Friday, August 5, 2011

Stay-cation: Bottles, Coffee, and Naps

The past nine summers have incorporated a week-long family getaway in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. The week is spent doing a whole lot of nothing, just the way I like it. Aside from reading theology on the beach, walks on the shore line, and evening crab hunts, vacation in the Klimovitz family requires one thing: abandon schedules and expectations. Nonetheless, for a wide variety of reasons, this year marks the first in which we will watch Shark Week not from the confines of a beach house, but in our living room...does not have the same effect ;) That said, I chose this year, after returning from a week in Honduras, an already busy summer with much time away from family, and almost a month after my wife returned to work after maternity leave, to take my first ever "stay-cation." The requirements are the same, no schedule or expectations, except to care for the two greatest blessings my wife and I have ever known, our twins, Noah and Lily.

It is quite an adventure caring for fraternal twins, and sleep comes at a premium. Yet, I can say without hesitation, that I would have it no other way. Each morning I fill three bottles, two for the kids and a dark-roast brew for myself, which gets me to my 10 o'clock nap (my parental obligation for tired twins after a morning feed). I am not one who likes to slow down, do nothing, or take a break from work, ministry, reading, or writing (blogging about a stay-cation has to be a violation of some sort). Yet I have been pretty disciplined to do just that- nothing. I confess that I have tried many times to get through a chapter of my summer read, The Cross in Our Context: Jesus and the Suffering World by Douglas John Hall, with not much luck. And this is a good thing. Instead, I have spent every waking moment taking in all the subtleties of newborns.

I am reminded of Chesteron's comments about our need to grow-down as believers, i.e. to reclaim our ability to be left in awe, wonder, and amazement by even the simplest of experiences. We must become like a child who says, "do it again" to either a sunrise or a rainforest bouncy seat. As each day passes, I go to bed grateful that on my stay-cation I get to "do it again" and take in each discovery made by the youngest of Klimovitz imaginations, to witness their fresh experiences, hear their newest of sounds, and watch their minds take everything in as it is the first time...because maybe it is.

I was not sure what to expect when Amber and I became parents. I was not sure how our lives would change as a mom and dad of not just one, but of two, newborn babies. Despite all the horror stories shared by well-intentioned and experienced parents, the inital sleepless weeks, and a life that looks much akin to a circus, especially with twin beagles to accompany twin humans, I agree with Amber, I have never been happier than I am in these days. And this stay-cation has been a beautiful opportunity to bask in just that feeling and God-given reality that has become our new life.

I look forward to the days, weeks, years, and caffeinated bottles ahead. Even more, I hope to take more stay-cations in the future so not only to refresh and recharge before another ministry season, but also and especially to hold onto the simple wonders that come alive again and again through the eyes, ears, and lips of Noah and Lily. Because, if you ask me, they are the greatest theologians I know...

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