While Malcolm and his friend Liam were at at sleepaway skateboarding camp, Hugh went off to a Presbyterian camp in Virginia for a few days. Chris, Ian and I had a peaceful week of no bickering and no Spongebob. The boys returned over the weekend and had many tales to share of their new acquaintances and experiences. The hammock was the perfect place to reconnoiter.

Hugh taught Egyptian Ratscrew, a new card game he learned during his seven-hour drive “in a small car with five other people and 105 degree highway temperatures.” This came in handy during our picnic at an outdoor concert of a Beatles tribute band on Sunday night, while heat lightning flashed and the world’s most gigantic American flag snapped overhead.

We took everyone to see The Dark Knight, making us part of that $515M opening weekend statistic. During the violence, I began to worry that we would be fired as godparents for taking Liam to his first R movie, but was reassured to hear it was only PG13. Yesterday the boys all went skateboarding at a local school. Before their helmets made their hair sweaty-wet, I forced them to sit for this photo – because I wanted to prove to them how much they look alike from the back.

Our treat of having Liam join our family is over for this year. He is back home now, and life returns to normal. Our domestic challenges this morning: emptying the dishwasher without arguing over who does the top, who does the bottom, and who did the cutlery last time, and an hour of quiet for summer reading.

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