Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Listen, Listen!"

Tonight was our back-to-school dinner. After debating considering "Choose the Right" for our theme, The Spouse and I decided to instead emphasize the theme "Listen, Listen!"

I made a table centerpiece by stacking some books in the center and then scattering crayons the length of the table runner. This year's hats were cone party-hats that I'd written "Listen, Listen!" on. They always love the hats.
We made homemade fortune cookies this year and tucked in our own "fortunes". Thing 1's fortune was "You will make other people in your class happy!" Thing 2's was "You will make a great new friend this year!" The Munchkin's was "You will be the best singer in your class!" And me? I will, apparently, be mastering the art of cartwheels. (Recipe for fortune cookies here. The only thing I changed was to add a little bit of water and dip them in melted chocolate.)

All of this celebrating to go along with a primary song that goes "Listen to the still small voice-- listen, listen! When you have to make a choice, He will guide you, always."

There are lots of ways that my children need to learn to listen. They will need to listen to their teachers when they say it's time to clean it up. Get it out. Line up. Get ready to go home. They will need to listen to their peers to navigate the intricate ins and outs of making childhood friends. I hope they have listened--really listened--when I've told them how much I love them, and that I always will. No matter what. But more than anything else, I hope that they come to really know and listen to that still small voice this year. Always.

Out and About: Queens Road West

(We just didn't have streets like this
where I grew up.
Sometimes I wonder if my children realize
how insanely beautiful this place is.)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Unedited Life: Curb Appeal.

We've decided that we're going to sell our house.

Let me rephrase that.

We've decided NOT to participate in the ongoing housing "slump" and put our "dream starter home" on the market. In 6 months. Because if you saw my "late-century bungalow" you'd hand me a shovel and say, "Are you sure 6 months is long enough?"

As you can see, this is going to take some work.

I sat down today and began making my list. At the top I wrote: THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DEALT WITH. It was tempting to begin with things like "Get a new mailbox to replace the one that the neighbor's friend ran over when she was tipsy in the middle of the day" or "Finish painting the cupboard doors white sometime this century." Maybe even perhaps "Sell all the furniture on craigslist, use the money to hire a staging company, and run for the hills."
But, after giving it some more serious thought, it seemed like the most obvious thing to put on the list would be "Buy flood insurance and pray for 40 days of rain."
If you need me in the meantime, I'll be in the kitchen with a paintbrush.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What Dreams May Come..

It feels like summer is never going to end. It really does. Day after endless day of more than 90 degree weather, and not even the swimming pool is appealing any more.

School starts next week.
I am going to miss my daughter. Who will draw mermaids with me? Who will give me constant dance recitals? Who will answer when I go looking for her and find her room empty?
I think I hate school.
But she is thrilled.

I am trying to be thrilled for her.
But I have thought of one good thing: if she's going back to school, then surely fall is on it's way. Surely the leaves will change and the humidity will confine itself to Florida, like it's supposed to. And I'm watching for those subtle signs--the trees that I consider canaries in the mine. Their leaves are the first to change.

I thought I saw some tinged with red this week.
Someday, fall will come.