April's Life Adventures
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Thursday, September 29, 2005Stalling
Here it is, bed time again. My five year old daughter is attempting to stall, as usual. Tonight I thought that I had beaten her at the game. I got her drink, fed her a snack, did the entire bed time routine, and yet, she managed to think of something else that she needed. I knew she would.
I went into the room to bring her that ever elusive piece of cloth that she calls a blanket, and I find that she has turned on her lights. Again. I am pretty frustrated, so I unscrewed the light bulbs. Burnt my fingers too! I am the mommy and I will win.
The truly funny thing about her bed time tonight is that I set it. I know that she will stall for a half an hour, so I bumped the time up a half an hour! We usually put her to bed at 7:30 and she doesn't fall asleep till about 8. Tonight, I started the routine before 7:00 so she would fall asleep sooner. I win! I only dread the day when she learns to tell time.
Wednesday, September 28, 200520th Century
I don't think that I have mentioned in here before that I am a violist. Not to be confused with the violin, the viola is a unique and complex instrument. I decided to study this instrument in college, and thus, I was a music major. I have to admit that I met some of the most intriguing people through this avenue (yes I mean you Heather, Dana, and the whole fishbowl crew). In college, one of my favorite classes would have to have been my 20th century music theory class. I struggled at first, but once I understood how much math went into the compositions, I was hooked. Some of the pieces were difficult to listen to, yet once I understood the thought processes that were behind the music, they were much more interesting if not down right brilliant. There is a definite method to dissonance.
This past month, we have been rehearsing for our November concert. We are playing a piece that spawned this blog entry. It is Samuel Barber's First Essay Opus 12... Man oh man is that ever a difficult piece! I downloaded it off of iTunes this morning so I could better understand the complexity of the piece. If you haven't heard it in the past, look it up! You won't be disappointed. At points within the piece, my stand partner and I are playing in seconds (notes right next to each other for non musical folk) and would normally sound terrible. I mean, if you play these two notes together on a piano, you would think that you had struck a wrong chord. However, in context, I revel in this point in the music. One of the most dramatic points for me in the piece is when we are reading the music in three, being conducted in one, yet it sounds like we are in two because of all the accents... So cool!
Sorry for the musical post, I know that many of you who read this won't understand much of what I just said, but those of whom were in my classes (you know who you are :-) will understand why I was moved to post about Samuel Barber and his amazing music. Just remember, when I read things about Poetry or Existentialism (which I had to look that word up to remember what it meant), I feel like an idiot. Perhaps I just needed to remember that I too have areas of expertise. Thank you Mr. Barber for reminding me that I learned important and interesting things in college too.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005An old wives tale
I have been having a hard time keeping my kids out of the refrigerator. They love to investigate the things that are kept in there. Yesterday my two year old daughter decided that she wanted to play in the fridge. Of course, she waited till Mommy and Daddy were talking in the other room before getting in there and making messes. The choice for the day? Eggs.
I ended up with a dozen eggs smashed into my living room carpet. I have cleaned up eggs before, but only on the kitchen floor. I remembered a friend of mine saying something about putting sugar on dropped eggs. I had no idea what this would do, but thought I would try it anyway. Basically, the sugar soaked into the eggs and kept them from spreading. They were not hard to clean up after that!
So there you have it, put sugar on dropped eggs. It would also be helpful to somehow lock the refrigerator. That is my next task.
Monday, September 26, 2005Home Again
I spent much of this last weekend driving. Alone. With my two kids. Remarkably, I didn't have to dismember either of my girls! No really, they were great most of the time. I attribute much of my driving success to a prize box that I rigged up (every half an hour I gave them something from the dollar store), and a TV/VCR combo that plugs into my cigarette lighter. I happen to be one of those mom's that monitor how much television that my kids get to watch in the day, Sesamie Street and Dragon Tails only! However, this weekend I bent the rules. It took about three movies to get to our destination. Almost exactly!
My sister was having a family event. I really needed to be there to support her. Plus, she is going to school to be a Dental Hygienist and she needed me to be a patient. The sad thing, is that she has hands of pure silk, I mean, it didn't hurt AT ALL when she would work on my teeth. However, when her professors would come and check her progress, they would poke and prod over and over again. The next day I was in so much pain, and that wasn't because of my sister! I think that these professors have forgotten how to be gentle! I mean, this is my mouth we are talking about. Sure I have some really bad spots, but come on! Do you really have to shove that thing so far up there and poke around over and over again?!
We pulled into our driveway yesterday afternoon. It was so nice to be home, but I knew that my husband wouldn't be there waiting for me. He had some duties to attend to at the church. When we walked into the house, we found three letters. Well, one letter and two pictures drawn by hubby anyway. The letter was obviously for me, and the girls each got their own picture saying welcome home! I think that the most wonderful thing to come home to was that note. A nice mushy thing from hubby detailing how much he missed me. At the end was a line asking me to put the casserole into the oven so we could eat when he got home. How cool is that?! He even made dinner! Ahhhh it is so nice to be home.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005Plums
My house is a bit older than I would like it to be, but when we bought it, we liked that there were mature trees on the property. Many of the new homes in the neighborhood are still planting new saplings, so they won't see fruit or even shade for quite a few years.
The people who owned the house before us, planted two plum trees in the back yard. Once they tasted Idaho Plums however, they decided that they didn't like them. Thus, the fruit was always left to rot on the trees. They would often fall onto the ground and thus, we have a plum grove instead of two trees. We have 6 fruit producing trees and four that have not reached maturity yet. I have plums coming out of my ears!
Yesterday, I spent the entire day making plum jam. My husband loves the stuff, so I am glad to make it. However, it is a monumental effort to create this concoction of fruit while attempting to keep the sugar level inside at a minimum. There is always a question of will this set up if we leave a few cups of sugar out of the recipe? The resounding answer is YES! The day was a success, but after a day like that, I hurt all over!
We made 7 batches of jam yesterday. The sad part, is that we didn't even make a dent in my plum crop. I have more plums still sitting on my kitchen table than I used yesterday, plus twice that still on my tree! I may try making prunes with a few, but then I worry about my kids eating too many and creating a nasty mess in the bathroom, if you get my meaning... I am traveling this weekend to see my family, so I will try to pawn off some of the fruit on them. Wish me luck!
Monday, September 19, 2005The Intrepid Easter Bunny
The post of Resident Assistant will be one that I will forever equate with making a fool of one self. This is one more experience, although it thankfully didn't have anything to do with me. When my husband was new to the position, he was asked at a staff meeting if he would consider playing the part of the Easter Bunny at the annual Easter egg hunt. Being ever ready to put on a costume, he happily accepted the task. At the time, no one else wanted the position, so he had no competition.
A few days before the hunt, my husband rode around in the housing golf cart with a blow horn inviting all the kids out to the Easter egg hunt. Everyone was excited and we all arrived at the hill early to set up the candy. The people in charge were smart enough to segregate the hunt by ages. There were roped off areas for where the kids would all start within the relative age groups posted. However, they made one very costly mistake, the roped off portions only lasted for about 100 yards or so, and thus, when the kids reached the end of these partitions, the rest of the field was fair game.
Hundreds of children showed up to the hunt. My husband was having a great time posing for pictures with all the excited youngsters. The starting whistle was blown and the hunt began. The older children were fast! They quickly reached the end of their roped off portions and ran unchecked into the younger areas of the field. They each walked away with baskets overflowing with candy and brightly colored eggs.
After about 4 minutes (the time it took for the kids to empty the field), children began approaching the Easter bunny. Younger children with tear filled eyes drew close to the all powerful giant rabbit. "Easter Bunny, I didn't get any candy!" They were not fast enough to overpower the older and more experienced kids. My husband could not ask the older kids to give up some of their candy, as they had all vanished as quickly as they appeared. A great sad feeling of helplessness settled over the field. What was supposed to be a fun filled morning of candy gorging turned instead into a tear filled group of children begging the Easter bunny to solve their unfair experience.
Was there a moral to this sad tale? Perhaps. At least, my husband refused to play the Easter bunny the following year (the housing director had to play the part because all of the RA's refused). We also demanded that each RA in attendance have a bag of candy held in reserve. The second year, each child left happy. Although, there were only about 2/3 of the kids there. Most of them were older children. Go figure. If I were a young little kid, I wouldn't have wanted to come again either. My husband on the other hand has refused any kind of dress up entertaining. He has turned down posts of Santa Clause, the Easter bunny, and others. I hope that someday he can get over his fear of those upturned, tear stained faces. But I am afraid that his big heart will forever break with that memory.
Friday, September 16, 2005An Eventful Summer
I have a favorite summer from my childhood. This was not the year of a trip to Europe or some other exotic location. No, this was the summer that my family lived in a cramped 17 foot trailer,(all except for my brother who was at an exotic location...). Our Dad had found work in California for the summer and didn't want to leave us all home, so he found a Horse Ranch where we could all stay together. This provided us all with endless adventures at the beach, with the horses, and about anywhere else that we could easily reach by car.
There were other kids on the ranch as well. Another trailer full of icky yucky boys had the same arrangement as our family. We would play with them, but mostly out of desperation. Across the street from the ranch was the most delectable and large orange orchard. It was endless (at least to an 8 year old it was). The smell of ripe oranges would waft across the street and we would all be tantalized and teased by the scent.
One day, we convinced my mother to allow us to go out and play, she needed time to regain her sanity and we needed to create mischief. Our goal on this particular day was the orchard. We had to cross a very busy two lane highway to get there, but we managed to run across without any incident. We consumed many tasty oranges before deciding to head back to the ranch. The icky yucky boys thought that throwing oranges at each other sounded like fun, and an all out war started up. I was pretty scared of the boys, as they were all older than I was, so I pretty much hid from them the entire time. As we headed toward the highway, one of the boys threw one last orange. This bright projectile happened to hit the windshield of a passing semi truck. The driver was of course angry about this, and hit his breaks and the loud horn to show his ire.
Now as a parent, I can only imagine what must have gone through our mother's head when she heard that horn and screeching breaks. They all thought that one of us had been run over by a semi truck. All parents ran towards the highway as we attempted to scatter back into the orchard to hide from the truck driver.
The boy in question was severely dealt with. He had quite the punishment, but I felt that we were all in trouble that day. We were told that we were never again to go into that orchard. It was the most harsh punishment that I could have imagined for an infraction of someone else. I didn't throw a single orange, yet I was banned from that sweet smelling grove. I am sure that the owner of the oranges was not saddened by our new rule. However, if we crept close enough to the highway and the wind was blowing just right, we could inhale that sweet aroma that I will forever remember from my stay in California.
Thursday, September 15, 2005Clowning Around
While still in college, my husband and I were the Resident Assistants for the on campus housing. It was a challenging post for sure, however it paid our rent so no complaints ever came from us. We were in charge of 72 units total, and we had to keep watch over our residents. Fire codes were especially difficult to enforce.
One of our responsibilities was to create different social activities for our residents. They were each charged about $5 a semester which went into a budget for our area. Some of the other RA's decided to have a carnival, and asked us all at our weekly meeting if anyone knew how to make balloon animals. I ventured forth and told them that I had some experience.
The two ladies that I was helping out provided me with the clown costume. They also provided me with a description of what they expected me to do, which was making a few balloon animals. I felt comfortable enough with my skills to venture forth for the first time as April the Clown...
When the day arrived for the party, the RA's brought over the costume. It was an ill fitting rainbow affair, which in and of itself was really not that bad. What they didn't remember to provide was the clown makeup. I didn't have any of the white face paint that clowns are supposed to have, so I stuck a little extra blush on my cheeks to look like circles. I did the best I could with what they did not provide me with.
To further the absurdity of the experience, when I walked into the room, the ladies expected me to entertain 25 children under the age of 6 with a few balloon animals. They had not planned any other activities for the kids beyond me! Suddenly I was supposed to be some sort of magician. After about 10 minutes of struggling, one of the kids pointed out the obvious when he came up to me and said "you are not a very good clown." I knew it was true. All I could think about was somehow surviving the next hour and getting out of there. That day I made a decision that still holds true today. I will never again wear the costume of a clown. I will perhaps provide balloon animals if needed for a birthday party, but never again will April the Clown grace the earth with her presence.
*I know that you guys will all have a wonderful time teasing me about this one, but hey... Its a story about balloons right? I will prepare myself for the ridicule that I know is to come, if from no one else but Johnny Lingo :-)
At the request of Sariah, I have added perhaps the worst picture ever taken of me. Yuck! Ahh yes, lets add more fuel to the fire of ridicule!
Wednesday, September 14, 2005Stupid Questions
When my husband and I were on our first date, he introduced a fabulous way to get to know one another. The question game. Basically, you can ask any question in the world and the person has to answer as truthfully as possible. There were a few other rules, for example, if you liked a question that was asked and you wanted to hear the askers take on the subject, you could ask the same question to them, yet it would not count as your turn... you still had to come up with a brilliant question.
We were on a delightful walk up at college, playing this game on our first date. After about an hour, we stopped and sat in the seats in the football stadium, continuing with the question/answer game. As time passed, I found it increasingly more difficult to come up with intelligent sounding questions. My hubby had much more practice with this game than I did, so his questions were always thought provoking and brought out deep feelings about subjects that I didn't even know that I cared about!
I looked up at the dark stadium lights, which made me think about what it would be like to just float up there and see the world from a higher vantage point. Perhaps I could be in a Hot Air Balloon, or perhaps just have wings and fly. Now I know how strange this probably sounds to everyone, and since I am already being turned in for psychiatric evaluations by many of my readers/friends, I will just say that it was quite late and we had been playing this game for several hours. Suddenly I realized that it was my turn once again to come up with a brilliant question. Are you ready for this? I asked the most thought producing, interesting question ever. I asked "If you could fly, what would you do?" My poor husband (who had known me for all of about 2 days), looked confused for a second, then answered with a simple "I would."
This moment in time, one that I rather wish I could take back, has created many moments of laughter in our relationship. Whenever there would be a lull in a conversation, my husband would ask me what I would do if I could fly. At first, I was mortified, but more than that, I was worried that he would see me for the moron that I felt I was for asking that stupid question. I feared that he would no longer wish to date me. Instead, he saw that I could laugh at myself and that told him more about me than any question ever could have. So I ask you this inevitable question... are there really any stupid questions?
Tuesday, September 13, 2005Balloon Animals
I was once given the opportunity to fly back east to visit one of my sisters. I believe that I was about 16 or so. My younger sister and I were flying alone for the first time. At first thought of this adventure we were quite excited, however as we thought about the trip, we began to feel a little anxiety. Our parents had purchased tickets that had a stop over in Chicago which is quite a large airport.
We began to discuss the things that we could do to prepare for our trip. For Christmas, my sister was given a balloon animal kit. Basically, a book of instruction, a pump, and some balloons. At our Mom's suggestion, we practiced making the animals before we left. Some of them were quite easy to produce, and we quickly learned the art of making balloons look like animals.
While on our lay over in Chicago, we brought out the balloons. My sister and I walked around giving our creations to bored children in the airport. Soon, we were surrounded by excitement and children began asking for different animals. Some of which, we didn't know how to make. We faked our way through and created many animals that may have looked like poodle's or bunny rabbit's, but I swear they were lions and kangaroos!
Eventually we arrived safe and sound at our destination. My sister and her family were very happy to see us and we were relieved to have made it through our adventure in one piece. We were sure to save some balloons for the ride home.
Saturday, September 10, 2005Water Babies
Yet another memory from the ole April archives. Plus, its another balloon story, so this should make my fans happy! No really, I was not going to write about this today, but the comments of everyone made me think that I should try out one more balloon story. Here goes...
The great thing with older sisters is that they know everything. At least that is what a child of six would think. Sometime after a birthday party, we found some unused balloons and one of my sisters showed me a great way to play with them. Far more entertaining than just blowing them up at least. We invented the "water baby". Basically, we filled a regular balloon with water, drew a face on it, then put it into a doll outfit.
Our mother was not very happy with this idea. She was probably worried about a water mess on the carpet when one of these "babies" would pop. Or perhaps she just found it silly, but for whatever reason Mom would take the water babies away whenever she found them. Therefore, we started hiding our new children in secret places. There were several times that I would hide a baby only to find an empty balloon a month later when I remembered where she was.
Probably because of this secret pastime of mine, I found myself drawing a face on a water balloon a few months ago for my daughter. I let her carry her water baby around all day. Yes, it did pop on my carpet, but a water mess was worth the small moment to act out a memory.
*I know, I know, not my best post... But hey I had to keep the balloon stories alive! Viva la balloons!
Friday, September 09, 2005Golf Course High Jinx
Lately I have been thinking about fun memories that I have in my past. Thinking that a few of these would be a bit entertaining, I set out to share a few. Running behind my house was a nice sidewalk that lead to a greenbelt, (green grassy area owned by the city). Anyway, just beyond this greenbelt was a small gully and then, the source of much entertainment, a golf course. In an attempt to be clear in my descriptions, I must say that the greenbelt was considerably higher than the golf course, to a child, this felt like a cliff when it was actually just a nice hill.
I think that at one time or another, every kid in the neighborhood went down in that gully to look for golf balls that we could sell back to golfers for a quarter a piece. At times, we would dare each other to dart out of the trees and steal the golf course flag. One of my sisters and a few of our cousins were caught playing this game, our parents were called and many punishments were given. Needless to say, I learned my lesson from them and decided to be a bit more creative with my pursuit of entertainment.
A few friends and I constructed a balloon launcher out of some rubber tubes from bicycle tires. To test our creation, we filled a cooler with water balloons and headed to the greenbelt. The golf course beyond was empty, so we launched a few test shots. We needed to be precise in our aim, as we thought that we would only get one chance at this. After a few tries, we could hit the putting green every time. We waited for our unsuspecting prey.
Soon a golf cart could be seen driving towards the putting green. Our chance was close at hand! In order to avoid detection, we lay flat on our stomachs and peered from our perch on the greenbelt. As the golfers approached the hole, we took aim. The balloon was released and we pressed ourselves again to the ground. We knew that we had hit our target by the intense cursing coming from the direction of the putting green.
Waiting until the soggy golfers moved on and new quarry appeared, we tried our luck a second time, then a third, and even a fourth. Each and every time we angered golfers for our own merriment. It wasn't until a golf course ranger appeared that we decided that our fun was at an end. One more shot, the ranger was soaked and we ran. Disappearing into our friend's house, there was no way for the golf course to find the culprits. It was a great day. Beware golfers, you may just get soaked by some ingenious mischief makers!
Wednesday, September 07, 2005Balloon Trauma
I know that posts are supposed to stand alone. My brother told me so. He knows everything about anything so I believe him. This time however, I need to refer to my post on Birthdays. Forgive me Johny Lingo... oh, and how is Mahana?
My hubby and I decided to get the five year old some balloons for her birthday party (five to be exact, because she was turning five! I am so clever!) The two year old however loves balloons, so hubby thought that he should get her one balloon as well, in her favorite color, yellow.
Hubby first brought in the balloons for the birthday girl. She was very excited, yet the two year old looked sad. We were glad that Daddy had a balloon waiting outside for her. As he told the two year old that he had a surprise for her as well, her face lit up, only to look sad again as she saw that she only had one balloon. Her expression said something like "oh so you love HER more than ME?" Eventually, as she realized that she was not getting more balloons, the yellow one became her new best friend. The thing went everywhere with her.
The little one decided to go outside with Daddy to hang up the pinata for the party later on. Of course, the balloon had to go out with her, so I tied it to a stuffed animal to keep it from flying away. As Daddy was busy fighting with the tree, the little one went unnoticed for a few minutes. My poor husband turned around just in time to see a bright yellow balloon flying off into the wind. Her face, one of utter shock and amazement, quickly turned to extreme sadness and tears began to fall. She cried for Daddy to save the balloon (which by this time was a small spec in the sky), and when she realized that Daddy was not going to reach up there and pluck it out of the blue, sat down in the dirt and cried. This was the cry of a child who had just lost a best friend, and Daddy would do nothing. It didn't matter to her that he could not fly up there and fix her every woe, what mattered was that her friend was gone.
I was tempted to immediately run out and buy another bright yellow balloon for fifty cents. It would have made me look like a super hero. We chose instead to teach the poor little girl about balloons. This morning, a day later, she is still asking me to fly up into the sky and get her "boon", only to cry again when I tell her that I can't. Yes little one, Mommy and Daddy are not perfect, we can't fly.
My daughter turned five yesterday! So, I suppose that I will be referring to her as my five year old daughter now... Hubby brought a bunch of helium balloons home for her, and ever thinking about the feelings of the two year old, he brought a bright yellow one home for her as well. This balloon and what happened to it is a subject for another post, but for now I want to tell you all about the actual birthday...
We decided to give her a friend birthday party this year because both of her sets of Grandparents were unavailable for a family party. We were talking to her on Sunday about what friends she would like to invite and we explained that we were going to hold the party on the following Saturday. This was not a good idea according to her, parties are to be held on the birthday in question, end of story. Nothing else would be acceptable. We rushed to get the invitations out that day, and the poor parents only had two days of notice instead of six.
Apparently five year old kids have nothing better to do than come to a party, so we had every child show up. I had thought that with the late notice, we would have perhaps half come so I allowed my daughter to invite more kids than I would normally have. My fault I suppose, but we had a house full last night. I think that the pinata was the favorite of all the kids.
After most of the children had been picked up by their parents, the five year old decided to jump on the trampoline. Whether it was all the excitement, candy, soda, cake, or the flu... the five year old threw up all over as she jumped. My husband quickly grabbed her and ran into the bathroom as I headed for the hose to clean up the mess. The poor girl threw up all night long!
This morning, she told me that she didn't want to eat any candy today because she didn't want to feel sick. I am just glad that she is keeping some dry toast down. Perhaps later she will have some soup... Happy birthday little one!
Sunday, September 04, 2005Spelunking
There are many natural caves near where I live, and Saturday we decided to explore one. A friend that works with my husband, decided to play tour guide for the day and showed us around the dark cavernous cave. I packed us a picnic lunch, and we headed off down the damp, dark, enormous hole in the ground.
At first, my daughters were a little nervous. Especially when we went around a bend and could no longer see the way out. A lantern and flashlights were providing us ample light so we began to sing songs to take their minds of being scared. After a few rounds of "how much is that doggie in the window" and "if you are happy and you know it, clap your hands", they were yelling, laughing, and enjoying every moment. Eventually the girls got into the cave exploration and we could fully enjoy ourselves.
After about an hour, our tour guide/friend started making up dragon stories. Mostly on request of my daughter, he would point out rock formations that looked like a "petrified dragon" and she would race over to investigate. He pointed out the dragon's wings, body, head, eyes, mouth, and nose. The four year old would touch each of these with awe and then... ACHOO! The dragon sneezed goobers all over her hand! Oh no! Yucky! This game provided the adults with nonstop entertainment.
All in all, it was a great experience and I fully plan to explore the caves again. If nothing else, it would be a great place to take our extended family when they come to visit.
Friday, September 02, 2005Memory of a Kiss
Most of the girls that I went to high school with experienced their first kiss well before our sophomore year. At least, that was my perception of the girls I knew. I was an awkward teen, large glasses, little or no makeup, and I didn't really care about style. My hair was halfway down my back and sported a perm, and because I really didn't know what to do with it, I copied my older sisters hair style from the early 90's. It is no wonder that I didn't experience my first kiss until halfway through my Junior year.
My sisters, being the wonderful gals that they are, knew that I was a lost cause and therefore, decided to take me under their wing. Over Christmas break, my hair miraculously shrunk into a stylish a-line cut, lost it's curl, and developed a wonderful case of highlights. My parents gave me contacts and a makeup class at a local department store for a Christmas present. When I returned from break, I looked like a different person. I overheard many comments like "who's the new girl?" It would probably come as no surprise that in that first week back, I was finally "asked out", and boom! I had my first boyfriend.
Just after Andy* asked me out, he tried to kiss me. It was the typical lean in kiss where you can see it coming from a mile away. Slow motion ensued and I saw his pucker, the lean, and then... the FALL! Yup, I moved and thus he fell flat on his face. Truly I didn't know this boy very well, I just said yes because he was the first to ask me out. I had no idea what to do with kissing, and I was a bit nervous about the whole experience. I have laughed about this memory with my hubby but I have often wondered what poor Andy thought about it. You see it in movies all the time, but it actually happened to me in real life. One for the record books... He really should have gone for the hug and surprise kiss method so I wouldn't have had time to react.
*names changed of course :-)
Thursday, September 01, 2005Autumn
Strange how I find myself thinking about the weather. Somehow the topic of what the world looks like outside is supposed to be stricken from conversations where you can find other, more interesting topics to discuss. I was noticing how the weather up here has begun to turn colder. Gone are the days of summer where I would give anything to go dive into the local Lake. The leaves have not started to turn, but I almost find myself wondering how many days are left until I will wake up to the reds, gold's, and browns of my local maple trees.
This time of year always puts me into a mood of reflection. I remember a time when I was about to start the fifth grade. I worried that I was somehow not smart enough to pass from the fourth into the fifth grades. I wondered if I would be able to keep up and understand all there was to learn. It was comforting to think that my teachers and parents would not let me into the fifth grade unless I was really ready for it. That I had somehow met some invisible level of intelligence that would pronounce success upon my head.
Days of college gone by come flooding back as I see all of the new freshmen come flooding through the local Wal-mart. Along with their parents, they roam the isles looking for new pencils, backpacks, binders, and any other piece of academic necessities that they might need. Remembrances of new roommates and the fear that if you did't get along with them this year, you would be miserable in the apartment assigned.
My daughter missed the Kindergarten cutoff by about a week. At first, I found myself distraught by the fact that she couldn't start school with her friends. Now, I find myself thinking that she may not have been ready this year anyway. I have fond memories of my time in school, yet I have feelings of regret as well. Did I truly see my time in school as the gift that it was? No, I simply brushed it off as something I had to do. Live long dear Autumn, for winter comes again all too soon.