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. 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.
And on the way home, we picked up the scooter.
Some good friends of ours have both a closet book nook and a beneath-the-loft-bed hideaway. Every time we visit them, the kids each find time to steal away into one or both of these spaces. Even with the Super Fantastic Ultra-Terrific Most Amazing Mega-Fun Time Friend Party raging around them, they’ll choose to step away and tuck up in that cozy space for some quiet time alone. So, we’ve made our own.
We moved a bookcase under the loft, added some plump pillows and soft lights, and there you have it. We considered curtains, but Jack the Rip-Downer suggested it was not the best idea. Maybe later.
Of the books that live in our nook, here’s the latest and greatest.
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Jack suggests his favorite book, also by Neil Gaiman, Chu’s Day.
Can you believe it?
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.
He ate George.
Dave and I celebrated our 11th anniversary at Oglebay on Sunday, just the two of us.
We enjoyed a lovely dinner, gambled at Wheeling Island, and treated ourselves to a couple’s signature massage experience at the spa the next day – all delightful things. But the best thing was simply being with my husband. It seems odd to miss someone when they’re with you each day, but I had really been missing Dave. Sometimes life comes at us with such force that it feels like we’re back to back, facing outward, fighting to take it all on. He’s there – I know it, I can feel it and trust it, but he’s not what’s in front of me. It was revivifying to stop and turn around.
Saturday was Julia’s seventh?
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.
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.
Their Ribbon Festival days are ahead.
But so far, this was my favorite.