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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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When I Am Not A Religion Reporter…

I get to be the mom of two of the most amazing kids in the world. It seems like they’re always asking where I’m going and I’m always saying, “To work.” So they probably don’t realize it, but I was actually a mom before I was a reporter. This week, I’ve been on vacation with them. And it’s been great just being a mom. I didn’t even bring my camera. I’ve spent the week going to the beach, catching up on “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” counting punchbuggies, having tickle fights, learning new jokes (What happens when a dinosaur doesn’t take a shower? He becomes ex-stink-t.) and remembering how much I adore these two guys.

The beach is my measuring stick, and I have to admit it’s terrifying. Eleven years ago, my husband and I were newlyweds on our first trip to the beach together when I got too much sun and got sick. It took two months and two pink lines before I realized it was more than sunpoisoning that made my stomach turn. Nine years ago, I brought the boys down for their first taste of sand and surf. They were a tiny a baby and a white-haired toddler. It was love at first sight. Now, my oldest is admiring girls in bikinis and my youngest is going on the grownup waterslides.

Tonight, I brought my youngest to the amusement park. As we zoomed through the Scrambler, he yelled in my ear, “This is the best summer ever!” And I think he’s right. Because every night, when I take the boys for a walk, they still hold my hands.