I have so many more things I’d love to capture from Bear Lake this year, but I have to move on, so I’ll end with this: our time at Bear Lake each year is forging such beautiful connections between so many people that I love. Of course the kids are all becoming thick as thieves with the cousins around their own age, but this year I was particularly struck (again) by how rich their relationships are becoming with their older and younger cousins, with their grandparents and with their multitude of aunts and uncles. I am confident that these relationships are going to be a pillar of strength to them in their lives. This year each of the older cousins were “tutors” to a younger cousin. Somehow Emmeline got lucky enough to get paired up with Grace and they were a match made in heaven (as far as Emmeline was concerned). At every meal Grace was at Em’s beck and call, getting her her food, meeting her demands for drinks and certain colored plates and utensils. She even helped her to be sure to clear her place after dinner and get ready for bed. Dream come true for both me and Em. That big Grace made Emmeline feel so confident and happy with herself. I’m sure she planted some seeds of confidence in that little girl that I couldn’t have been planted by me or Jeff or anyone else. It was beautiful.
I wish I had pictures of Peter with Ashton who was attentive to his every need. It was glorious. For some reason I’m also particularly struck by Uncles efforts to build relationships with my kids. I kind of thought once they became dads they wouldn’t take as much of an interest in my children since they’d be so wrapped up in their own. But, no, not these guys. They are so good to play with the little minions with any of their spare time. I’m going to let these photos speak for themselves.
Uncle Josh took each of the groups on little adventures. Charlie even got to sleep over on the sailboat with his group and Josh. And then there are those bond forming between older and younger cousins. I’m especially grateful for these bonds. My kids have such great big kids to look up to. This is good since most of Charlie’s impressions of teenagers come from the ones he sees hanging around Malden high after school (not a pretty bunch) or the ones he watches wide eyed on Halloween traipsing down our street leaving shaving cream and smashed pumpkins in their wake. I’m pretty sure after watching Max and Elle and Ashton and Grace and Isaac and Anna all summer they’ve decided that’s the kind of stuff they want to have going on when they’re bigger.
Next year I need to get better pictures of these connections happening at Bear Lake. They are one of the most magical parts of that place. And before I leave Bear lake for good, I had to post this one. Jeff was in heaven up there with is old beater car and his bro-in-law Jo who could help him achieve all of his automotive dreams.