse of it. Except Avery – a fact whch was upsetting to her. She said, “Why does everyone else always see the cool stuff and not ME??”
One of her science books told us how to make a rainbow by setting a glass of water on a white sheet of paper in front of a sunny window. That was one of favorite activities for a while this spring. Every once in a while, she’d spot the sun pouring in the window and she’d run for a glass of water and a piece of paper. During one of those times she’d told me that she’d never seen a real rainbow in the sky.
On our drive home yesterday, we decided that showing Avery a real rainbow was worth a little effort. Roger actually turned the van around and drove back to a place where we could pull off the road and Avery could get out of the van to look for the rainbow. Eventually she did see it, and it was sweet to see her smile,
As we drove home on 476, the rainbow would disappear as we wound through the hills – and then suddenly it would appear again. We slowed down and even stopped the van several times so the kids could all get a good view of the rainbow in all of its changing glory.
Not to get all allegorical or anything, but spending quality family time during summer camp is kind of like chasing a rainbow down 476. We have to be intentional about it. It’s easy to get busy and let the kids go off and do their things, and spend the whole day without saying more than a few sentences to each other. And if we just go with the normal flow of camp, the 6 of us might never end up in the same room at the same time (except for at mealtimes – in the midst of 90 other people.) But I think that maybe some rainbows are worth chasing. If the Voths are all missing during a meal once a day, you’ll find us (there’s a blogger in me that wants to say, “If the Voths are all missing, don’t worry – we’ll be off chasing a rainbow. But we’ll be back.” Idiocy. Taking an analogy too far. Ignore this.) If you can’t find any of us at a meal once a day, we’ll probably be on the back porch of Sunbeam, catching up with each other and pretending that we like to be together. Okay. That pretending bit is a lie – but my family gets it.
And now my little girl can no longer say that she’s never seen a real rainbow.