Archive for June, 2009

Quiet Sunday evening

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Tonight during prayers, Zag reminded me to pray for his stuffed seal, Silkie. (Silkie is a recent addition to the family; he was purchased at a convenient Hallmark store in Maine, near my godparents’ beach house, after we discovered that we had somehow come up there for a five-day stay without any of Zag’s precious animals.) I prayed for Silkie, as requested, thanking God for Silkie being such a good friend to Zag. After we finished the prayer, Zag grinned at me and said, “I will dream about God coming down through the ceiling to see who Silkie is!” (more…)

On language, literature, and loss

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Zag has big questions about language tonight. On the drive home from a visit to his Aunt K (a surprise treat – we didn’t know we’d overlap with her on our respective trips to the Twin Cities!), he wanted to know about the difference between the letters of a word, and the word. I can’t remember how he originally phrased the question; it took quite a bit of cross-examination to get at what he wanted to know. Then just now, between bedtime songs, he asked, “What’s the difference between the picture of a thing and the word of a thing?” I told him it was an excellent question and we would discuss it in the morning.

We’re working our way through Charlotte’s Web as our current bedtime reading. It’s such a gripping story for him. He’s been calling me Charlotte, and insisting that I call him Wilbur, for days now. (more…)

Lovely

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

We’re enjoying a beautiful Saturday here in the green Northeast. This morning we went out for our first strawberry-picking of the season. The field was a little picked over – lots of people had the same idea – but we managed to fill a flat with some lovely berries, and we’ll definitely go again. I spent a happy hour after lunch chopping up strawberries and rhubarb (the latter mostly donated by a friend) to freeze. It’s so satisfying to put away the fruits of the season, fresh and local and cheap, to enjoy later in the year. Someday we’ll have a chest freezer… for now we’ll fill our little freezer with what we can fit. 

Last night we had lots of greens and radishes from our own garden as part of our dinner. I love getting to the time of year when you don’t have to do much to the food, because it tastes so good just as it is… 

We also got wonderful treats in the mail today: boxes from my parents, presents from their recent trip to the Netherlands. They sent me beautiful European maternity clothes. Here’s a little fashion show – mostly for my mama’s benefit. I love them! Especially the funky patterned skirt/belly cover things, and the stunning black dress. 

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Zag has come up with a new name for the baby. He asked us the other day, “What name should we give our baby?”, and then volunteered that he thought its middle name should be Bean. That works, for now. He’s full of ideas. This morning he was pretending to be a helicopter pilot who had been injured in a crash, and he declared that he didn’t want toast for breakfast because the jam would sting his wounds. 

I’m in the process of uploading lots of photos from the past couple of months to our Smugmug site. Check it out. Email me if you’d like to go there & don’t remember the URL.

Etymologizing

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Zag in the bath: “Why is it called a penis? I know the ‘pee’ is because you pee with it, but what about the other part?” 

He’s in some funky emotional phase right now, since maybe a week ago or a bit longer. Whenever one of us speaks to him at all sharply (e.g., “Zag, can you please lie still so I can put on your diaper?!?”), he flings out his arms to reach for a big hug and says, “I’m very, very sorry for what I did!” And hugs and tells us he’s sorry until he feels sufficiently reassured that we’re friends again. If we speak really sharply, he bursts into tears, too. Nothing like having your four-year-old clinging to you, weeping and saying, “I’m very, very sorry for what I did!” to make you feel like a real champion parent.

Thing is, we’re really not suddenly being meaner… and he hasn’t become more compliant, just more remorseful…. so the level of parental sharp words has stayed pretty constant. We’re just getting a really different reaction than we ever have before. I’m actually starting to try to hold back, to avoid his eruptions of remorse, which – if we’re trying to accomplish something, like, say, bedtime – only slow things down even more. He’s clingier than usual, too. This morning he spent much of his church time just in his daddy’s arms, head on his shoulder. And at bedtime tonight he convinced me to get in bed next to him (I usually sit on a chair right beside the bed), and then insisted I wrap my arms around him. 

All this lovey-ness is sweet, but also a little exhausting. No idea what’s going on in that little noggin. Children are rum little beasts…

Perspective

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Among the projects I brought to the beach with me: revising our church’s bulletin, and starting to outline the order of service for a hypothetical Sunday evening service.

I know. Good times, right? The thing is, from the perspective of a busy week in my office, both of those projects sounded like a lot of fun. Like the kind of things I’d like to think about, given a little free time.

And it’s true: I will enjoy tackling both of those projects. But I will enjoy tackling them when I’m not on vacation. Now midway into this short week off, I look at that list and think I was nuts. Things will slow down enough this summer that these projects can get a solid day or two apiece, which is plenty. And I’ll enjoy those days. Why would I gum up my vacation with work, even enjoyable work? Why would I do the enjoyable work on vacation, instead of giving myself some fun stuff to do during quiet summer weeks in the office? 

This is why I need need need to take multiple days off in a row, and get the heck out of town. Because I love my job and I get so close to it and tangled up with it that I don’t even know what vacation means. Vacation means I’m so busy with my son that I’m not even getting around to playing with all the art supplies I brought. And that’s as it should be. The bulletin can bloody well wait.

Joy

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Can you believe this is for real? I had to go verify it on the NYTimes website. I know I won’t always be pleased with everything the man does, but damn, I’m pleased with him today. 

We’re at the beach. My godparents own a place in a quiet resort town in southern Maine. At least, it’s quiet right now; schools aren’t out yet so the big summer rush hasn’t hit. It’s lovely – we usually see maybe a dozen other people on any given beach excursion. It’s good to be away from my job (though I have a little work with me, and Tilt has a lot…), and it’s great to be in this beautiful place and to have some time with my family. I don’t think we’ve ever spent more than 24 or 36 hours here at a stretch before. Now we have time to enjoy it and get to know the beach a little. 

Zag loves it. My memory of previous trips to the beach with him is that he needed a certain amount of coaxing and showing-how. Now, at four, he just gets it. He runs around like an excited puppy; he plays wave tag; he digs; he excavates channels with his toes; he climbs rocks; he explores tidepools; he finds shells and driftwood; he wears himself out and sleeps like a log. It’s great fun to see him so energized and happy.

And having time to play with my son is doing me some good, too. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I think I might be relaxing a little.