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Psst... This story is sponsored and it's still my story. Y'all know how I do. Keep reading. You'll like it.
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We breathe in great heaping gulps of summer. As a mom, I count the days until summer vacation and then greedily horde each one, a warning hand perpetually held up against August and the return of school.
I don't over-plan every day of summer for our family, but I do build in touchstones. Sun-bleached mile-markers to run our fingers over as we wander the overgrown paths of our laziness.
Wimbledon is our favorite mile-marker.
We take a brief family vacation every summer specifically to celebrate Breakfast at Wimbledon.
Waking up the Sunday after the 4th of July, we roll out of bed before the final two men of the iconic tennis championship take the court.
As thousands of fans savor strawberries and cream on the grass lawn of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, we pile strawberries on paper plates and bury them under mounds of whipped cream.
It's our family tradition. One created for Quinn for his first Wimbledon. One we love so much and means so much to us, as a family.
Maybe someday we'll make it all the way to England. Until then, we are content to travel a few short hours to the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay in Alabama, either Fairhope or Point Clear.
For the last two years, we have rented an unreal beach house in Point Clear (where Forrest Gump was written) called The Family Tree. With plenty of room for our family of five, the true delight of the property is a huge old live oak in the backyard, shading the private beach and hanging over the bay itself.
A refuge. To be sure.
And sometimes? A refuge from the anxiety of Wimbledon itself. Because, man, this year's championship was nerve-wracking! As you'll see in the video shared in my Disney Story below, Andy Murray drove us straight out to the boat house while we waited for him to get his act together on that court.
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That's the fun of it. Throwing ourselves so completely into the experience, as a family. The experience of Wimbledon but, more, the experience of a summer so thoroughly embraced.
We are sand-covered. We are sun-weary. We are full of popsicles and ready for more. We are together.
When we finally returned home, I noticed Quinn following me around the house. Aimlessly. He is almost nine and keeps to himself whenever he can. If I could physically gather up the moments he sheds like water, I would. I already miss him, the baby in him.
After a week at the beach house, a week together, greeting the sun and checking the crab traps, talking about why I love reading on the porch so much and what kind of ice cream we want to try tonight, he wasn't ready to let me go once we got home.
I will this summer into brilliant existence. I ensure we have memories to pin in our mind. I capture each flash of childhood as a firefly in a jar.
I am our family storyteller. I was born to do this for us.
Tradition matters. It anchors us and guides us. Even just as weathered mile-stones on the overgrown path as we race by to tomorrow.
PS- Quinn isn't in more of the photos because he, too, decided to go "pants-less" and I'm not allowed to use those photos.More about Disney Story:
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The story behind our Wimbledon family tradion
My first Disney Story about the awesome place the kids learned how to swim
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