It was warm enough to shed our jackets, yesterday. After school, when Dave and Julia went to softball practice, the rest of us headed out for a walk, along with this thing.

The scooter

The Scooter. Sun-bleached and worn, it bears the hallmarks of an often-used, well-loved toy. But I do not love the scooter. I don’t think the kids really love the scooter either, though they declare it at the start of every walk. We have to take the scooter! The scooter is so fun! We can’t leave without it! No, they don’t love the scooter. They love the idea of the scooter, because as soon as we’re too far from home to reasonably take it back, they hand it to me.

On this day, I drug the scooter to the trail entrance and parked it off to the side. “We’ll pick it up on the way back,” I said.

“What if someone takes it?” Phoebe worried.

“No one will take it. No one wants that scooter.”

Lucy spoke up. “I do.”

“Well, you can bring it along,” I offered.

So we left the scooter and resumed our hike.

Brown leaves littered the trail and Lucy commented that it looked more like fall to her. We searched for signs that the world was waking up from winter, but Mother Nature grumbled and rolled over for just a few minutes more. We tossed sticks into the muddy stream from the bridge and watched them race under it and out the other side until our tummies told us it was time for dinner.

Bee, Jack, and Lucy at the brown bridge

And on the way home, we picked up the scooter.

Jack is 2

by Leslie

Can you believe it?

Jack is 2!

Two years old. If you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s five. He likes five a lot. But he turned two yesterday and, for a moment, we’re all even. Jack is 2, Bee is 4, Lucy is 6, Julia is 10, I’m 38, and Dave is 42.

Jack’s favorite part of his birthday was singing the birthday song and blowing out his candle. He practiced all day for the big event and relived it again and again after.

I made him a Peppa Pig cake.

Jack's Peppa Pig Birthday Cake

He ate George.

Saturday was Julia’s seventh?

Julia at her seventh Ribbon Festival

One, two, three, four, five, six, yes, seventh! And Lucy’s third Ribbon Festival.

Lucy at her third Ribbon Festival

Lucy performed Mary Had a Little Lamb beautifully.

She gets so very nervous about playing for people, but she retained her composure and pulled off her best performance to date. Phoebe was so proud of her sister that she stood and shouted, “You did it! You did a great job, Lucy!”

The judge had this to say.

Lucy, I must comment first on your beautiful dress! And you played beautifully, too! Your fingers got into the keys and you created a lovely tone. Your rhythm was very accurate. Think about changing the dynamics when phrases repeat. I know the music doesn’t tell you to do it, but we can do so to make our playing expressive. Your hand position looks good – keep thinking about curling your 5th fingers – they are the most stubborn. Keep up the good work and make Festival an annual goal.

Julia performed the first and second movement of Beethoven’s Sonatina in G Major.

She was on top of the world because her fifth grade science/intervention teacher came to see her play. He really made her feel special. His show of support moved my heart. I won’t forget it and neither will she.

Here’s what the judge said about her performance.

Julia,

Beethoven would surely have been proud of your performance today for its accuracy of notes and rhythms, steadiness of tempo, and security of memory.

I do think that you could have played the piano sections of this famous piece more gently. Some things you could have done with greater sensitivity, such as the diminuendo rounding-off in movement I, measures 8 and 24, and you could have done the crescendo-decrescendo better sometimes.

I couldn’t be prouder of those girls. Oh, and these two, as well.

Phoebe at the Ribbon Festival

Jack, all dressed up

Their Ribbon Festival days are ahead.

The Grimmett kids at the Ribbon Festival

But so far, this was my favorite.

I love my children. I loved them at first sight of those two little pink lines. And when they were born, I didn’t think I could possibly love them more. But I do. My love for them grows right along with them. The bigger they get, the more history we have, the deeper our relationship becomes. But all the while, physically, they’re moving away. They’ve gone from my womb to my breast, from my arms to my side, and as time moves on, from my home out into the world. I’ve known this is how it goes from the start, but I’ve never understood it like I do now, as Jack – my last baby – slips off my lap to run off and away. So I hold on.

“Oh! Oh, no! Where are you going?”

He gently pulls away and his arm slips slowly from my grasp.

“Jack! Jack!! Don’t go!” I plead.

He steps away and tosses a coy, over-the-shoulder glance my way.

“NO!”

He smiles slyly.

“Don’t go!”

And he pads away.

I am dejected, despondent, and forlorn.

He peeks from around the corner and is delighted.

“Oh, he’s gone!” I sob.

Suddenly, he bursts back into the room and runs at me with arms open. “Mama!” he sings.

I am jubilant! I scoop him up and hug him tight. “You’re back! Oh, you’re back! I’m so happy you’re back!”

He hugs me back. Then he giggles and begins to pull away and we do it all again. And again. Sometimes again and again. It’s good for at least three extra hugs.

Jack is my last baby. I’m taking all I can get.

Jack isn’t feeling well. He’s got a sore throat and a cough.

Jack has a sore throat and cough

At first glance, this picture doesn’t appear to demonstrate that. However, you should consider that this was happening next to him.

Painting her feet

Painting her hands

Painting "creeping steps"

Jump!

Jump painting!

And he didn’t want to participate.

But watching this kid –

Painted feet

– sure made him feel better.


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