At the end of the evening, a film of wet on all of us, the kids dump their candy, put pjs on and we drink hot chocolate.
OK I had wine.
Max still wears his ParaNorman eyebrows.
Already, this picture dates itself – taken a few weeks back, those red leaves are gone, the trees are bare. Sandy took care of that.
The kids in the morning as I stand with a sweater pulled around me, yawning. This year has been a different start for all of us. A walk to a bus stop with a friend for my daughter. A bike ride or scooter glide to school with buddies for my son.
And me on my own, making my way back home to an office and a cat, after I watch both kids disappear around the corner. If they were to look back and see, I think they’d think: Why is she still standing there? But they don’t look back.
I like the Groundwater Festival. Went first with my daughter, then this fall with my son.
When I went the first time, I saw no salmon. This time, I was stunned. Huge fish swimming up stream. Some lay dead on the shores (they die after they spawn).
The kids in my group found nothing with their sieves (my son found a rock and a twig) but it was worth it watching the salmon.
That and Chief Topleaf and sunny skies and the kids, the helpful map of a friend all made it a great day. My last Groundwater Festival.
I sign my initials in the agenda at the end of each school day. This time though I stare at the square assigned to parents in which I deposit my S.E. and I wonder: why is this space so small? The other spaces appear big enough to twirl around in.
On those days I have a question or comment, I desperately try to make my printing neat and legible but I find this challenging in this tiny square. Us parents don’t even get lines on which to write.
I wonder if this is on purpose, giving us barriers within which to work.
Keep it short and sweet.
School starts and my son rides his bikes with two friends. After school, joined by my daughter, they invent a new game.
It is the Badge of Awesomeness game.
One kid is The Administrator and tells the other three what ten things they must do to achieve their Badge of Awesomeness. The three kids, ready on their bikes, must do things like ride around the block three times or jump off their bikes and run around the house backwards twice. They ride down the side of the street and must touch the leaf of each maple tree. They recite the alphabet really fast.
Next The Administrator collects three leaves, hands one out to each of the participants and says they must find the tree to which this leaf belongs.
What else? They clap out Oh Canada, they draw an image of that administrator in chalk on our driveway, they make three baskets, they hula hoop, they race. When they make it to level ten, they are given their Badge of Awesomeness. Then someone else gets to be The Administrator.
The week is beautiful, blue-skied and yellow sunned.Print
The old deck of cards has gone to camp, out back too many times with my daughter. Dirty, bent, well used. I buy a new deck.
This one is green. There are no reds or blacks, just green. As my kids have slowly come to realize what a spade is, now they must recognize it without its blackness.
We teach them euchre. Though both kids figure it out quickly, my son grows frustrated.
“I said put a high off-suit down,” his father repeats after my son lays a nine of clubs to start.
“That’s the left bower, you know that, right?” again his Dad, another round. “Officially for this game that diamond is a heart.”
My son grows increasingly disheartened by our rules, wants to do things his way.
Though his father has been coaching him, he feels the tension rising from me and asks that he only be partnered with Daddy.
My kids have taken swimming lessons since they were little. The Friday that dawns on those weeks we do every-day swimming lessons means they put that much extra pressure on themselves to pass. And they don’t always pass. Then they are upset.
Those Fridays – or that last lesson at the end of the ten-week lesson period – always makes me nervous, too.
I tell them they can only do their best and no more. Less bobbing, more listening. But still, they yearn for the next level.
We will work on the front crawl, that whip kick and that dive (no more belly flops). They will eventually move on. They always eventually do.
We went swimming last week. As I approached the desk, the woman attendant asked the age of my kids.
“Nine and eleven,” I said, marveling – how did they get so big?
She glanced at them and then said:
“Which one of you is nine?”
I didn’t look at my daughter. I knew her face would reflect disappointment. Having a brother who is tall is, in her mind, a real bummer.
I pointed at my son.
“He is,” I answered.
Later, if my daughter wants, I thought, she can express her frustration. For now, let’s just get through the line and in the pool.