Monday, August 29, 2011

A New School Year

Luke and Henry started school last week. Luke now attends Henry's school, the school that we are zoned for. Luke had been open enrolling into the school where he started Kindergarten since we moved right before his second grade year. He loved his old school. Last year, Henry didn't get in to Luke's school through open enrollment, and so they attended different schools. That wasn't much fun for me, since I felt like I didn't know what was going on anywhere. In any case, Luke hasn't been happy about this change, but I was really proud of him last week. He had a good attitude, all things considered, and he seems to be giving it a fair chance. This morning--their first Monday morning since they started mid-week last week--was a different story. But I have to remind myself that Monday mornings are never easy, no matter which school Luke is at.

This is the first time that I can remember that I have had to make Luke do something major that he hasn't wanted to do. The first time that he has been grown up enough that I feel like his concerns and worries are 100 percent justified. And I have to say, it is hard. My heart hurt for him every time he told me that he wanted to go to his old school with his friends. Every time that he told me he didn't have anyone to talk to. It was hard to watch him line up at the beginning of the day and awkwardly try to make conversation with the boys in his class. Because the thing is, there isn't much I can do. It is up to Luke to make his way at this new school, up to him to find his place and make new friends. And I can only watch from a distance.

A few nights ago I had a dream where Craig and I decided to take a road trip while Luke was in school. He was our only child. We had to be home by 9 pm to pick him up, but we were still in Georgia at 8 pm and realized that we wouldn't make it. I tried to call a friend to pick him up, but my cell phone died. I didn't have any phone numbers that I needed because they were all in my cell phone. Craig was frantically googling phone numbers and I was trying to remember the numbers of my friends, all while desperately punching them into some antiquated phone that looked like a singing greeting card. It was crumbling in my hands with each wrong number that I tried.

It is this helpless vulnerability that is the hardest part of parenting, I think. The knowledge that you can't always make it all better, that you often can't dial a number and fix the problem. That you can't alway be there to pick your child up.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Little Vacation

We had a really wonderful little vacation last week to a state park a couple of hours from our house. We did a lot of canoeing and hiking and it was the most perfect weather we could have wanted. We swam at the sandy beach every afternoon, and we cooked over a fire every night. We stayed in a cabin perched on the edge of a hill, and the bedrooms looked out into green foliage and felt like we were staying in a treehouse. It was lovely. Yes, there was the fact that Henry was a total spazz every night and screamed and cried and wouldn't go to sleep. Yes, we got a million bug bites because our bug spray wouldn't work. Yes, Luke and Henry went on a bike ride and decided it would be funny to hide and write "help" with sticks on the ground. But I'm choosing to remember everything else. The magic. And besides, all that other stuff seems kind of beautiful and silly now that it is in the past. Memory is funny like that.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I'm slowly catching the blog up to my life. Clearly this space is more of a site to document my life for posterity/grandparents these days than a place to express myself artistically. But I feel it returning, that itch to think a little beyond the everyday survival. I've read more books this summer than I had in a long while, and books that have required a bit of brain power. For the first year after I have a baby it is all about magazines, Maeve Binchy, and TV shows. But I'm making progress. I've watched some movies. That is nearly two hours of my life. I've read a few books that required some thinking. I had a great conversation about books with a house guest during which I think I might have sounded sort of smart. (Courtney, ask Ryan if I sounded smart at 5:30 am over babies and toys and coffee.)

Henry turned six in June. Luke turned nine last week. Again with the time speeding by theme. I love those boys. They are both pretty much crazy and intense and lovely and themselves in every way.

P.S. Luke doesn't like shirts very much.

Monday, August 08, 2011

4th of July Trip

This summer has flown by faster than any other. I wake up in the middle of the night breathless because I see this trend: each month goes by faster than the last. I wonder if the next time I wake up my children will be grown and gone.

We went to visit Craig's aunt and uncle for the 4th of July. They live near a pond, which was one of the highlights of the trip. The kids went swimming and fishing. We went for walks and looked for bugs. And here's a little parenting tip for you (since I know that is why you read this blog): If you have picky/finicky eaters and you want them to eat better, don't feed them snacks. Who knew? It only took me nine years to figure this one out. The kids ate most of the food set before them, some of which they refuse at home, mainly because they were so very hungry. Oh, and also because we told them we would take them to McDonalds on the drive home if they were polite at meals. A little well-played bribery never hurts. Bonus parenting tip of the day.