Half.

Halfway through. Some of the things are draining the life out of me and others are actually perfect.

  • The pool table in the sports bar in our hotel broke and the manager gave us a second set of balls to play with on the sly.
  • The Who and my nephew have been inseparable since our arrival; I love to watch them love one another.
  • It’s been humid AF. I’ve spent more time sweating than I ever intended to — specifically Thursday. Specifically Thursday evening, in fact, sitting amongst thousands at the stadium, cheering on the Pats on an absolutely windless night. They won and my forearms were sweating. That’s always been the certain marker of a day that is just too f-ing hot.
  • The front desk at the hotel isn’t making us pack up and check out for the one day we’ll be down the Cape. It’s gratifying when people see reason and make a decision that is both generous and smart.
  • Seeing reason has not been everyone’s strong suit this week.
  • There are reported sharks in the water in Provincetown, where we’re headed (Sharks in the water!¬†Shocking!) Maybe the sharks deserve the beach as much as we do.
  • Intermittently, I’ve been thinking about the West Coast trip we were supposed to be on right now and all the new adventures we’d be having. I’m alternately disappointed that we’re merely doing the same old thing this summer and totally satisfied with the comfort and familiarity of the same old thing.
  • I’m looking forward to Swan Boats.
  • I’ve given up the idea of Fenway in exchange for more nights with my family, doing jigsaw puzzles.
  • The hotel breakfast never disappoints. I’ve started every day with yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola. Plus strong coffee.
  • I have photos. I’ve been putting them on the Instagram, but not as much as I usually do. Somehow I don’t feel terribly compelled.
  • I’m having a news-free vacation. I mean, I’m scrolling Facebook and I get the big things, but I’m not taking in my daily diet of Up First/Rachel Maddow. I miss it and I don’t.
  • On to tomorrow.

Hold.

“Hold me,” I’d say, reaching back for his hand. Or sometimes nothing. Just an unspoken open palm as we approached a street corner, preparing to cross. He always took it. He never fought it, never tried to break away or assert his premature independence. He held me.

He is almost 10 now. He rarely, if ever, needs to be guided or supervised across streets and parking lots. More often than not, he looks both ways without reminder, makes cautious choices before stepping off curbs. But the instinct is still there for me sometimes — on a broad crosswalk or in unfamiliar cities — to reach my hand out wordlessly and hope that he will just instinctively grab hold.