Thursday, March 06, 2014

Blooms, Shakes & Blocks

If well-behaved nine year olds had frat houses, they would look something like my house right now. I came home this afternoon to Henry in his sweat pants in the living room, and pages of math homework strewn from the couch to the front door. He was surrounded by clothes he'd taken off after school, stuffed animals and blanket, some National Geographic Kids magazines and an open Harry Potter book. He was balanced atop his bean bag chair on top of the couch, and he was using a nubby pencil to cross some things off in his binder. I felt like I was interrupting something personal.

The air smelled vaguely like peanut butter and little boy socks.

It's spring even though it's too early to really be spring and we never had a winter. The kids have taken to leaving the back door open each afternoon so the cats can wander out and gnaw on the fresh grass in the backyard, and today when I went out to retrieve Twinkle, I noticed that my peach tree is already blooming.

That right there is jam.

I had a busy day. I'm trying to spend more time with my grandparents when my life gets hectic and stressful; I always feel better after I see them. I think because of this I've seen grandparents on both sides on the same day two weeks in a row. Work life has been kind of tense. I visited Grandpa near my school on a break today and then stopped off to see Grandma in her convalescent home after work. I'm finding that these regular connections pull me out of my anxiousness about things that don't really matter. It was good to see everyone and catch up. And just for good measure, I decided to join my mom and dad for ice cream tonight. My other grandma was going to be there (with Grandpa, who I saw this afternoon--are you confused yet?) and I figured I'd round out my visits with parents and complete the grandparent set. I'm so lucky that everyone lives close.

And the kids certainly didn't mind round two of ice cream at Leatherby's, a local creamery. That's right, I took my children to the same ice cream restaurant two nights in a row. No shame. Yesterday was Henry's birthday and he chose it for dinner. Tonight was a fund-raiser for their school and my mom wanted to take them there again. So yeah. We did that. And I had my second chocolate shake in as many days. All ice cream errday.

Making short work of his birthday shake.

Henry has been slightly emotional about this birthday this year. Last night after dinner, we came home and it was pretty much time for bed. I found him in his room waiting for me with a stern look, and the instant I asked him about it he did a big gaspy breath that cracked. He burst into tears. He had been holding on to an idea that being nine meant he was too old for a few things he loved to do. We had a talk; we sorted it out. It was fine. But I think it was the first time that he thought about getting older. You'd think that would come later than nine. Apparently not in this house.

All is not lost, though. He spent all of his free time tonight (pre- and post- milkshake) in the middle of a giant pile of Legos. He was sad that we had to leave, even when he knew he was getting ice cream out of the deal. I can't say it bothers me too much to see the mess when he's in the middle of it, building, or even that he needed his mom last night. I kind of love it when he's still a little kid.

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