Andrew loaded up the green garden cart with grill, charcoal, food, and the two youngest kids. The rest of us rode bikes. The bluebonnets are in bloom, and I stopped to take pictures until my battery died.
The battery died pretty quickly, which is probably just as well. I could have stayed lost among the flowers for hours, and missed out on most of the magic.
By the time I caught up with the rest of the family, Willie had joined his little brothers in the cart, having had a flat tire. He pretended to be a stranger that they had picked up on the side of the road, and he informed me that we were adopting him. I told him I was glad. I'd always wanted a kid just like him. The whole afternoon was everything I ever could have wanted, and then some. I remembered those glorious afternoons through the years, when the light was so beautiful it made me ache. All of those moments felt like little foretastes of this one.
We had burgers slathered with avocados, and when we realized that we'd underestimated everyone's appetites, we sent Nathan back to the RV to get some more. It is such a good thing to watch your son ride off, strong and hearty and free.
The sunset washed over us with liquid light, and I ran down to the lake to get some pictures. I waded through the squelchy mud, sinking down to my ankles with every step. I snapped photo after photo. They were all very pretty, but none of them did justice to the glory. It was entirely worth it.
And then Andrew took the opportunity to wash my feet. He always does, in a hundred different ways.
Then we rode back. The big kids raced on ahead, while Andrew lugged the cart full of kids and gear. Kiah rode around and around them in epicycles, and I trailed along behind, practicing my balance as I tried to ride slow enough to take it all in.