According to the lunar calendar, it must have been an evening in the last week of August. Sophie and I were at the park by the swings for that breathtaking moment when the full moon rises over the mountains. Sophie was at first amazed, and then grew angry and began to kick her legs with irritation as I pushed her gently in the swing. She cried as she struggled to say something.
"High to the moon!" She said finally. I pushed her as hard as I could and she immediately relaxed, took a deep breath, leaned her head back and smiled contentedly.
Now the phrase has caught on with the older kids too. Thursday I had to drop a fruit plate off at the middle school so the little kids came with me, and we explored a new park in that neighborhood. It was a gorgeous day, and the early fall weather reminded me of Virginia and all of our favorite parks there, especially the one next to Tuckahoe School that we called Old Rusty.
This time it was William who said, "High to the moon!"
And Sophie corrected him, "High to the Sun!"
I was proud of the boys for making new friends at the park. I heard Grant go right up to another family of children and introduce himself and William. They played Power Rangers together for the next hour.
On the subject of early Fall, Mary and Olivia picked out our first pumpkin. Now Sophie calls the front porch the pumpkin patch.Sophie goes to preschool one morning a week now. She loves it. She enjoys watercolor at school and with Grandma Martha. On other mornings, she goes to Grandma Martha's house or runs errands with me. The other day while we were waiting for the boys by the curb in the pick-up line, Sophie started this sing-song chant,
"Fired up...ready to go...Fired up...ready to go."
If only she were old enough to vote. No political statements here, but I did think,
that's my girl.
Friday was one of my favorite holidays and I didn't even know it until Caitlin walked in to my room with a paper pot on her head. I love holidays that are no stress and you can have fun traditions, that if you forget to do no one cares. Johnny Appleseed's birthday is one of them. I remember one year at the Australian school in Guangzhou, I went in to Ben's classroom to tell stories about Johnny Appleseed's life. I was chosen, not because of any expertise, but because I was the only American mum. Most of the others were Korean or Austrailian. Ben's best friend that year was from Spain. Some years we like to make a delicious apple blondies recipe that Sam learned on a first grade fieldtrip to Bailey's Apple orchard in Virginia. I forgot to do that this year, but no one noticed. See what I mean?
Friday night I did make homemade pizza. Olivia was eager to help me, even though the process took much longer than necessary, due to my ditsiness. It has been so long, I have lost my pizza making instincts. I misinterpreted the notes on the recipe and doubled the flour. Twice. On the third try we had a nice soft dough. "Like a baby's bum," they taught us in Italy. I love the bubbly terrain of the pesto pizza.
Saturday morning at 1:30 am these guys showed up at my door. Ben looked so creepy I would have died of a heart attack if I hadn't heard them coming. While I was watching The Holiday for the twelfth and twelfth and a half times and folding socks, and deciding who do I like more Jude Law or Jack Black, the boys were moaning, grimacing, smashing half eaten torn off plastic arms against tables and screaming at the top of their lungs at the local haunted house. Grandma Martha and I went to the dress rehearsal Thursday night. She had even more fun than I did. I am grateful that Kyle's best friend David is involved, and his family has been generous with rides. I told them I would do what I could to support them in this wholesome activity as long as they don't act like lunatics and cannibals at home, at least no more than usual.
Saturday everyone was exhausted. I felt like I was too tired to accomplish anything but I know that I did two or three loads of laundry, returned to the milk to the refrigerator half a dozen times, plunged the toilet in the girls' bathroom, oversaw rabbit cage cleaning, took Ben to a friend's house, finished shopping for Grant's birthday... so something came out of that sleepy daze.
Olivia enjoyed spending the day with her good friend Tracy, who we have missed since she moved from the neighborhood. There were puppet shows and cartwheels on the grass. While I was unaware, William offered free sneak peaks to everyone, including Grant, of Grant's birthday presents, which I brilliantly left in the back of the van. Grant said not to worry, he has forgotten that he is getting a monster truck.
This was Saturday night. Thankfully there were leftovers for dinner. I was happy to have Kyle's company. I have been missing the boys since they have been spending so much time as their alter egos. Kyle didn't feel like going and since it is voluntary and flexible, even though I think it's best to encourage follow through, I have to draw the line at forcing my child to spend four hours yelling for human flesh. That's just how I am.
Kyle still refuses to smile for pictures but will agree to funny faces. I love this one. Reminds me of the National Enquirer. He looks like one of the Royals.