rock of the day

The kids and I are on the first vacation of our new family formation. It’s unutterably strange, to be on vacation without landisdad. The last time we came to this spot on Cape Cod, we were all together, of course. He and I slept together in the bed that I now inhabit alone—though the Bee has climbed in with me, once or twice, for early-morning cuddles. He cooked the meals we ate that weren’t in a restaurant. His mom came to stay with a nearby friend, and babysat for us so we could go out to dinner alone. He even made the coffee in the French press every day—I had forgotten how, to my chagrin, and was forced to resort to teh google the first morning we were here.

I have a little ceramic dish on my desk at the office, of stones & shells like these from the Cape. I like to play with them while I’m on one after another interminable conference call during my work day. I have certain favorite rocks for certain kinds of calls—the flat ones for when I’m talking to just one person, and need to concentrate—the more triangulated rectangle with a stripe for when I’m on a national call & just listening (and maybe daydreaming a little).

I love the rocks of the Cape.

I left a similar dish behind in the bathroom that we refinished, the same year that we last came to the Cape—the bathroom that was inspired by our Cape vacation, with its sky-blue walls, and pictures of that year’s Cape rocks. For those of you who are my Facebook friends*, you may remember that for years my profile photo was a picture of a rock—a picture that still hangs on the wall, in the house I left behind.

Last time, I had to make a rule that the kids couldn’t bring home more than one rock for each day of our vacation, or they would’ve emptied the beach. Everyone is able to pick more than one Rock of the Day, of course—but at the end of the trip, some of them are staying behind. Today, the Potato convinced me to add one extra rock—the Random Rock.

I think we’re weaving a fine line between repeating some things that were familiar from the past, and making some new traditions. The rocks help. They are a constant, reminding us that while some things are changing, some other things will always be the same.


*and if you’re still reading this blog and we’re not FB friends? We should be! Unless you’re a Facebook resister, in which case, more power to you.





July 26, 2011. the new normal.


  1. Susan replied:

    I love this post…and I love the idea of the Rock of the Day, as our house has many, many rocks in it from all over. Rocks on the Cape are very special–at Girl Scout camp many years ago, I learned that rocks with a stripe around them are called friendship rocks. Must have been a Long Island thing, as I don’t hear the term from anyone else these days. But the friendship rock in that photo makes me smile.

    I hope your vacation is restful.

  2. chichimama replied:

    Ohh, will have to steal the rock of the day concept for our shells! Sounds like you are doing great incorporating the old and the new…I remember the first vacation with my mom post-separation, it felt odd at the time, but now I look back on it and it ranks up there as one of my favorite family vacations because there was a lot of that “old and new” combining going on, and it is fun to be able to remember when a lot of the traditions I am now passing onto my kids started…

  3. thordora replied:

    My kids are gone for 2 weeks, and it’s blissful. :p I kinda wish we had traditions to remake-all we have are new ones to create, which while nice, is just weird.

    Sounds like you’re doing good. This is awesome to hear 🙂

  4. Elise replied:

    I’m still reading but I am a FaceBook resister! Too much like Big Brother for me…

  5. Jeff Bogle replied:

    You’re right. We should be FB friends. This is a great post. Somehow even more tearful than others. Despite being about rocks its about so much more and speaks to the need for a thread to keep us connected and centered.

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