Take a long stretch of hot, muggy days. Add several hot, sticky children. Drive them three hours (in a borrowed! airconditioned! vehicle!) to the most beautific fairyland in West Virginia, and let them loose into the magical Middle Fork river...
Indulge their need to be Near Water At All Times.
Throw in some spectacular fungi for this mama.
Add ancient boulders, some toads and roasted marshmallows.
Shake and toss the whole shebang down the rapids.
You will have filled several cups full of Happy.
Me: Ani, is your cup full?
Ani: My cup?
Me: Your happy cup.
Ani: OH YEAH!!!
Overheard the next morning...
Ari: Mama! My Happy Butt is full!!
Jen: Do you maybe mean your happy cup?
Ari: Yeah! My Happy Cup! It's FULL!
Two nights at Audra State Park, near Buckhannon, WV, made for a glorious and easy camping trip with our dearlings Jen, Osha and Ari. It was a break from the breakneck speed of summer, and from the oppressive heat of the past couple of weeks. All of the kids seemed to expand their swimming skills, taking some new risks and growing in courage and strength, swimming across expanses of water, braving the small rapids, relearning the backfloat and the cannonball. Yay for clean water!!!
I value these little windows so much. Jen is really gifted with her ability to mediate conflict amongst children, and as we had the expected scuffles, weary irritability and disappointments, I got to observe her take on things and feel supported in my own attempts to assist in untangling the troubles.
We drove home Friday through several waves of thunderstorm, back into the small grievances of daily life, but my cup was full of river and friendship. Happy.