i lost a love today

Bärli,

Here is something I never thought I would say: today, a majority of Supreme Court Justices ruled based on religious zealotry. I knew it was coming, but knowing they did it without shame? It was a bit shocking to me. I have idolized so many SCOTUS Justices and Chiefs. To be frank: I think I loved the Supreme Court most of all. I loved what it was capable of providing for the United States and the world. Truly. At one point, I wanted to be a Con Law expert, then eventually a teacher.

Not anymore.

Today was awful because I felt personally betrayed on behalf of hundreds of years of belief in SCOTUS. After decades of plotting, these 6 Justices finally did what a group wanted them to do: impose theocracy on the United States. But, we are not a theocracy and religious beliefs have no place in the Supreme Court.

Adulting is hard and I had to work. I had things to do today. You needed me to be your mom. You won an award at your Tennis Academy this morning, which was a massive deal for you. I had responsibilities for big projects at work. I needed to be on-site for Parisa. I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, which was watch the news and feel shock & awe. See people reflecting how I felt for hours and hours. I wanted to do that and had to settle for an occasional search for an org provided aid and a small donation (not wealthy).

You went to sleep tonight and I stopped hitting “donate” and started organizing. “Can you join the march at 00:00 in your city?” and “What about driving 30 minutes to a march in XYZ and I’ll shoot you directions” and “Let me know how many people and I’ll get them there.” Mid-afternoon, I’d watched a colleague lead a meeting, knowing her daughter was probably sleeping in the other room. All I could think was, “my real work starts when Bärli goes to sleep.”

Her daughter is months old. My hope is that we fix this abuse of the public trust (this abuse was actually committed by Republican members of the Senate), before my colleague’s daughter might need healthcare.

Because that is what reproductive options are for a woman: basic healthcare.

The reasons a woman needs what is legally deemed an “abortion” are so vast they range from “life saving” to personal decision. I mean, the idea that a woman will now be potentially required to prove her miscarriage was not self-induced? Where am I?

Anyway, you want heroes? I saw them on TV tonight, between calls. They are fighting back tears (Rachel Maddow, Mommy’s favorite, showed up on a Friday night…you know shit is going down) and giving us the information we need to mobilize.

If nothing else, hear this message from this post: do NOT sit on the sidelines. Mommy is not having more babies; but, you know who will be adversely impacted by laws and decisions like this one? Underprivileged, unemployed, unseen, underage, women and girls, mainly of color. Injustice in a nutshell. When you see injustice, do not sit still. Help, where you can and in a peaceful way. As the sign says in your room, “You have two hands: one to help yourself and one to help others.” Get off the sidelines and do something.

Another colleague today said something that struck my core. She was talking to a group and said, “Laura and I can tell you, pregnancy is not easy.” God, she is speaking absolute truth. Many pregnancies genuinely require abortions, in early weeks, to allow the mother to live. Others get into urgent situations that are truly life-threatening, even if the fetus is aborted. Women in abusive relationships, women unable to provide for the children they have, women struggling to make ends meet, women who do not want to be mothers, women who are raped, women who are abused, women whose family members see them as appropriate sexual partners…I mean, the list goes on and on.

And…our healthcare workers. Please, imagine a doctor being unable to save a patient, when the doctor knows the fetus is not viable and the patient will die. Life in prison?

It’s 2022.

I don’t know where I live today, but I know my feet can march, my fingers can hit “donate,” and my delicate female brain is working. So, keep calm and bugger on I shall.

Like Mother, like son

My precious Bärli,

For Mother’s Day, which I’m quickly realizing is NEVER about the mother and always about what others THINK the mother wants, I wore hideous earrings. Why? “I liked the color,” you said, when you explained your choice if earrings to me.

Fine. I wore them all day AND I think they almost infected my ear. Whatever.

My favorite part of today was our long Bluestem Train walk (which you call a “hike). I asked you if you’d want to stay with Lindy the day before my birthday, in a few weeks, to give me a day off from work. Your lower lip came out and you said you’d think about it. You told me you didn’t want to because it was a Friday night (news flash: you are 5 and you figured that out) and that was a night when you were allowed to sleep in my bed (weekend). You said it might be okay because “Lindy is like you.”

You’ve said this before, but it hit me today.

I cannot fathom a better compliment than to be compared to Momma. She is imperfectly perfect. Truly. The best she can possibly do? She does it.

Time and time and time again, she has put her family first. The ideal of “family” guides her – her biological family, her chosen family, her extended chosen family (e.g. your godparents are her children, too), etc. She is still teaching me that love does not have a capacity. I don’t have “only enough” love for you, Lindy, and Pop Pop. I have infinite love. I have space for people outside of my “core” little group, here in Dallas. Love grows and is made stronger by the exercise of its very strength.

So many children were made better people because of your grandmother – oh, that I could be like her. There is no finer legacy than to give a bright future to children. We know she has done that with her own kiddos and with her 5 grandsons; but, I cannot imagine how many children were impacted by her work as a teacher, as a volunteer, and as a “hands on” philanthropist in this city.

When you said that being with Lindy was like being with me? I just felt like I’d had a very small victory as a Momma.

You know, I remember the very moment I started calling her “Momma.” When Grammy died, we were left in the room together. I envisioned losing my grandparents, but I never really knew about the stillness in the room, after they’d died. Mimi and Pop didn’t get the right death, but Grammy and Granddaddy did. They died in the room, where they’d talked about their daughters/grandchildrens’ futures, screamed about turning off the Christmas lights earlier, cried about the loss of a sibling, loved in such a beautiful way. They both died in their bedroom on Courtshire. Beautiful.

My mother was weeping over the body of her precious, much beloved mother. Linda said, “Momma.” She said it quite a few times, quietly, in her mother’s ear. I knew I’d always call Lindy, “Momma.”

Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be about anything big. It can just be about remembering that when we woke up, Godmomma, Anna, Lindy, Cash, Eliza, Winston, and you were all together and your Momma was there. Or? It can be a memory that calls Lindy your “Lindy Momma” because that’s how I’ve started thinking of her, when I think of the two of you.

For me? Today was rough. In many ways. I didn’t see people my heart wanted to see.

But, it was amazing in more ways. So, I’m going to sleep thankful.

Lawa

Bärli

Today, I attended the funeral for Mr. Smith, Lawa’s dad.

There are many reasons she is one of your godmothers. She is smart. She is kind. She is stunningly beautiful – inside and outside. She is hysterical. She is talented. She is devoted. My God, she is devoted.

To her family, to all her “roles” – wife, mother, aunt, godmother, sister, friend, colleague, in-law, parishioner, and daughter.

I’ve seen her overcome a great many battles, in the decades we’ve been known as “Laura” and “The Other Laura.” (BTW – Mommy is the “Other Laura.”) Smith was almost killed on a highway, in an accident that wreaked havoc on her physically, emotionally, mentally. She never wanted anything more than she wanted to be married and that was a long journey (God was saving ChuWa for her, but we didn’t know). Thank God M&M are happy, healthy boys; but, their arrival was tough – they were very little, Bärli. It was scary. Her mom was also in a horrible accident, there have been other scares for their family. We were both in a career field that is tough, too. Not easy.

Through it all, she has remained such a dependable, loyal, amazing [insert title here]. Since the first time I met her, on the streets of Canterbury, I have always been amazed by her.

But, never more so than today.

At her father’s memorial service, she was elegant, poised, and beautiful. Music means a great deal to her parents, they love her voice (as do all those who are lucky enough to hear her). Her father’s “favorite Laura” song was “O Holy Night.” It is the rare individual who can truly sing that song beautifully and the fact that she 1) sang it beautifully, 2) at her father’s memorial service…Mommy had to scream “Brava” and clap. EVERYONE clapped. But, I’m sure no one clapped longer or louder than Lacie Smith.

I’ll tell you, that wasn’t even it. The musical tracks for the hymns were, uh, challenging. So, Lawa simply stepped up. To make sure the music was what her Daddy deserved, she stepped up and CONDUCTED THE ROOM. I have never heard a more beautiful “It is Well With My Soul” in my life. After the second hymn, I told the man sitting next to me (I don’t think he heard me, but that’s okay), “that’s my son’s godmother right there.” I was in awe of her, as always. But, again, no one was prouder than Lacie Smith, I’m sure.

She is a true tribute to what it means to push through pain, hurt, disappointment, sadness, frustration, unfairness, or any other thing that this world might give you…to push through it and still give the world your beautiful gifts, anyway.

Look to your godmother Lawa when you need that reminder, son.

COVID HALLOWEEN, The Doubters, AND A still small voice

My son contracted COVID at school, based on what the school told us, though he wears a mask. Moral of the story: actually continue to give this Virus its due difference, folks. It has killed (WHO site has not been updated in 48 hours, but I’d assume we’ve hit 5 million) almost 5 million people globally.

People are STILL underestimating this Virus. I still hear, “I can fight it.” #Darwin

Anyway, my child’s favorite holiday is Halloween, which is troubling for three reasons. First, I HATE Halloween – I detest masks and other alterations of a person’s actual…being. Second, his favorite holiday should be Thanksgiving, Valentine’s, or something equally lovely and featuring joyful hearts frolicking in a meadow. Instead? He loves a holiday featuring blood, fear, and other terrifying moments of gloom. Eye roll. Third, he has never celebrated Halloween. He has been a child of quarantine (I was nervous in 2019, definitely fearful in 2020, and he’s Agent Orange now).

He sat on a the porch this year. Full costume (he was a Dallas Police Officer). No trick-or-treating. Again.

He watched other children, from a Fauci-approved distance, experience the holiday he loves. He doesn’t love the candy – he loves the interaction and the fact that people go outdoors at night. He loves that “Dia de los Muertos,” which he will stay with a killer (pun intended) accent, honors the dead – we honor his Grandpére almost daily. “Death” is a word that has no sting in our household.

Previously, we quarantined with Momma (who is a teacher, mother, grandmother, SAINT). Not so much now. We are in serious quarantine – no one in or out. I am struggling. All of the sudden, I’m alone – I am teacher, mother, cook, housekeeper, coach, psychologist. I am working – full-time. It is hard.

When people ask me, “what can I do?” I answer, “we are fine.” That is true. “We” are fine, for sure. My son is just fine, which means that “we” are fine.

But, I am not fine.

Earlier today, two parts of our family’s heart showed up for what Frankenstein referred to as a “reverse Halloween.” I got it, after a nap (I think?). They showed up to our house because my little guy could not go to any house(s). Brilliant. Helpful to this Momma who needed to see her Little Bear smile and needed to see her friends, to be honest. We talked about normal things and, for pity’s sake, how we would get back to a better place, after he’d tested negative again.

But, night cometh. So cometh the tantrums of a Kindergartner on Halloween, who is unable to actually trick-or-treat.

Enter: A pre-teen and St. Thomas

Around 7:30 PM tonight, at our curb, arrived a very costumed-under-duress Zookeeper and an effervescent and downright joyful Tiger. They were our dear friends, representing our little Church That Can – St. Thomas the Apostle. (Editor’s note: already knew Tiger had great gams and Zookeeper has been hiding that light under jeans…moving on…). They briefly visited and left some bags of Halloween treats.

Around 7:45 PM, I was clearing all the s**t out of the yard:

  1. the massive table, which was actually a line of demarcation – here is the COVID and there are YOU
  2. the candy, which was cheap and full of junk
  3. the chalk, which might have ended up with some nice drawings (here’s hoping) and
  4. all the other stuff meant to make Halloween celebratory for all the kiddos, thought it wasn’t for us.

Immediately after shutting the door and turning out the obligatory “SHOP’S CLOSED!” lights, some yutes (MCV reference) knocked on the door. I spoke to them, through the glass mask, “I’ll go get the candy, but stand away from the door. My son has COVID.”

I went to got get two large handfuls of the TONS of candy we were given today (more later). I went too slowly, punishment for arriving after I’d clearly signaled I was absolutely done with this day?, to the door. Two kiddos were standing a bit away from the front step. They said the obligatory “trick or treat”s.

“Hope y’all have a good Halloween, here’s some stuff,” I said. I dumped candy into their buckets. This was done with a smile because I was happy. Happy they were enjoying Halloween. Truly. I could tell they were.

Then, one kid looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Thank you and I’m going to pray for your son.”

Pause.

Please, think about that. This kid is out collecting candy and had the presence of thought to say that.

This could be our future, America. We can be okay. Remember this kid.

Then, I go back inside.

My kid is eating a very late dinner, in our kitchen. He asks if he can look at the bags from Mr. Tiger and Mr. Zookeeper. I say “okay.” My son has been awful – truly awful – to me for hours and days. But, it’s Halloween and his has been rather lamentable.

First bag has a gift in it, from our Father Stephen – a Christmas stocking. We both smile, “Son, there are better days coming.” He says, “YES!” We both agree this is a good reminder that a little child will bring joy. Such a good time for this reminder – faith-wise and in-THIS-house-wise. #callingmeameaniedoesnotconstitutebringingjoy

Then, there is a bag with an ALARMING amount of candy in it. Y’all, it’s a truly alarming. It’s like Willy Wonka threw up here. There’s a card and I’m fully expecting to see one name when…

I see many.

I see our church. I see our people, our family.

I’ll tell you, we are not anything you’d imagine, at St. Thomas the Doubter. We CALL ourselves “Doubters.” We are loving. We lift each other up. We support each other. We are genuinely inclusive – please, not only come as you are, but don’t you dare try to be someone else. We know when the person says, “I’m okay,” it might mean, “I could use some sunshine.” God forbid, it means, “help me.” Did we hear that?

Through this simple act of signing a card, collecting candy, driving North 45 minutes, our Doubters? They heard it.

They entered a house with COVID tonight. By the way, there are folks at St. Thomas, with whom we have mourned COVID deaths. We – Bärli and me. Tonight, they were with us, in our house, which has COVID. We felt and truly needed their presence with us and we got it. I will never put that card away.

And, we are always with y’all. This boy’s voice may not be literally still or small, but it is a still, small voice that is always in that Chapel, in the Parish Hall, or wherever we are gathered. Thank you all for opening that door to a single mother and a 3-year old. We needed y’all. xo

Let it be that we can all be that still, small voice – a pre-teen at someone’s door, a boss saying “we’re here for you,” a teenager playing her heart out on a football field in East Tennessee, a neighbor carrying kindness in the form of a bucket of Halloween thoughtfulness. Let us all be that pure, beautiful voice of awareness that we are not alone to someone else. It need not be God on a Cloud – it can be God in human form…and usually is.

Jesus Had Two Dads, Robert Herrick, and Your Heart

Mamas Bärli,

Tonight, I started to explain the concept of Advent to you. Lately, amongst other memories, I have been reminiscing about one from the visit with GM & GP last year. One conversation we had in the car, with GP (GM and Lindy were in Lindy’s car), went like this:

Me: Who was Jesus’ mother?

You: Mary.

Me: And his father?

You: Joseph.

Me: (pause) Well, yes. He had another father, too.

You: Huh?

Me: God is Jesus’ father. Joseph is his earthly father and God is his eternal father.

You: Huh?

GP laughed.

GP: It is a bit difficult to understand, even for us, right?

When we had this talk, he just sat and smiled. Perhaps he was happy we were talking about faith. Perhaps he was happy your brain was trying to understand that we can’t really mentally understand faith. I just know he was happy.

That smile. Oh, that smile he had.

Getting back to tonight, it’s the first week of Advent. So, we talked a bit about Mary because Mommy talks to to Mary quite a bit about you (“PLEASE, give me strength because I know you had a child that had some serious ideas about how to do things the ‘right’ way.”). I told you that when she needed to have her baby, no one would let her inside their inns (hotels); so, she had to give birth to Jesus in a very dirty, cold, probably wet barn with animals around her. It wasn’t anything nice like the hospital where I had you. A few seconds later, this was your response:

“Momma, if Mary needed to have my room for the baby, me and Veronica (stuffed animal) would share.”

It told me a lot about you, Bärli.

On a day which saw you having temper tantrums (about things like not having an extra 2 minutes to play basketball, being unable to play with Daniel, not being able to put the crayons in the little boxes easily, and wanting bananas instead of oranges), your real heart shone through all that nonsense.

At age 4, you “get” it.

It isn’t about keeping everything safe, wonderful, shiny, new, beautiful, comfortable, etc. for yourself.

It is all about making sure that people that have less than you, people in desperate need of the help that you can give, are given the beauty, kindness, and best that you can give – based solely on that fact that they are human beings worthy of your best. Momma is trying so hard to teach you: you have two hands – one for taking care of yourself and the other for helping others. You cannot help others if you are not strong and tonight you said it so clearly – you are strong. Your head and your heart are working in tandem, my darling boy. You “get” it. You have so much and you are able to give so much. Of course, you thought you should probably stay in Godmum’s room because the baby would be loud and would have to have diapers, but that’s beside the beautiful point.

I could imagine your GP tonight, just like he did that day in the car. Smiling. Proud you are his and loving your heart.

The darling of the world is come, and fit is is we find a room to welcome him. The nobler part of all the house here is the heart. – Robert Herrick

COVID-19, Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey , and Superhero Shields

Bärli,

I was deeply impacted by something I read years ago. I will butcher it to pieces, but it was an account of a woman who’d lost both of her parents. It was written by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey.

The woman was no longer protected from Death. Instead, she realized, she was the next, natural victim of Death’s sting.

I remember, vividly, watching my own mother say “goodbye, Momma,” to Grammy, her mother. We were in her bedroom, Grammy was gone. I looked at my mother, my youthful mother. I couldn’t reconcile how my mother’s mother was gone. I immediately thought of that moment, from the book. I wondered if she was thinking that?

COVID-19 has brought the three of us even closer. We do not interact much with the outside world, but we have made a Trio of Strength. Lindy is teaching you and you do not even comprehend how amazing this is. Lindy is one of the finest educators I know and you get her undivided, focused attention daily. She has, literally, taught you to read. At three years of age, because of her, you were reading sentences. (You are unable to attend school because your mother has been terrified, since pre-US “concern” about COVID-19. )

You constantly refer to Mr. Daniel and Lindy as your “best friends.” I concur.

Lindy and I have never been confused with best friends. We have had fights that would shock Jesus, himself. Little has changed. Except…I am tempered. Because I saw my beautiful mother looking at her mother, having left us all here without her.

How many memories do we have left? How do I keep the memories going? What can I do to make certain I am not saying, “goodbye, Momma” and I’m still here for my precious child? These are the worries of a parent, who is also a child.

COVID-19 gave me: appreciation, memories, time. It made me stop and pause. Amidst the absolute nightmare that is a full-time job, a toddler at-home, upkeep of multiple places/people…Lindy has been a rock. She has had two meltdowns. Two. I have had 20+.

This horror for our world, I have done almost everything in my power to shield two of my most prized treasures (the other prized treasures, like Pop Pop, won’t listen to me) from its lethal snare. Will it work? I hope. We do not know what will happen to any of us and I am thankful we are a family that believes in a Power that is more powerful, than any we see on Earth.

You are young and love to envision yourself as a superhero that fights, with Mr. Daniel, against anything evil (like a snake). One day, you said, “if the virus came here, I would fight it with my sword to protect my Lindy.”

Indeed. I have spent the last six months of my life, trying like Hell to stop “it” from entering her world, too. With your sword, my tenacity, and her willingness to stay put, it is my hope that we will not suffer the fate of other families, in the world. We are rapidly approaching 200,000 lost Americans.

My prayer is our, not just yours!, Lindy has never thought about the fact that, having lost both of her parents, she is no longer protected from Death. I do not know. I do know that we had a discussion about the “if one of us catches this Virus” scenario, early on, and we decided we would handle it in this house. Together. We would care for each other.

Always.

Naming You

I like the story of how you got your name. You are SUCH a “Henry.”

I was warned not to name you early. Some cultures do not believe in naming an unborn child. They find it bad luck for the birth. Given that I’d had bad luck for quite some time, I though I’d roll the dice and start thinking of names.

Girl

When I was growing up, I always wanted a little girl and I wanted to name her Suzanna because the coolest girl I knew was Suzanna Finnegan, Aunt Jenny’s friend. Though a lovely name (and still one of the coolest girls I know), I wanted something else. I know exactly what I wanted.

Emily and Mildred, my beloved grandmothers.  The day I realized Emmi, one of my favorite Luzern companies, combined the names of my grandmothers almost made me forget how terrified I was to have a Laura 2.0. I wanted to name a little girl “Emmi.”

Bibiana. Two strong women I admired, respected, and idolized had this name in their names – Monsie and Bibiana Marie.

Emmi Bibiana if it was a girl. Not even a question.

Boy

Harder.

I considered Jackson Ayres, after the two RJAs and your Godpoppa.

I thought about what it would mean if the baby was a boy and I named him “Jackson Ayres.”

Given that there’d already been an “RJ” and a “Jack,” my son might be nicknamed “Three,” which I didn’t like. I didn’t think the Swiss would be able to pronounce it either. They’d struggled with Jackson’s name during his visit, calling him something that sounded so odd I didn’t realize they were talking about him. He got a lot of “Jacques.”

But, Jackson was a great choice because it allowed me to pay tribute to these two men and my soul brother. I was working through this when I texted Jackson Henry.

“If it’s a boy, I’m gonna name him Jackson.”

But, that didn’t feel right when I typed it.

I loved the entire Henry family so much it made (and still does) my heart bigger and my life complete. The Kings too, for that matter. Godpoppa and Godmomma’s kids and families were my family. I loved all of them.

It went perfectly with the first name I always wanted to choose, but dared not to, lest someone get upset with me: Christopher.

Though I call him “Brother” and you call him “The Dude,” I was so concerned the boys would be upset if I named you after their Daddy. They weren’t! For awhile, Coopie wanted us to call you “Christopher.” Your uncle is such a strong, brave man. Perfect decision.

Family from the beginning of his name to the end.

How did you get your nickname “Bärli”? Mommy’s heart lives in Luzern, but my life really started in Bern. You are named for that life that started on in September of 2015 at the WTI and ended early in the morning in September of 2016, my Berner Bärli.

I was Skyping with Lindy one day when Dr. Baur texted me, “It’s a boy.”

Perfect boy with the perfect name.

The House that Holds my Secret

Bärli,

Almost every weekday morning, you come into my room asking if you have to go to school. When I say, “Yes! You get to go to school!”, you never fall for it. Collapsing in tears, just wanting to stay with Mommy.

Here’s what you don’t see.

There is a house about two blocks away from your school. Every morning, I pull the car over, after I drop you off. I cry for a few minutes. Every morning. I cry because you are sometimes upset when I leave. I cry because there are days when I feel too tired or sad to go to work, but I must. I cry for my pathetic bank account that is not growing. I cry that I haven’t walked into my church since you, Godmum, Lindy, and I went to Luzern in September of 2016. I cry because Kindergarten is right around the corner and then I lose the last chance that I had to be your full-time Mommy. I cry because I’m scared for the future of all Americans. I cry because I just want to stay with Henry.

I want you surrounded by people that love you; so, I will NEVER complain about being a single mom. It is not easy, but it is far easier than imagining you around anyone that didn’t love you or wouldn’t cry for the lack of you for 8-9 hours of a weekday. I feel sorry for anyone who would leave that sadness at a house or not have it at all. It’s not me. Your school “Moms” are a blessing to me. They love you so deeply – cheer for you when you succeed, encourage you when you are frustrated. I cannot imagine our world without them.

But, I am your Momma. You are my Bärli. It is hard for us both and I know there will be a day when it is not hard for you anymore. I now understand why many parents feel incomplete after their child begins to reach independence… 10 – sleepovers … 16 – drive a car … 18 – go to school … 22 – start a career/move. Brutal, but beautiful.

Thank God I have that house.

#PortRoyalStrong 2019: thoughts from a 4-generations family…and counting!

This is a piece written by the granddaughters of the original Port Royal pioneers, Hap and Emily. We watched you, we learned from you, we have continued in your footsteps, and we love you.

***

Before we go back to the real world today, we wanted to write this post about Port Royal in Port Aransas, Texas.

Hurricane Harvey, long since forgotten by most Americans (and, sadly, Texans), devastated the Gulf Coast. In 2017, Harvey pummeled Texas, causing $125b-worth of damage. We remember the food, clothing, water drives…sending everything we could manage down to the coast. We watched in abject horror as our childhood summer destination, Port Aransas, was decimated by the anger of the Gulf of Mexico.

From Laura: I have stayed in 5-star hotels and dined in Michelin-starred restaurants. I swam in the Mediterranean. I biked in the Austrian countryside. I know summer fun. Port Royal is still my choice for a beach vacation. Coming to Texas from overseas? Come here like my Swiss and Slovak friends did. It will not disappoint you.

Did Harvey change Mustang Island? Yes. Would these amazing men, women, young people, and kiddos benefit from the influx of your tourist dollars if you came here? Yes. Is this is fool’s errand on which we send you? No.

We went to the IGA twice and were greeted with friendly faces, Port A seafood, and a great selection. We have gone twice a day to the beach, which is almost idyllic this summer – very little seaweed, no tar, no beached jellyfish, terrific waves. Shopping in a few local stores yesterday was fun, minus the toddler tantrum that ended that fairly abruptly, and that is due in large part to the fact that there are amazing local buys here. This is not to mention the amenities that are still strong at Port Royal.

All three of our boys took FULL advantage of the pools. We were so grateful for a small slide that was toddler-safe and the new water obstacle courses, successfully scaled by the twins!, the resort added following the hurricane. It truly is a family-friendly pool…and we hope it continues to be, as people come back in mass to this beautiful place.

The boardwalk does need a rejuvenation, but it is still the glorious walk through the dunes, with their local flora and fauna, that we loved as small girls and adore as adults. The first time the ocean breeze hits us, almost everything else fades away.

We prefer the gulf view. Seeing the seagulls in flight, watching the sun wake up, gazing outside from the table as we enjoy dinner together as a family, imagining the nights when we walked the beach as teenagers struggling with some truly awful and horrendous case of angst…it brings the entire world into sharp focus.

Family and making memories – we’re all about it. So is Port Royal.

To our beloved boys: these memories will last us a lifetime and it is all because of two sisters making it a priority, sitting at Lindy’s table and getting a confirmation from Port Royal, saving pennies for the past few months for the beach, getting in our cars in Dallas and Austin, making a pitstop with Cah in Austin, arriving in Mr. Mark’s beautiful condo, feeling welcome by every Port Royal guy and gal…splashing, laughing, crying, eating New Braunfels Smokehouse sandwiches, building sandcastles, attacking the waves, saving Hermit crabs and minnows, visiting the Texas State Aquarium, “Roam”ing in the beautiful store in town, savoring ice cream with shell, feeding seagulls, playing all the great Goliath games (Charades for Kids was a particular favorite – Vanni was the Champ!) hugging, kissing, and being together as a strong family. Aunt LaLa/Mommy and Mama/Aunt Sparkles love the three of you so very much.