The Best Day of Summer

Yesterday was the best day of summer vacation. I realize it’s only day four, but I think it might be as good as it’s gonna get.  For me as a parent, that is.

There was no swimming. No picnic. No sunshine. No flip-flops involved. I shoe-shopped with my children, I took them out to lunch, we grocery-shopped. I divided our grocery list into three categories (dairy, produce, other) and we each took a basket and met back at check-out lane two to see how we fared; it was fun and a brilliant parenting moment!

And then, after we got home, I suggested they help me with my photo project from the basement.  And seriously, they were SO into it. I took photos from the past twenty years in six bins and put them on the dining room table with about six empty albums and basically let them do their own thing.  They each took a photo album and put pictures of themselves in it; some w/Mom or Dad or Grandpa or Grandmother. Katie even suggested that when she’s older she might like to see herself as a “bink”.  The hours went by. They were busy. They were helping me and not realizing it. No obnoxious meddling in each others space.

By the end of the evening, they had amassed the evidence which unequivocally points to them being loved by their parents.  They felt all warm and fuzzy.

Brilliant x 2.

It can, and will, all go to shit from here. But yesterday was a great day.

Building or Breaching Trust?

We are in the waning days of school. Just two more “lunch packing days” left of school — that is, two and a half more days, not counting today.  The end of school is always such a crazy time.  This year seems worse than ever.  Honestly, I don’t think Russ and I ever really recovered from the stress of hockey season’s divide and conquer. I miss my calm life. I miss my husband. I actually miss camping, because it is calm and we just get time with ourselves without obligations interrupting things.

I feel like I have spent the last two weeks in my car.  Here’s the thing that’s really starting to get on my nerves. I am a punctual gal. It is important to me that my kids get to school on time, that I get to my appointments on time, and I pick them up on time.  Now, what’s on time? Within 2-3 minutes of the “time”.  I think that’s pretty good. Continue reading

If Dad Could See Me Now…

Russ and I took the girls on a drive yesterday. We drove down to Lake Champlain, taking the back roads, dirt roads we’d not taken before, just to make it more interesting. We were headed to a marina. To look at sailboats for sale.

It was a trip I’ve taken hundreds of times in places all along the east coast with my own parents.  Growing up, Sundays were often “mystery trip” days.  At first, my folks wouldn’t tell us where we were going. Sometimes even my mom wouldn’t know.  But over the years, we saw the pattern: all roads led to a boat yard. Seriously, we visited boat yards everywhere we lived, from New Jersey  to Maryland to North Carolina all the way to Florida. Continue reading

Lessons from Quebec

We came home from Quebec City last night.  We were there for my daughter’s “select” AAA hockey team’s tournament. We left early. We could have stayed another night and played two more games, but, my daughter’s team lost all four and were O.U.T., so we, the parental units, opted to save another $125 in hotel charges and drive after the last 7pm game, into the late night, home.  It wasn’t easy but it was the right thing to do.

Isn’t that always the case? Ugh.

Olivia was devastated when we packed our bags and 9AM yesterday morning.  They had two more games to play, and even though the first two went 0-6 and 0-4, Olivia was pretty sure her team might still make it to the championship round. Continue reading

Pig-Headed Do-Gooder Sports

“You are the volunteer of last resort” my husband chided me this weekend. I’m just not sure how to take that!?  The truth is, I am reliable and I commit cautiously, but fully.  Those qualities make me a perfect glutton for punishment. And in the world of parent-volunteerism, there’s plenty of punishment to be had.

What makes matters worse, however, is that I have two other qualities that delude me in my volunteerism: “do-gooder” and “pig-headed”.  Those are the more common names for my qualities. I tend to refer to them as my lofty-dreamy-isms and my love of the sport of running-down-the-slim-odd.

So altogether, you have a girl who believes she can make the world better, is not deterred by the odds, and who will do the dirty work, even if no one else will.  Seriously, I am a cause’s wet-dream! Continue reading

The Place Where Everything Changed

I happened to mention my Train-Wreck metaphor for our life to Russ yesterday. And I just sorta slipped in that I posted something on this blog. I wasn’t sure he cared much for this.  But I cushioned the news with the retelling of the intro — that I love our life but that it makes me crazy sometimes. Yeah, something like that.

He had sort of a bemused look on his face. I thought it best to ignore it. Continue reading

The Train-Wreck

I have to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with my own life and marriage.  I love that Russ and I feel like we can do anything, go anywhere, that our kids will roll with just about anything, that slim odds or challenging logistics are never deal-breakers; I hate that we are so f*cking disorganized that we eitiher do WAAY too much at once or we miss every good opportunity because we’re still chasing down a stupid slim odd. Continue reading

Raging Madness

I write three blogs with varying regularity. I can’t decide which blog is more appropriate for this post: the one about adapting to Vermont, the one about parenting, or the one titled “managing the madness”. This one feels like it should be in the latter, but that one is focused on a different source of madness, and the first, it could go in because it’s got to do with living here, but it’s also about our life, and how it colors our life, as people and as parents. Continue reading

Simple Pleasures

As I hoped, the birthday seemed to happen happily.  I am forever grateful for a child who appreciates the simple things in life.

Olivia’s birthday celebration started at breakfast Thursday morning. She had expressed a desire to open one gift in the morning, rather than having to wait A-L-L day and until AFTER Dad came home and until AFTER dinner.  So, yes, this made sense. I selected the gift to start with.

She was OVER-THE-MOON with her gift. Continue reading

The 10-year Mark

I’m dreading Olivia turning ten almost as much as I dreaded turning forty. I hope it turns out to be as great as turning forty did.

I think what I’m feeling is a realization that I don’t know her very well. I would say that I’ve tried really hard.  She’s a tough nut. She guards her emotions and feelings around us very closely. She makes it hard to get in.

There’s never been the kissy-kissy at the car door like I have with Katie. Continue reading