The Face of a Child
Today was a great day. Work and politics were put on the back burner. I didn't feel the 98-degree heat. My kids came home from camp. After four weeks of missing these two beautiful children, we were reunited. My daughter smiled and yelled "Daddy" when she saw me, then gave me a a hug. My son and I ran to each other and embraced. His was a bear hug and tears welled in his eyes. All of us should have love so deep that it reveals itself so openly after such a short separation. Is there anything more true than a child's love of a parent and a parent's love of a child? Is there anything more important? I think not.
The children endured the five-hour bus ride from Maine. My son still looked queasy from throwing-up on the bus, an event that his sister was all too willing to describe in detail. The bus drop-off is at the junction of Interstates 90 and 95, along the Charles River, in Newton, Massachusetts. A small area of this transportation ground zero has been preserved for open access to the river, with a spot to feed the ducks. This strip of asphalt and the canoe rental facility across the river are what remain from Norumbega Park, torn down in the 1960s to make way for a Marriot Hotel. There is no denying that the Marriot meets the economic test of "highest and best use" but I wish the preservation was taken as seriously as the development. Then again, I could have picked up the kids in the Marriot parking lot and not have been any less enthusiastic.
I loaded up the new Volvo that the kids were seeing for the first time. I am pleased to tell you that my children did not shed any tears of joy over the car, nor did they embrace the exterior or interior. My daughter did express her surprise at its cleanliness. My wife and I are car killers. Give us time and we will kill this car, too. We met Mom near her work for pizza. I ordered a Coke for myself and a Diet Coke for my wife. My kids both asked for water. After just four weeks at camp, my kids had given up materialism and refined sugar. I should go to this camp.
After much talk about life at camp, my son needed to see his home. It is important not to change too much in the house while the kids are away, but to change enough for them to believe that we made some progress during their absence. The emphasis was on yard work, painting, new closet doors in the hall and new algae-eating fish to keep the tank clean. The kids noticed it all, but the fish got the most attention. Given the heat, we took a dip in the community pool and then drove off to Dairy Joy for three Raspberry Freezes. It was a simple day but a special one.
The face of a child holds so much that is wonderful about life. Put a smile on a child's face and you will never have to worry about putting one on your own.
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