31 July 2006

Griswalds on the Pond

In search of a vacation vibe, we packed the family wagon to its maximum load capacity and headed to the Cape to spend the day with Katie & Jim N. at their place on Ashumet Pond. We envisioned an afternoon of clean family fun: Listening to WMVY radio on the surround sound, chilling on the pier, perhaps going for a boat ride. But the moment we arrived, our Griswaldian delusions were snuffed out by toddler revolt, with Carrie and Paul rising up in cranky indignation. Caroline's mood plummeted because her juice wasn't cold enough and/or because the wind was blowing in the wrong direction. She insisted we should just "go home" because her day could surely not recover from such horror. Paulie "one man wrecking machine" Jackson took off in his splash pants and refused to keep his lifejacket on. We spent the first half hour trying to keep him from falling off the pier.

Amid the chaos, Katie, looking out over the pond serene as can be, very matter-of-factly said, "These days, instead of getting frustrated, I just have a beer." OF COURSE! It sounded like too easy a solution for unrelenting mayhem but it was quite effective. I cracked a Corona and released its magic into the air. Suddenly, some F-16s from neighboring Otis Airforce Base did a fly over, their timing like the Hallelujiah chorus marking the monumental shift in attitude: The meltdowns ceased, the wind shifted, the juice was cold and Paulie kept his lifejacket on. We went for a few boatrides and were even able to sit down for 3o seconds to enjoy some italian sausages and potato salad. It was then that we waxed philosophical on our newfound solution: Did the Coronas cast a spell over the babies -- or was Mama just buzzed?

Let us raise a cone to the ice cream gods of Ashumet Pond.

Ryan and Caroline engage in a round of extreme ring around the rosy...

...then some yoga.

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