We spent a week visiting my parents in Idaho. In Eli's eyes, the sun rises and sets on Papa. For weeks leading up to our visit, Eli would tell any available pair of ears all about his Papa's house, where the following things exist: cars, trucks, coffee, a waterfall, candy canes, Grandma, cookies, and a race car bed.
We got to enjoy some surprise snow while we were in town, and the boys loved playing in my sister's giant yard. My dear, devoted dad pulled them around and around on his old wooden sled. Luke seemed a little nonplussed by it all, but then again, Luke often seems unimpressed by the world. He wears a funny expression a lot of the time that seems to say, "What else have you got?"
My dad, who is awesome in many ways, is particularly great at building things for his grandsons. The bookcase in Eli's bedroom, the race car bed, a giant wooden hippo (don't ask), and this time, a real wooden soapbox car. The kids were over the moon about having a real racecar to "drive" around the neighborhood.
As much as I love my children (and parents), for me, the highlight of the week was leaving them for three days to hole up in a cabin with six of my dearest friends. Four of us have been friends from birth, and all of us from early childhood. We have seen each other through every imaginable stage of growing up, and share an extraordinary bond. These girls have loved me through every awkward, obnoxious, and painful season of my life, and I know how unique it is to still have their friendship. The rare occasions when we can all gather together for a weekend away are precious beyond words.
I love having a home to go home to. I am thankful for parents who are joyfully married after forty-plus years, for the quiet little town that never changes beyond recognition, and for the sweet relationships that still tie me to it. I have roots, deep roots, and I love them.