Last night, I was putting photos into the photo album. I don't know why this was an urgent holiday task, but it suddenly felt like it was, so while Kathy sat there writing out the last of our holiday cards, I put pictures in the album. I like printed out photos, and I like them arranged in books, rather than just in shoeboxes. I think they're so much easier for people to look at that way.
The majority of the pictures that I was putting into the album last night were pictures from this past summer, and the majority of those were pictures from our Fire Island "house." As you will recall, we can't really afford it if I quit working at the firm. Even if I don't quit right away, with quitting on the horizon, there are probably a million smarter things to do with the money. But still.
Kathy mentioned when I brought up the idea of letting go of the house how much the kids enjoyed it. It's true, they did. Looking back at the pictures, we had so much fun! There are pictures of the things that I remember doing as a kid, when I visited my grandma's house on Saginaw Bay. Like playing Uncle Wiggily and having "happy time" (aka happy hour, through the filter of a 9 year old brain). Or exploring the beach and imagining drift wood is a sunken pirate ship. I do think that is one of the best things about having kids in your life -- it makes you remember your own childhood, and all of it's adventures, misery, joy, and wonder.
It's not only the kids who had fun, either. We have pictures of our friends from Pittsburgh visiting for the 4th of July, and mingling with my best law school friend. We have pictures of drag queens and all kind of other fun, delightful, Cherry Grove-isms (Cherry Grove being our neighborhood on Fire Island). We don't have a lot of queer friends -- if we give up our Cherry Grove shack, will we practically be like straight people?
And so. Today I found myself wondering how long I would have to continue working in order for us to afford our little love shack just one more summer. I thought that maybe this is one change I'm not quite ready to make, and thought that maybe, just maybe, our summer house might be worth an extra month or two of work. I know we can't afford it forever. But just one more summer, maybe we can...
And when faced with the reality of letting it go, maybe I really, really want to.