1. What do you call one terrible event, followed by multiple, wonderful acts of kindness and generosity? A big fat juicy blessing in disguise. And not a very good disguise at that.
2. Children's responses to our recent theft:
Panicky 5 year old with tear-filled eyes just ready to spill over: "Did they take my blankeys?"
Distraught 9 year old: "I JUST UNLOCKED THAT GAME AND NOW I HAVE TO START ALL OVER!"
Clueless 3 year old: "They left a buncha stuff on da flowuh." (No, sweetheart, your room looked like this before "they" broke in; sorry.)
Cool, collected 7 year old: "I hate people."
And last, but not to be outdone by a single, solitary soul, my emotive 11 year old: "F*CK! THAT'S JACKED UP!" Ahem. I don't know where he learned to speak that way.
3. I cry at Spelling Bees, Kindergarten graduations, and World Cup opening ceremonies. But just for the record, that first goal scored by Mexico this morning was, in fact, offsides. The ref called it right. And I finally get on/off sides. And boy does South Africa know how to celebrate The Beautiful Game.
4. We went to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park yesterday.
I thought it would be fun to ride the paddle boats. Rick was not with us, so it was me and five members of the Under 12 Set. The rule on the paddle boats is 4 people to a boat, and one of them has to be 16 or older. One ride costs $20. I could not figure out how to get me and three kids on the boat, leaving a scaredy cat Tallulah on the shore, with...who? Her 5 year old sister, who would have been completely livid about being left behind? Her 11 year old brother, who would sell her for a stick of gum? I wasn't about to plunk down $40 for two rides. So. We hiked the trails instead, and left the paddle boats for another day when dad gets to be with us. I was as bummed as the kids were, truly. Life is sort of set up for smaller families than mine.
That is the downside of having a large family.
5. Summer officially started for us yesterday. Putting away school uniforms has been blissful. I am really looking forward to having fun with the kids this summer. I hope we go swimming a whole bunch of times. Every year I tell them we'll swim all summer long, and every year I turn out to be a big fat liar. I hope I can end the summer with some Swimming Integrity.
6. Someone recently asked me what I would recommend for a baby shower gift. Having had one or two of these myself, and having been to a few, I actually have an answer for this! (I usually respond with "Uh, I dunno" when asked questions about babies, their care and feeding, or anything related to hosting parties for them.) Shower gifts are usually of the "care and feeding" ilk, that or the "OMG that is so cute I could just die" ilk. And there is certainly a place, or several, for those kinds of gifts. But I struck on what I thought was kind of unique when I gave a gift of our favorite 6 or 8 children's books to some dear friends of ours when they were having their first child about 7 years ago. Books don't seem to be commonly given at baby showers. It became kind of a tradition that we would give some combination of these books to an expectant family. Giving this gift makes me feel great because these books represent some of our best memories (and current experiences) with our kids. So if you are looking for a creative baby gift, or looking to get some great books for your own kids, here are some of the titles on our gift giving list. I don't want to promote any particular source to purchase these books, so you'll have to google them yourself if you are interested:
A Tree Is Nice
One Morning in Maine
Always Room for One More
My Many Coloured Days -- oooo, love this one. Great for wee one just starting to be read to; we had it in a board book version.
A Time of Wonder -- wonderful and long; good for readers with the ability to sit and be rapt by (or wrapped in) language.
Harold and the Purple Crayon
And that's what my memory has fed me today; if I think of more, I will add to that list.
7. "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." -- Albert Einstein; discuss.