Thursday, July 16, 2009

Not so little girl

Yesterday we celebrated Violet's 4th birthday. Holy Cow! We had a Tinkerbell cupcake-cake, she got several princess-themed presents, and she proudly told Mimi and grandpa all about her new baby doll. I suppose she's meeting all the right milestones, but lately I look at and listen to her and I feel like I'm at the wrong end of a telescope. It's like she's a fully formed person, and I'm seeing a distant echo of her. I barely recognize her - she's taller and more delicate than ever before, and she uses words like preposterous and actually and definitely, even though she still can't even say them correctly. She's also working on her ability to bat her eyes and manipulate people (doesn't work on me so much) and how to drive her brother crazy with just a glance. She is everything I want to see in a young woman, but I can't quite handle it now. I am a very lucky person to have my Violet in my life. Many happy returns, little one!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blame Canada

It's July. That should mean I'm so hot I'm thinking about snow to cool down, watching the kids run through sprinklers and have water fights, hanging laundry on the line and having it crispy dry in minutes. Instead I'm sitting in front of a fire with hot tea, dodging cold gusts and sending rude thoughts north. I blame Canada for the weather. Apparently there's some sort of anomaly in the jet stream that is sending cooler-than-average weather and lots of rain to us in Vermont. I know I shouldn't feel sorry for myself, but when the bedroom is so cold at 8 a.m. in the middle of July that I don't want to get up to pee, something's messed up. Plus I'm paying bills this afternoon which isn't helping my mood. When I'm finished, though, I'm going to take my sleeping bag out to the hammock (mosquitoes be damned!) and read for an hour. Fortunately the kids seem okay with the weather and they are happily coloring the tennis court with the chalk I picked up at an art supply store yesterday.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The First Step

is admitting you have a problem.

This is a picture of the various jars of jelly I have found around this house in the past couple of days. I knew about some, and found new caches yesterday. Now, I understand WHY my mother-in-law has so much jelly around: used to be she had two teenaged sons and a very particular husband to please, plus they had only a couple of weeks to accomplish what filled our whole summer, so shopping had to be very efficient. And she is a great bargain hunter. But still, I don't think we'll ever get through all this jelly, no matter how many summers we visit. Not to mention I'm still a little unsure about opening up a jar of 20 year old jam. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I'm astonished. Sam is seven. He's been seven for more than a month now. Seven years since I first met him, welcomed him with a sigh of relief that confounded Will. I look across these years and I can't remember so much of them; I am grateful for the pictures we took that captured who he was because he's so much more now, but I regret not memorizing every last moment, especially the trivial ones not worthy of a camera.

Sam is my salvation. Not on a personal level, but on a grander scale. He is, in every sense of the word, a child of September 11, 2001. He was conceived just before then, my pregnancy was clouded by those events, and that event will always be part of his culture. But my boy, my sweet child, carried me through. When I got scared or anxious about the world I was bringing him into, I promised myself that, in having a child right then, I was not only expressing my hope in the future, I was _making_ a future - one of love and family and goodness.

I remember the joy that filled me as I ran to his day care to see him, and the lightness that filled me when he lay (drooling!) in my arms. Now he challenges me and exasperates me and astonishes me, and I don't think I'm as good a parent as I could be, but I do know that my son is love and joy and heart, and I am grateful for the chance to know him.


I'm homesick. Not a lot, but I'm aching for the familiarity and ease of our home in Colorado. Perhaps it's the weather - we've had only a few whole days without rain, and I don't think any of those happened while we've had guests. We have had lovely visits with a varied bunch of people, and I have very much enjoyed cooking for them (don't I always?!) but I miss the ease of having every spice I need, neatly laid out and alphabetized (it's not OCD, just good planning, really!). I miss having a clothes dryer, even if it's just a short line in the back yard on which things dry to a crisp in hours instead of days. More than anything I miss how easy life at home is. Yes, my house gets dirty, but it's not from spiders who rebuild in fifteen minutes webs that I just swept away. Going to the grocery store is not a major undertaking that takes me away from home for 3+ hours, including nearly an hour of driving. And there are so many things to do that even a week of rain would be a welcome change of pace. Right now I'm feeling a little waterlogged.

I feel so lame for whining - I mean, who gets to go away for a summer anymore? And it is a great opportunity for our family. but we don't get out a lot (Will's focus is, as always, work) and rather than the chance for us to go out and do all sorts of neat things, this is a lot like relocating our regular life to the other side of the country, but more rustic, and with a lot more bugs.

Speaking of which, can anyone recommend a good book for identifying spiders?

Saturday, July 4, 2009


We were expecting our next guests - a family of seven - yesterday, but they won't be coming until Monday. I am surprised by how relieved I am. I love having people here, but we've had two days of hanging out with no projects planned (since we anticipated company) and it's been nice to just sit. Today I did get all the wash done, beds remade, and guest spaces swept, but at a leisurely pace and with a few breaks to cuddle with Will.
Below are a couple pictures from the last few days with our friends the McGourtys (from Denver) and my Aunt Peg and some friends she brought. We all had a great visit - and here's proof!