Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Volume IX, issue ii, March 2013

Our Lucky Kids

St Patrick's Day is one of favorite holidays, not just because of the excuse to sport green (which happens to be both Eric's and my favorite hue) or because we can stuff ourselves like hungry leprechauns with brisket and cabbage and potatoes and minty green confections. We love it because it gives us a chance to celebrate the Devine--to joyfully remember Eric's mother, Kathleen, and her pure Irish blood and Irish ways; to tell our one-quarter Irish offspring tales about Kathy's siblings and wonderful parents, cheerful John and back-breakingly strong but radiant Edna; to help them appreciate their beautifully diverse heritage as they look in the mirror and see Irish blue eyes or fair skin or a mischievous spark of playful glee. All of those things are divinely Devine and we cherish them.

The Irish blood is strong with this one. 

Crazy Hair Day at Lincoln Elementary School

Prerequisites for creating hair this crazy: genetically superior hair follicles (that I'm hoping offset the pathetic eyesight and skin genes); a bowl full of egg whites mixed with three kinds of hair gel and hairspray; and a mother ready to receive her reward for countless painful hours in the 80's locked in front of a mirror with hairspray and blowdryer wheezing furiously to coax miraculous heights from her own stiff layers of bangs upon bangs.

During my adolescent years, the screaming sound of the hair dryer accompanied by the frantic pumping of sticky, ozone-destroying hairspray were part of my morning ritual. I scooped my frizz onto my pick like a pitch fork to hold my poor, perm-ridden locks away from my ears and then aimed the hairspray in an unrelentingly sticky stream of heat until I could smell that it was done. 

I kept having flashbacks as I created the mother of all mohawks out of Peter's long, thick mane. 

I was sitting by Marie on the couch when I noticed her looking dreamily into the air. Suddenly she sighed and said,"I  just love that you can bring people back to life when they die."

At first I was confused until I realized that she wasn't talking about the zombie apocalyse, but about Easter. I said, "Oh, you mean the resurrection!"  She smiled and said, "Yeah. . ." and sighed again.

After a few more minutes of resurrection-themed contemplation, she said, "Making people is hard and kind of gross."

I'm not sure exactly what she'd been taught in Primary for Easter, but she was certainly absorbing the Easter ambience.

This shot was taken right before Marie's pre-school Easter Party. When Charlie sees the camera, he scurries over to our white wall like some little photographic Pavlovian pup. I couldn't get him out of the shot, and now I'm thrilled that I caught him looking so gleefully disheveled and miles away from camera ready. How could I edit out that messy little imp? 

Marie's Easter Party : Sponsored by. . . 

Marie is always looking at me hopefully and asking me if she can plan a party (I have no idea where that comes from. . . ). Somehow she coaxed Caleb and Eve into helping her, and the week before Easter our little trio of party planners was in mach 5 party planning mode as they concocted charts, created invitations, cut out decor and dreamed up games with an intensity perhaps only I could appreciate. 

They hand-delivered invitations to each family member and made a play-by-play party schedule that Martha herself would be proud of. They even made a cheerful "Happy Easter" banner out of fishing wire that they strung across the living room. Eve hand-sewed fabric easter eggs for prizes and Caleb designed a crown for the grand prize. 

As I proudly watched Caleb and Eve put their cute noses to the celebratory grindstone, I thought how sweet they were to work so hard to make Marie's dreams come true. I praised their selfless service until they said, "Marie is paying us." 

Marie is doing what? 

"She's paying us five cents each!" 

I asked them where their four-year-old sister had gotten money to pay them and Eve shrugged her shoulders and said, "She found it in her pockets." 

How sweet. . . 

We scheduled the posh affair on Monday night for Family Home Evening and Caleb stood on the hearth in the living room like some celebrity MC for the Oscars and announced slowly and  with authority: "Welcome to Marie's Easter Party!" 

We played "Pin the Tail on the Easter Bunny," "Find the Easter Eggs" and "Find the Easter Bunny" in teams, with each team rotating from game to game according to the schedule. 

When Caleb tallied up the points, we weren't surprised to find that Caleb's team had won, considering that the awarding of points was completely subjective and overseen by. . . Caleb himself. 

Twelve with a Vocabulary Going On Twenty

In Ethan's history class, they were discussing a political issue that highlighted the unfair treatment of a woman. Ethan made a comment about how the situation was "sexist." Loud gasps erupted from all of his pre-teen classmates. They couldn't believe he would use that word in class. Ethan patiently explained that being sexist means "the unfair treatment of someone based on their gender" (his definition). Ethan and his teacher were the only ones in the room that found the whole scenario funny. 

* * * 
The Lego Advent Calendar has been a family Christmas tradition for the past three years. . . for the older kids only. This year we decided to involve Peter and Marie, knowing we were taking a risk. We bought two Star Wars advent calendars so that every night two kids could open one of those magical doors and put together one of those adorably teeny tiny, miraculously creative figures (you can probably tell who initiated said tradition). One evening it was clear that someone (insert Peter's name here) had opened several doors to "check and make sure all of the figures were where they were supposed to be." At first the kids thought some of their prized figures were missing and a whole lot of teeth-gnashing and grumbling ensued. I launched into lecture #372B about turn-taking etc. etc.,  assuming that everyone was too upset to really listen. 

During family prayer that night, Ethan reverently asked for heaven's aide by saying "Please help us that we won't be overtaken by greed."

Happy Anniversary to Us!

On March 27th Eric and I celebrated our fifteenth anniversary. Fifteen years of the most shockingly witty, hysterically inane, and incredibly insightful commentary a girl could ask for. Fifteen years of late-night talks about literature, scripture, human nature, and every other imaginable (and unimaginable) topic that end with the words, "We DO live together. We should probably get some sleep!" Fifteen years filled with loyalty, and yet he can still surprise me. Fifteen years and seven kids, but my heart still flips when he winks at me. My only regret is that I doubted that I would find him.

Still in our anniversary-induced reverie, Marie (4) studied the youthful photo of Eric and me on our wedding day, sighed and said, "I like how Dad looks in this picture!" Bracing myself for the worst, I asked her how she liked me in the photo and she said, "You look exactly the same!" Oh, kisses for EVERYONE!!


Matheson said...

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Daniel and Lindsey said...

Who in the world is Matheson? And why do they keep using your blog for their own selfish purposes?

Regarding your blog...
I love the first pic of Charlie with his green top hat and funny pj's - absolutely adorable.

Peter's mohawk is impressively tall. I laughed when you said that you could "smell" that your hair was done.

Charlie sneaking into Marie's picture like a little imp is another of my favorite photos. He does have a devilish impish grin!

I loved that Marie is already business-savvy enough to hire some party planners. I asked her to tell me about her party on the way to Playgroup and she looked at me like she didn't know what I was talking about. I think she was already on to the next big thing... probably her birthday party!

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