Sunday, September 25, 2011

Summer 2011

The summer seems to be over. The kids are back in school. The temp is dropping. The nights are longer. My flip flop tan lines are disappearing. Elfa has already dropped in for a visit.  I suppose its time to sum up the fun we had before we forget that the sun does occasionally shine in Seattle.

Don’t be fooled by the number of photos of the same people. This was not just one big trip. These were 3 trips, with the same friends, over and over and over. We have found our people, People. We have found that group of friends that we will grow our kids up with. We will have lots of memories together, good ones, bad ones, and I’m sure some scary ones. (Speaking of scary memories…I don’t think I lost Finn even once this summer.)

These are the gals I waste narcotics with every day. These are the gals I take my 15 minute breaks with. These are the gals I am constantly texting when I’m not at work. These are the gals I’ve named as emergency contacts for my kids. These are the gals Niamh is going to call when she wants someone to convince me that the prom dress she wants is worth the numbers on the price tag. These gals are top notch.

This summer was top notch.

Friday, September 16, 2011


On Monday, Finn emerged from his classroom with his lunchbox in his hands and his back pack on his back. Usually, if he is carrying his lunch box, his bag his empty. Monday, he sensed there was something in his bag.
He said, Mama, there is something in my bag and I think its homework!!!! This was said with enthusiasm, not despair. He’s in Kindergarten, not 10th grade.
Today, Thursday, as I was getting dinner ready, I said to Niamh about 47 times Hey, Sweetie, can you please put your homework in your folder and get it all set for school tomorrow?
The 48th time I said it she responded, How about you do it and I sit in the lounge chair? 
What do you mean?, I asked unassumingly.
How about you go to school and do my homework and I’ll sit in your lounge chair in the back yard?, she responded.
Ummmmm, I can only assume that my dear 7 year old daughter thinks that when she goes to school each day, I come home and sit in the REI lounge chair for 6 hours until it is time for me to go retrieve her and her dear brother from their grueling day in Elementary School, and she would rather switch places with me.
I don’t know how to respond to this kind of accusation/total misconception of what life is like as an adult with children and a full-time profession. However, if she thinks my life is admirable and enviable, well then, she better plan on a lot of studying for her degree. It has only just begun.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let Freedom Reign

I own two kids and as of yesterday, they are both full time students.
This is how the day went…
We took some odd photos of the kids on the dead, weed filled lawn.

We walked to school with packs full of school supplies. These days, school supplies are more kleenex, lysol wipes, and paper towels and less pencil cases, binders, and white out.
Along the way, Niamh and I discussed the logistics of her having class on the 4th floor of the building. I gave her encouragement and told her I was pretty sure she could handle the 4 flights of stairs. She offered the idea of riding in the elevator. I explained that the elevator was only for students who had difficulty walking up and down stairs. She claimed that it IS difficult for her to walk up stairs, the down part is ok. I told her she was ridiculous.

 At the school we took some obligatory pics in front of The Gateway to Learning.

I love the photo above. Niamh is sticking a feather in Finn’s ear and Finn in elbowing Niamh.
Then, we found Jaya! Yay! We love Jaya!…and we ditched Niamh with her pals and brought Finn up to the Kindergarten playground.

At the Kindergartener holding area, Finn did his best to look scholarly.

The scholarly look lasted about 3 seconds when Daddy, voted Class Clown 10 years in a row in grades k-8 (you do the math), showed Finn the tried and true way to make all parents pass you up as first draft pick for a play date with their kid.

Then, I couldn’t stop snapping pics of Finn. He was pretty excited to be starting school. He was really excited to get to see Niamh at lunch. But, I think there was just a twinge of nerves creeping in too.

 After Finn walked in the classroom, Steve and I joined the line of parents peering in the windows trying to see who’s kid it was we could all hear wailing. It wasn’t ours so we felt OK laughing about it.

Then, Steve and I walked home. Alone. Without Finn. Without Niamh. For the first time. Ever.
Then, Steve went to work. I had the day off. Alone. Without Finn. Without Niamh. Not for the first time ever, but this felt different.
I went shopping. For several hours. Alone. Without Finn. Without Niamh.
Then, 3:00 approached, and I sent Megan this message. 

But, I did go.
Seeing Finn emerge happy from Senorita Ana’s classroom is what finally made me sad. I was kind of hoping he would run to me and squeeze me tight like he missed me so much and he never wanted to go back to school because there is no place like home, with Mommy.
That didn’t happen.

Next, we went in search of Niamh.
Somewhere between the Kindergarten playground and the front office of the school, Finn’s mood changed. He need to eat. Pronto. I hadn’t brought him a snack. That was a big mistake.
Finn planted himself on the curb, right next to the Principal’s parking spot, and refused to leave.

I took advantage of the extra time and grabbed a few snaps of Niamh, one of her (and my) most favorite people, Drew, and Drew’s little sister.

I don’t know the little boy in the photo below, but he was really proud of the cone full of candy that he got from his parents for his first day of school and asked if he could be in the photo with his cone.

Eventually, we got Finn home, gave him and Niamh a popcicle, and the two debriefed in the back yard. I’m sure Niamh brought up how much harder her day was because of the 4 flights of stairs she had to overcome.

With any luck, this full time student gig should last another 17 years or so. It sure was nice to miss them.