Monday, June 25, 2007

Summer, Summer, Summer...

"I have a runny nose, Daddy, and besides that, someone was making fun of me at school on Friday. I don't want to go to summer school today." said my dearest at 7:30 this morning when D tried to wake up J up. So he could go to school, so he could get 10 credits and thus take less classes in his first year of high school.
Last summer we thought to relieve the kids of school. This year is a different story. Both boys are in school - A is being home-schooled by D, and J is at the high school. M is also being home-schooled. With J, we thought it best to acclimate him to the routine of school, to get him used to managing his tics in a school environment. D and I worried. He did so well at home, we didn't want his good work to plummet. But the reality is, his tics ARE being well-managed, and he WILL lose out on the music programs if he stays home.
"Come on, Daddy, I really just want to stay home, just for today."
D came into my room and whispered, "He's got a really runny nose."
"Give him a cold medicine."
D tiptoed out of the room. I drifted back to sleep. At 9 or so I got up and looked in the bedroom and there was J, asleep. He slept until 11.
When he woke up, he asked, "Hey, I made plans to go skating with my buddy. Can you drive me to the elementary school? Just to the hill."
"Why NOT??!!"
"If you're too sick for summer school, you're too sick to skateboard for friends."
"It's just summer school, it doesn't matter!!"
Heavy sigh.
Yesterday was nice though - after screaming and fussing and complaining and threats to stay home, all five of us managed to get into the SUV and head out to the Orange County Marketplace (which used to be the Orange County Swapmeet) to walk around and buy a beach hat. Which we did. Bought beach hats. Afterwards, we drove to Newport Beach for an early dinner and I had a Mojito. Never did I need one so badly in my life. We all had fun, though. Lunch-dinner was the best. Classic rock playing. The ocean breeze coming in through open windows, chips and salsa, hamburgers, fun conversation. Beach hats.
I took pictures from the pier. I'd not seen that many people at the beach in years. Packed. Sardines.
Today we'll go swimming at the community pool. I'm going to learn how to make a Mojito.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all my fellow fatherly bloggers, whether by biology or love. Hope your day's been a good one, full of family, friends, or the peacefulness of a quiet day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Spectaculular Independence

I thought this picture was worth publishing. My little M woke up in a stormy mood, dramatically tossing clothes about, bemoaning her lack of desire to follow our strict time line in order to get to school on time. Since the days of my childhood, where I fought with my style-conscious mother over what I wanted to wear, I vowed never to force my own children to abide by my personal sense of dress. I'm glad to see I was successful in creating independent-minded children who see beauty in many things, in places others might skip.

Monday, June 11, 2007


My oldest child, J, is graduating from 8th grade on Wednesday. I've been disconnected from it. My brother (father to step-daughter, S) and his wife put on a graduation party on the weekend for S (who graduates also from 8th grade) and to tell you the truth, I was relieved because when they let me know about it, I realized I hadn't planned anything in celebration of the day. Why? I suppose it's because the year's been a long one with J, our battle with Tourette's, with his "couldn't-care-less" attitude towards school, my own recalled "couldn't-care-less" brush with 8th grade graduation. I suppose the disconnect was more due to D's and my narrow focus/worry on his walking onto the high school campus next week for his first class back at school rather than walking to get a diploma. All my energy has gone into fretting about high school. Will he tic there? Is the medication enough to counter the anxiety? Will he be lost there? Will he let his grades plummet there? Will he walk to get his diploma there? And what of those other kids of mine?

So, he's graduating. Congrats, my dear. Now onto the really hard work of setting yourself up for college and a career. The world is your oyster as they say. Are you going to nurture the pearl, or swallow the meat with horse radish?


The weather is beautiful now. I love the June gloom which gets burned off by a slow-to-heat noontime sun. I sit on a chair on the porch with my book and a coffee in the morning, watching the sprinklers work and the dog sniff around the perimeter of the yard. Something always new to find in the familiar, eh?