Because we know it won’t last much longer.
And because when the house is a mess, this is the best place to be together.
On the last Thursday of August we took the Manitou Island Transit Ferry across the big lake over to South Manitou Island. In all my years in Leelanau, I had never been to visit this incredibly beautiful place! We hiked to the valley of the ancient white cedar trees and marveled at some of the only “old growth” forest left in Michigan. (In the Midwest?) Why were these trees (many of them well over 500 years old) not cut down in the 1830s and 1840s when the rest of the island was logged to fuel ships? The wind blew in such a way that the massive tree trunks collected sand from the dunes, and the sand dulled the blades of the loggers saws; and so a beautiful grove of white cedars was left to grow and grow. Walking among them truly feels like entering another time. I loved watching the girls and Wallace marvel at the trees after our epic hike through the woods together.
Mothering these two beautiful children, ten years apart in age, is one of my greatest challenges and also one of my greatest joys. The connection between them is a tremendous gift. He looks up to her with such unconditional affection and awe. She nurtures him with such adoration. Quite often these days, she is her most expressive self with him.
And he is getting quite an education from her. Today I asked if he wanted to look for tadpoles when we went down to the beach. He looked up at me and said, in his most matter-a-fact way, “We can’t go into their habitat.”
Now I wonder where my 2-year-old learned that?
Theo boy is living a dog’s life over here. And growing so fast! He has tripled in size since we brought him home two months ago. The girls have been diligently training, walking, washing, brushing, giving swimming lessons . . . and generally taking Theo out to explore the world. I know I’ve said this before, probably a dozen times, but I just love to watch them nurture their pup.