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C'est la Vie: Not What I Expected...

One of my favorite lines from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is when the wife says to her husband (my paraphrase), "You set standards no family event can ever live up to." This line came to mind today when I looked at the clock to see it was only 9:45am and I was ready to go back to bed. I've been building "summer vacation" up in my mind for weeks. I have been anticipating lazy mornings at home with my kids. My mind's eye had envisioned romping in grass as the sun splashes through the trees, my kids as delighted as ever to be playing together. Hopes were high for fun and games. I forgot that fun is defined differently for each of us. I furthermore forgot that games can often lead to conflict as quickly as you can say, "I want to play Candyland!" (To which the other sibling screams, "No! I want to play Chutes and Ladders!"

And so was our first official morning of summer vacation. (I'll confess it didn't help that I was coming off a very disappointing night - the LOST finale - which I'm pretty sure I'm going to need group therapy to get through. That, however, is not the point of this blog.) It wasn't what I expected. But what ever is? Life always surprises us and wouldn't it be sad if we knew what to expect each day? In an attempt to rectify a day that seemed to be on a fast decline, we made our way out of the house. After running a few errands, I was resigned to the fact that our day had no hope of turning around. The bickering continued between the kids and my mood was the pits.

When we arrived home, I sat down to the kitchen table with my laptop figuring I better get some work done before it was time to start dinner. As I walked by the doors looking out onto our back patio, I saw something that made my heart leap! It was a gaggle (probably not the right word) of tiny, baby ducklings! Although we do live in a lovely neighborhood where wildlife is abundant, I've never seen wild animals in our back yard. I was instantly enthralled. I called the kids to come see, grabbed the camera, and dashed outside. We watched with giggles as the mama duck waddled across the yard, her five precious ducklings close behind.

We followed them around the yard as the little family meandered around the yard, weaving in and out of the bushes... exploring as we enjoyed the show! How they arrived there and why they chose to stay is still a mystery, but I'm so glad they did. Talk about not what I expected! Things were still a wreck with the kids, but I appreciated that we were blessed with this little taste of new life. And new life, vibrant life is really what this life is all about. Throwing off the hindrances of every day living and choosing to run (waddle even) the adventure planned for us.

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