Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Basic Right

Daily outdoor free play is a basic child right. It's not a reward for doing well; it's not a treat. It's a need. And half an hour at recess doesn't cut it. 

I wish I could give my kids what my parents gave me and my siblings: fields and woods and creeks and time to explore it all. 

At this point, I can't give them any of those things. But I can take them to this park in our neighborhood after school. I can let them run around and climb and swing and wrestle until almost dark. I can chase them and tumble down into the grass to tell them wide-eyed stories about fairy rings. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Half Measure, Full Measure

I finally had a chance yesterday –yes, in the middle of the work week!– to pull out all this stuff and use it.

I worked a half-day at my job. Technically, I worked a full day, half at home. But I'm much more efficient at home than work. It's like when you're homeschooled and you finish everything by noon while all your public schooled "peers" still have hours to go.

Anyway, now I know how to use all this. Well, mostly.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


So, our wage system and the cost of living are based on the assumption that two adults support every household. Such is not the case. Oh, no. There are all sorts of families, you know, and a lot of them don't have two grown-ups bringing in money. Lots of them don't even have two grown-ups.

Apropos of nothing, as Dumas might say.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Like New

This is where my kids sleep now.

There's this Tomie dePaola book my kids love about a little girl whose constant is her quilt. Through all life's changes, new houses, new schools, new friends, she has one thing that always feels like home. I'm glad my kids have quilts because they need them these days.

Last week, I climbed into the attic at Irene and brought down the quilt Gramere made for me. It is was red and white. Now it's all the same kinda faded tan. Anyway, it has a giant hen that takes up almost all of one side. Under the hen is a stitched motto: "Then I will," said the little red hen, "and she did."

During these months of no blogging, our lives have changed a great deal. I separated from James and moved to a different city. New home, new job, new life. New schools for my kids, new yard to play in, new life.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Lobster and the Crab

a fable by Arnold Lobel

On a stormy day, the Crab went strolling along the beach. He was surprised to see the Lobster preparing to set sail in his boat.

"Lobster," said the Crab, "it is foolhardy to venture out on a day like this."

"Perhaps so," said the Lobster, "but I love a squall at sea!"

"I will come with you," said the Crab. "I will not let you face such danger alone."

The Lobster and the Crab began their voyage. Soon they found themselves far from shore. Their boat was tossed and buffeted by the turbulent waters.

"Crab!" shouted the Lobster above the roar of the wind. "For me, the splashing of the salt spray is thrilling! The crashing of every wave takes my breath away!"

"Lobster, I think we are sinking," cried the Crab.

"Yes, of course we are sinking," said the Lobster. "This old boat is full of holes. Have courage, my friend. Remember, we are both creatures of the sea."

The little boat capsized and sank.

"Horrors!" cried the Crab.

"Down we go!" shouted the Lobster.

The Crab was shaken and upset. The Lobster took him for a relaxing walk along the ocean floor.

"How brave we are," said the Lobster. "What a wonderful adventure we have had!"

The Crab began to feel somewhat better. Although he usually enjoyed a quieter existence, he had to admit that the day had been pleasantly out of the ordinary.


Even the taking of small risks will add excitement to life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I Love June 10th

Yesterday was rotten. It really was. June ninth is rotten every year because it is the anniversary of my brother's death, but yesterday was extra much so.

It started out a fairly promising day, for a June 9th. I had this job interview last week and yesterday I had a series of assignments to complete within a time frame of three hours as part of the application process. So I was maybe a little anxiety riddled because of that, but it's an exciting thing!

But then this happened. It was the kids' first day at the YMCA day care and they effing lost Amby. They found him (he had gone with a field trip group to a skating rink in another part of the county!) and it all worked out fine. But it's absolutely not ok and the folks there had no explanation. James ended up going to the Y and withdrawing both children from the program.

And then as more of like a minor thing to top it off, I had a somewhat emotional discussion with someone very dear to me about something we don't see eye to eye on. But that's not a negative thing because I think we're better for it.

Anyway, June 10th, I'm all yours!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

in Just- spring

Today started out drizzly and cold. Not sweatshirt cold, just not the muggy heat you'd expect this time of year. It was all gray and green and urging us to get muddy. So we went to the woods.

We went off trail and the kids played in a shady, muddy creek. Bea wore jeans and water boots, but waded in way past the boot tops. Amby wore jeans and crocs and got fully soaked. I know that wet jeans are miserable. But they aren't as bad as poison ivy. Also, as irrational as it might seem, the more skin that's covered, the less afraid of snakes I tend to be. We didn't see any water moccasins and maybe the precautions were unnecessary, but I'm a careful-ish mama.

We hiked through the woods and saw the mountain laurel in bloom. We found a moss-covered clearing with a crumbling altar off to one side of it. We found a rustic gazebo covered in professions of love. Everything was so idyllic, I could almost hear a Miyazaki-esque soundtrack in my mind's ear.

When we got back to the car, the children were covered in mud. They washed (sort of?) in the river and I stripped them for the ride home. I was so tired, I was sure they would immediately nap. Oh, but it doesn't work that way.

*     *     *

To tie it all up with a nice bow at the end of the day, we started our new bedtime story, Howl's Moving Castle.