Actually catch up, but that’s not one word.  And they all have to be one word.  Plus, we’ve eaten an extraordinary amount of ketchup (or kat-sup as my grandma used to say) lately, so it fits somehow.  Excuse me for being remiss in these first days of summer.  I’ll settle into a routine but not yet.  Too many things to do to kick of summer properly and they are driving us away from home and into territory that makes us tired but happy, except that beds aren’t found until much too late and as a result, we’re super sleepy.  But we’ll settle into the rhythm that is summer.  We will.
Until then…

 There was a last link on our paper chain count down to summer.
 And three last piles of clothes for the last day of school.
And three lunch boxes and water bottles set to feed and hydrate on the last day.
 There were goodbyes said to dear, dear teachers, me with tremulous voice and choking on the lump in my throat.  You, teachers, are very dear to me.  For all your hard work and the heart and soul you put into each of my children this year…thank you.  Seriously.

And there were last pics taken of these kids before the bell rang and they were officially a Kindergartener, a second grader and a fourth grader.  Except Peter.  I was crying too hard in his class to be able to see through my view finder.  Sucker.  
There were heavy metal doors to push open one last time and a parting shot of the wonderful ladies in the office before we hit the hot car and then there was just us.
And me crying and saying, “you did it.  God told us and we told you and you did it.  You did this hard thing called leaving what was familiar and comfortable and going somewhere new and a little scary and you didn’t complain.  Just went and did it.  You are courageous and strong and so so great.  I’m so proud and I know it’s bloody hot, but I have to just sit here a second more so I can tell you how great you are and so we can thank God for a great year in our new school, which we are going to just call ‘our school’ from now on.”
Then I wiped my snot on my sleeve and blew some cool air down into my bra and pulled away.  Set sail for home.  And fun.  And adventures.  
The first one being this:
DeGraaf tradition says that you get sugar sweetened cereal on vacations.  And since summer is the mother lode of vacations, there it is.  Big box of Apple Jacks and some sippy bowls on the deck on the last day of school and the first hour of summer.  Because you can’t kick off a summer without high fructose corn syrup and FD&C red #5.  It’s a rule.
How did you kick off your summer?
This is me being real.  Glad it’s summer.  Wishing I wasn’t off gluten.  Coming back with lots more summer soon.  I promise.

4 Replies to “ketchup.”

  1. Yeah for summer! We set sail for Holland on the last day of school (Ella's request, her favorite place:) but not until after she rode the bus home because she could not miss out on the last bus ride being a 1st grader! She braved the frigid temps and spent most of the weekend in the lake or pool, crazy kid but it is summer break and supposed to be warm!
    We also purchased a box of sugar cereal which is normally not found in our panty, but yes it is summer. The cereal of choice was cocoa puffs, yuck, but who can't resist chocolatey milk when the cereal is done! Hope to see you in Holland this summer.
    Blessings, Tracee


  2. Another De Graaf family tradition is to spend vast amounts of time at the cottage, with sand between toes, warm tubby's, fruit snacks, playing big cats on the beach, dinners eaten on the sunny deck, and long, long, long De Graaf goodbyes, followed by a plea from nana to return again real soon.
    That's my tradition, and I'm sticking with it
    love you deep


  3. Sweet post, Meg!!! Always love reading them. Hope your baseball whatever was fun and that you did not freeze your tushy off!!! XOXO



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