Kids are doing well, house hasn’t burnt down. Yet.

(Apparently my plan to write more frequently worked out really well.)

I played the violin when I was younger, and have held on to it ever since.  And since one of the most poignant privileges of parenting is living your dreams vicariously through your children (even if they are uninterested, because some things [like vegetables] are just good for their development, and I AM YOUR MOTHER AND I SAY SO) Michael was forced, that is, was happy to join the orchestra.  They just had their first concert.  (He was so cute!  He looked so grown up!)  (How can my child be doing this when I can remember doing this myself?!)  (That particular bow technique is called “Bored Fourth Grade Boy”.)  He did really well, in part because he actually enjoys playing the violin (see, moms DO know everything!)

Matthew just had his Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.  His car was pretty fast, which was rather surprising, seeing as I drew a random car shape on a block of wood, my dad cut it out and popped wheels on, and that was about the extent of our fancy car crafting methods.  Here he is, the little scampHere is a candid snapshot of some of the parents setting up for this event, the night before: Why yes, that IS me!  And yes, I DO own a hairbrush!  Although I apparently did not USE said hairbrush!  And no, I do NOT have any idea what I was doing with my hands!  Do not be fooled in to thinking we were standing around chatting, my odd arm positioning and messy hair CLEARLY point to us being hard at work.  Oh, and that is my friend Marisa in the green sweater.  We bonded a while ago over things like scouts, shoddy, I mean, relaxed mothering techniques, and a proclivity towards alcoholic beverages, and have been inseparable ever since.  (If “inseparable” means “I rummage in her pantry and consume vast quantities of her carbohydrates without asking first”.)  (On second thought, maybe that’s “comfortable”.  Or “rude”.  We’ll go with “comfortable”.)

This is George, my uncle (the kids call him Papageorgio.)  A hockey player practically since birth, he volunteered with an awesome program that taught children with autism and other disabilities how to play ice hockey.  I would go with him to the rink every Saturday, and that is where this picture is from.  Our favorite kid we called “Donut”, because he was obsessed with donuts.  By obsessed I mean that being autistic he could not speak, only make sounds, save for the word “donut”.  ONE WORD he could say, and it was “donut”.  CLEARLY he was our kind of people.

Anyway, George died from cancer a few weeks ago.  I miss him more than I can express in words (which is saying a lot, because we all know by now if I can’t find the right word for something I will just make up my own.)  We spent more time laughing together than is probably legal in some countries.  We shared a similar sense of humor, that we found hysterical, though it inspired much eye-rolling in people less, ah, special than ourselves.  He tried to teach me to drive a stick shift before he got too weak (an uncle-y thing to do, you know), but unfortunately I was a supremely incapable pupil.  I am pretty sure I heard his car weeping tears of sweet relief when that ended, because despite his encouraging words to the contrary, I am fairly sure that NO ENGINE SHOULD MAKE NOISES LIKE THAT.

(I love you George!)

In what seems to have developed in to a sketchy family update post, I saved the twins for last.  They have (occasionally) been really cute with the whole pretend play concept lately (sometimes) (for a couple of minutes) (until they start fighting.)  The other morning they were actually playing nicely (!) in their room, dumping every book they own in to a giant pile they called theirbonfire”.  Cute, right?!  It kept them busy for a while, which was a relief.  Until I walked in later to put away some laundry and noticed the portable heater they plugged in next to the pile of books and turned on high.  So help me Lord if those little bastards were not trying to make AN ACTUAL BONFIRE.  IN THEIR BEDROOM.  Not cool, guys, NOT COOL AT ALL.  No more playing nicely for you two.

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February 3, 2010. Uncategorized.

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