Posted by: storywriter45 | September 4, 2014

The Youngest Neuman Goes Swiming

I have dreamt many dreams and made so many plans on the large wooden porch that extends the width of my 1800’s farm-house. Well, actually, my house sits  right smack dab in the middle of a suburb near Detroit, MI. It’s old and showing signs of wear with its peeling paint and broken railings. Like me, though,  underneath is a strong unyielding  structure that is oblivious to the aging happening on the outside.

I so enjoy sitting here with my memories of children and grandchildren growing up here and playing on this porch with all their toys while I sipped my coffee and enjoyed the morning sun. The oldest Damien and Daniel are now 19 and have a place of their own. My grand-daughter,  17, rarely leaves her teen cave and the eleven year old twins, Thomas and Anthony visit every other week-end. And then there is Jackson, the three-year old He is the youngest Neuman and is the apple of my eye with his golden curls shining in the sun and a smile that would melt even the hardest heart.

Years of dreaming, planning and anticipating found their beginnings here. A cup of coffee, a notebook, and a pen eventually graduated to a lap top as I recorded my hopes, dreams, and disappointments. Even though many of my dreams didn’t come true, I take comfort that I gave them my best shot.

I once dreamt that I would own a beautiful modern home with an indoor pool. I spent so much time day dreaming about it, but never found a way to attain it. But, all the trips to Lake Huron with the kids to  swim in the cold water at McGraw Park more than made up for it. I would be sitting on the porch, sweltering. trying to find relief in the shade of the large trees in our front yard, when one of the kids would come up to me and ask if we could go to the beach. I don’t think I ever said no to that request.

All of a sudden, we were packing the cooler and beach bags with such exuberance.  (An exuberance you wouldn’t find when we were doing chores.) It is a two and half hour drive, but so worth it. The first thing we would do when we got there was jump in to the refreshing cold water and swim. Even Jackson loves the cold water and the gentle force of the small waves.

Once, when he was only two years old, my son got him out of the car seat, sat him down and he hit the ground running. He shouted “Beach!” and ran across the sand without missing a step.

“Jackson,” we called. “Wait! Stop!” But, he kept going toward the path at the top of the sand dune.  The hill was pretty steep for such a little guy, but, that didn’t stop him. He ran down the dune through the deep sand without falling and right into the water. People on the shore were watching his escapade and laughing as we raced to catch up with him. He ran and jumped in the waves and laughed. Those shouts of joy will always be one of my favorite memories of the youngest Neuman.

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