As I said in my first post about Ahmic, I wanted Charlotte to feel all the magic that the lush green land and cool waters had given me every summer, but in my selfishness I also wanted the magic for myself. I worried that having a child on Ahmic would take away from my own peace on the lake. Would Needle Point be nothing but diaper changes and sleepless nights?
There were certainly moments where I longed for a break. Charlotte cut a front tooth while we were there, so sleep was minimal most of the time. There were numerous diaper changes, and bath time was a bit of a struggle with me getting pooped on more than once.
But if anything, the Magic of Ahmic was even more present this year than it ever has been in my entire life.
Mornings were welcoming with hot coffee and the sound of cooing baby girls. I loved coming downstairs every morning to see the faces of Henry or Dana. We would smile, knowing that if it was up to us we’d still be in bed.
We watched the girls as they explored their new temporary home and laughed at their discoveries.
“Ring around the rosy, pockets full of posies.
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!”
Sometimes the mornings were spent working on meals or taking long walks into town. And then it was meal time again. Did I mention I gained the Ahmic 10 pounds? It happens to me every year. I’m much more active on Ahmic; but the food!!! We have big lunches with desserts, afternoon snacks, crackers and cheese at cocktail hour, delicious dinners always served with dessert, and a plethora of delectable ice creams that I couldn't pass up.
Charlotte even enjoyed the food; not eating it though. We gave her peas that we had shelled, and she went bananas over them. Her hands literally shook with excitement.
And the scenery was just as beautiful as ever this year.
We arrived in warmer weather and the week cooled as the days passed and wind swept in.
Ben spent many afternoons kayaking in search for the best fishing spot.
Charlotte wanted to go too.
Some days the wind picked up and sailing was in order.
I wandered around the grounds of Needle Point showing Charlotte all my favorite spaces and letting her explore them.
She was enticed by the wooded ground and lush mosses. Charlotte is such an observant thing, and being with her always makes me look at the world anew.
I watch her look up at the trees towering above her, and I remember the majesty that surrounds me which I so often overlook.
Though I loved every moment of Charlotte’s exploration, I longed for a break. My parents were always gracious enough to allow me time on my own. Sometimes, I spent my moments of solace reading in the hammock, but I always managed a swim to the island. The island that I speak of is a small unoccupied piece of land about two football fields from Needle Point's dock, and it is a tradition to make the swim. I loved trying to get up the courage to dive into the icy water and then swimming hard to warm up. Usually, there was a group making the trek and we all tried to keep up with my Dad, even though he gave us a vast head start.
We all pitched in for dinner, many times eating rather late when we couldn’t get an oven to work or the grill was acting up. But this is par for the course on Ahmic, and all though there were moments of frustration, there were also a lot of laughs and hard earned delicious meals.
After gorging on food and putting little girls to bed we stayed up talking and listening to the boys play guitar.
We even got out Monopoly. I dominated the first game; my real estate savvy is off the charts. Well, it was for the first game. The next game had me doling out my money and heading for a baby who woke unhappy.
The end of our visit came all too quickly, and I longed for more time, more boat rides and late night games, more chilly swims and hammock rests, more of this place that has enchanted me since childhood.
I had worried that Ahmic would be different. It was, but like so many things in life, the change only made my time on the lake more special. And though the land is lovely, the waters beautiful, the trees enchanting, and the smell nostalgic, I am beginning to see that the real beauty is the people who surround me.
Their friendship and affection gives me comfort.
Their laughter lightens my heart.
Their love for my daughter overwhelms me with gratitude.
Their genuine support through past and present trials has been my strength.
Ahmic will always have its own place in my heart, yet my family is what continues to make it magical.