Today was a little different from the other days. We started out the same. Went on a carriage ride. Walked through the women’s garden. Had lunch at the rental, walked through Wilford Woodruffs, Hebert C Kimball, and Lucy Mack Smiths homes.
But then there was a moment when I wondered why the kids seemed a little bit on edge and I wondered what I could be doing different to help them. It was hot. They were all a little tired and hungry and so we decided to do something different.
We drove to the old cemetery. As we walked up to the grounds the kids found frogs and explored. They seemed to be enjoying the unstructured time. Sarah and I went up to the cemetery and Ryan walked around with Jacob. Eventually everyone found their own way to the hallowed grounds of those that had died while living in Nauvoo. So many children. So many crudely made gravestones. They either didn’t have the times or means to make anything nicer and that saddened my heart. How I wished those graves could tell their stories. I have always loved cemeteries for that reason. The lives that were lived. The memories that were recalled as the people were buried. It is a beautiful thing to me.
We then headed to the general store where the kids could spend their money on candy or souvenirs. I bought myself a couple things to display at home to remind us of this wonderful vacation. We walked around he temple and took a few pictures.
I think at this point everyone would have gone back to the rental, we had an hour before our dinner reservation at the Hotel Nauvoo. (Side note. We have been utilizing the crockpot at the rental for dinner every night so we splurged for one night out. I have loved having dinner ready when we are done for the day) Jacob wanted to go to the park and Ryan suggested that Jacob has been a good sport about doing all that we wanted so we should do something he wants.
This was one of my highlights. It had nothing to do with old Nauvoo but everything to do with family time. We laughed and chatted. Made a silly time lapse video. Watched the clouds.
My heart felt so full. This same lovely spirit of unity joined us into to dinner
It was a buffet and Jacob created this very iterating salad. After a few bites he put it aside and said “what was I thinking?” We all had a good laugh. As we walked out I thought how my heart was as full as my belly. I wished our lives could slow down on a more regular basis and we could enjoy more moments like this.
While I paid for dinner Ryan and the kids found chairs outside in a little park and the kids were reciting poems they had learned for school. I felt a joy that was deep and full. I believe these are the moments I’m going to look back on with fondness when I’m old.