Friday, July 2, 2010

How to up your rating

From the point of view of our children, the two big attractions of our vacation were our morning whiffle-ball games and our afternoon swims. The villas here at the state park are nestled at the treeline in a semi-circle around the crown of a hill, which is completely covered by a large grassy field. Every morning we took our plastic ball and bat and our rubber bases out to the middle of that field and played three innings of baseball. The teams were ever-shifting, but Archer as the leader dubbed them the Archer Geniuses and the Noel Papers (later renamed the Noel Reds by Cady Gray). After the three-inning mini-games were up, Cady Gray knit one row for each inning on her latest project, and Archer recorded the box scores.

Every afternoon we made our way to the park's inn and conference center for a swim in its outdoor pool. Nothing special -- a small and shallow pool with water not much cooler than the (quite warm) air temperature -- but the kids loved it. They invented games and commandeered us to participate; they played along with our efforts to help them progress with their swimming and water-safety comfort level; and they chattered absolutely non-stop about the fun they were having. From day one to day three, they became bolder in the water, venturing on their tiptoes into water that lapped above their chins, and ceasing to cling to us desperately as they practice their strokes. We spent an hour there each afternoon, and naturally the kids would have stayed much longer if we'd allowed it.

This morning I asked Archer and Cady Gray to rate the vacation from 1 to 5 (a common Archer scale). Cady Gray gave it a "5 plus," but Archer, always cautious about keeping his options open, scored it a 4. I asked him how the trip could rise to a 5 rating by the end of the day, and he suggested another swim. Not a problem, big man.

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