Aaaah, a week in the Outer Banks with most of those I love best. I am utterly relaxed and happy, but also so thrilled to be going home tomorrow. I miss Mr. J and The Dog terribly! The trip would have been a totally different experience with him (Mr. J, that is). He's absolutely tireless when it comes to playing with three beautiful, but clingy, nieces in the pool, and he would have been so patient and calm with them in the ocean.
But he was in my heart and my mind the entire trip, and it was his presence that kept me calm and cool on Day 3 or 4, when everyone was a little overtired (especially me) and sensitive to the quirks in others that drive us a little batty.
And maybe this is a sign that I am finally growing up. From Mr. J, I have (slowly) learned to smile through the little annoyances, laugh away the occasional snarky comments, keep my mouth shut regarding my sister's sometimes odd relationship with her husband, and mainly not sweat the small stuff. Now I just need to remember this lesson when I get home and apply it to my own relationship. (See Whimsy's post today, as it perfectly encapsulates the rough treatment I give my own husband more often than I would ever care to admit.)
And miracle of miracles, the trip was without a major blowup or storming off to separate corners -- and I'm not talking about outbursts between the kids. I love my sister dearly. Growing up, we were like best friends. But we are completely different people in many respects (obviously), and I think I am finally realizing that that is OK.
It's only taken me 38 years.