well, friends, it is labor day, which is to say that the period of the year we call summer is now pretty much completely over. school has started. the nights are getting darker, sooner. and we are taking our summer bucket list out of the frame and putting it into the "to be scrapbooked" pile, an ominous sign by any measurement. when you are "to be scrapbooked" you are clearly just a memory. your neighbors are torn ticket stubs, bent programs, receipts, and other two-dimensional obituaries to moments that have gone before. such is summer, 2018: a memory.
but it is a good memory. you may remember that i was reluctant to even share our summer bucket list this year, and i want to say that while we were able to put quite a few dry-erase x's on that sucker; and while we were able to make quite a few memories, what i hope we got out of it is more than mere scrapbook pages: i hope we continued to build something significant, something substantial, something made out of love and determination and joy. it may have looked like building forts and rockets, eating ice cream and drinking cream soda, and going to summer camp, drama camp, and steelers training camp, but there was something in this summer that is greater than the sum of its parts. there was a defiance in it. there was a wild and reckless hope in it, which undergirds everything we do as a family: that in a broken world, we will keep building love.
to be absolutely clear, we were not perfect at it. in fact, we were hardly even good at it. while this picture looks neat and tidy, some of our summer days were full of fights and frustrations. sometimes we disagreed about what to do, or how or when to do it. sometimes those disagreements ended in tears or raised voices. sometimes we said things we regret. sometimes we pouted. sometimes we threw fits. and the kids did some of those things, too. things that happened this summer that aren't on the bucket list include: dropping and breaking an entire glass half gallon of milk all over the floor; waking up to discover a foot of water flowing through our campsite; discovering two days later that water had gotten into our van from underneath (causing it to now smell like a hearse that won't start), ear infections, stomach bugs, and our refrigerator breaking (twice), just to name a few.
so, yeah, not perfect. not even close. but that's not the point. or, rather, it very much IS the point. we are not trying to be perfect, or trying to pretend to be perfect. we own our messes. but we also are working at remembering that no matter how messy things get, love remains. and living in that love, living into that love, living towards that love, living for that love: that is our real bucket list.
let's put that in the scrapbook.