Long weekends can be hard on us. While I love the time away from work and extra time with my kids, the hole in our lives is more readily evident. So, this weekend I accepted an invitation to stay with friends at their lake house. There were two houses packed to the gills. 11 adults and 12 kids between the ages of 5 and 13.
With that many around it’s harder to sit in any kind of lonely. Someone always needs a snack, a hook baited, a boat ride, and don’t forget candy from the marina. Throw in a hundred, “Hey Mom! Look at this!” and you’ve got yourself a busy weekend.
I love watching my boys enjoy the same lake I grew up spending summer vacations on. There were a few times throughout our marriage where Tony and I debated whether we wanted to be lake people. Did we want to pull back on summer sports and spend all our weekends boating and fixing up things in a second home? Was the three hour drive each way worth it? In the end, we decided the extra work a second home would require wasn’t worth it for us.
But I never stopped thinking we could have done it and imagined having more time on the lake. Me teaching our boys to water ski and him getting them into fishing and tossing them on a tube. So, while my weekend was a respite from the loneliness, Tony is never far from my mind. All the what if’s that would have forged us down another path circle in my brain.
My youngest was watching some of the other kids fish this weekend and wanted in on the action. He borrowed a pole and pretty soon, caught himself a whopper of a catfish.
Then one of the homeowners brought out a collapsible fishing pole kit that Tony bought 2 years ago. I had no idea that it even existed because I loathe fishing. Kids throwing hooks in the air with worms attached to them – I digress but I want no part of getting worm hooked. This fishing pole sat unused all summer last year because I had no idea it existed, and the homeowner forgot about it. Macklin’s face lit up when I told him that his dad bought him that fishing pole 2 years ago. It felt special to have an unexpected piece of him with us this weekend. Tony would have been proud of me too for wrangling not 1 but 2 catfish off the hooks to be released.
We’ve already got our next trip to the lake planned in a few weeks and you can bet we are bringing that fishing pole back again.