Loving Summer

I’m sitting in a Starbucks right now having just finished my check-in phone call for my writing job. I’m feeling very important. 🙂 I have to say, I love this work and can really see making a career switch at some point.

Last night, C. and I were at home, hot, eating hot dogs and feeling sorry for ourselves for having nothing fun to do on the fourth. The streets were quiet, dead almost. We just haven’t done a great job of cultivating friends with kids. We’re kind of homebodies and I’m frankly a little socially anxious. Z. was perfectly content, hanging out naked at home, playing in his pool but we were feeling a little lonely.

After a dinner of hot dogs, we decided to check out the town celebration. Oh my god, I’m so glad we did! It was a great band, just enough people to feel like you’re part of something but not super crowded you know? Z. danced his heart out and we even saw some fireworks at the top of this hill but the lightning show was even more amazing. Z. fell asleep in the car and we drank beers on the porch and watched the neighbors set off illegal fireworks. Z. slept until 8am which is amazing for a 5:30am boy. With no pacifier so we’ll see. We’re definitely struggling with the whole big boy thing.

C. took the week off so we’ve been going to the beach pretty much every day from late morning until after dinner. Z. falls asleep on the way home and I dump his sandy body in his sandy bed. I love the beach in the late afternoon and early evening. It’s not so hot and the light on the water is so pretty. Loving summer!

Public Parenting

The other day when we were leaving the house I saw a mom with a baby on a bike seat and an older boy riding his own bike. The boy looked like he was refusing to cross our little side street and the mom had that look of frustration. You know. THAT look.

What struck me about the scene was how honest it was because too often I don’t see that. We’ve been spending many mornings in parks lately and I find myself participating in what I call “public parenting.” I will be EXTRA patient and explain every little motivation I have for doing what we’re doing and I see other moms do it too. Like our three-year olds care why we have to leave the park or why they should stop throwing sand. I feel like we’re performing for each other. I state these long explanations, almost like I’m explaining to other moms why I’m doing what I’m doing. Why do we do this? Has parenting (Oh, how I hate that word!) become a performance art?

Husband is giving me a little break this morning and is taking Z. swimming. I’m prepping food to take to the beach since it’s going to be so hot the next two days. I roasted some beets I got at the farmer’s market and made a spicy pasta salad. My fingers hurt a little from the poblanos! Looking forward to hanging on the beach the next couple of days.

If it’s not too early, have a lovely weekend!

Right Now I’m…

Still having trouble staying in the blogging routine. With the cooler weather, I’ve been baking and cooking up a storm (bread and energy bars) to get us through the hot weather to come. I have a post started in my mind about public parenting that I want to share soon. Today we went for a lo-o-o-o-o-ng walk in Minuteman National Park and these are some pictures. Sometimes I can’t believe and am so grateful that we have such beautiful parks and conservation land in our Metrowest area!

How is your summer going?

And so summer begins…

Whew…that was a long end of the school year. But it has ended and with the summer solstice, our vacation begins.

It’s been too hot to do much work in the garden. Our little urban plot has become quite productive. The arugula was made into pesto as it started bolting and didn’t do as well this year. Lettuce and kale are coming up like crazy as the radishes struggle to stay in season. Zucchini and cucumbers are coming along and I’ve planted some peppers and eggplant as well, so we’ll see. We’re keeping an eye on those blueberry bushes and trying to keep ahead of those birds. I’ve put in thyme and dill and basil and three tomato plants that I hope will do well.

We swam at Walden Pond this morning and I planned an afternoon of kiddie pools and popsicles. It’s too hot to do much else. Tomorrow after C. gets out of work we want to go to the beach for a late afternoon picnic. I’m thinking I can shower Z. and put him in jammies while I’m there and pop him in bed at home.

And oh! I got a writing job for the summer. I’m very nervous and excited as it’s a whole new world of deadlines and strange web design programs but I’m hoping it’s my way in. Wish me luck!

I’ll try to get back here more often as the summer goes on. Outside calls though as I’m sure it does for all of you! Have a wonderful weekend!

First blueberry harvest!

                                                                    Trying to thin the lettuce and eat it at the same time.

I’m hoping to get to this pile of books this summer!

                                                                    The little swimmer!

Writing Time

I think this is my problem with teaching writing: I get bored of the assignments. I can teach in week long increments and then I’m ready to move on. To follow a written piece to its logical conclusion ideally takes longer than a week.

I’ve assigned this final writing project which is basically a free choice for the last weeks of school. So much of special education writing instruction is skill based. This is how you write this type of paragraph, etc. I wanted my students to experience what it’s like to really WRITE. Revise, conference, rework, for a long period of time.

My 8th grade is loving it, 7th grade not so much. I think they’re not ready maturity wise for such loose boundaries. This is the thing though-I have SILENT writing periods. No fires to put out, nothing. I was getting bored of sitting there watching students at their computers and I had an epiphany. I should be writing too. I grabbed an extra composition notebook out of my closet and so here I am coming up with ideas, queries, and blog posts and being an example to my students. How can I stress the importance of writing if I don’t do it myself?

This might be the best time for me to establish a good writing routine. This summer, I will be in mom mode-parks, popsicles, and road trips so I’m taking this time to make sure I don’t forget about my “writerly” self.

Grateful for a Rainy Weekend

I’m sure mothers of active toddlers all over New England mournfully sighed when they saw the rainy weekend forecast. I was one of them. As I left Friday and said goodbye to a young, childless colleague, we mentioned the rain and I admitted I was a little jealous of her as she could do what she liked this weekend and didn’t have to entertain a child. I have memories of spending whole rainy weekends reading and watching movies under blankets.

But this weekend ended up surprising me. It was actually kind of nice and relaxing. There was no need to really get out the door to enjoy the sunshine because there was none to be had. As I mentioned in previous posts, Z. has been loving the drawing and painting lately and here he had a whole day to do it. We got out the “messy paints.” We’ve been using Crayola Washable paints. Once he used those, he had no interest in the wimpy watercolors. I squirted some colors on a paper plate, spread some newspaper and he was off. By the end of the weekend filled-up drawing paper was scattered all over the house.

And I seemed to end up with a lot of time to do what I wanted. I baked bread and made pots of beans. I made two solid dinners with some farmer’s market turkey I had bought on Wednesday. I read while he drew. Sunday morning it was decent enough to make a trip to Trader Joe’s in the morning and Z helped transfer groceries from the stroller to the kitchen which he loved. We went for a walk in the afternoon in the light rain, he fell asleep and I got a little shopping done for his birthday.

It’s almost like the universe sent the rain just in time. My legs and feet were feeling achy from a long week of walking to and from work in bad shoes. And Z. seemed to have no issue with it and almost welcome a weekend to devote to his new favorite activity. So this week, I’m grateful for the rain.