Let Summer Vacation Begin

IMG_2671

IMG_2672

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for around here:  At 1:56 PM today–just in time for summer vacation–the sun made its way through the mountain of cloud cover that has been our constant companion for the last week or so, and we were able to take our act outside and commence our vacation properly.  Edgar found  a bug that tickled him–literally and figuratively–and Oscar created vivid scenes in the sandbox starring his favorite animals.

Warm air, sunshine, sand, and bugs . . . Welcome, Summer!  We’ve been waiting for you!

Do We Have Any Homework? Please Say We Do!

IMG_2650

Oscar’s graduation from preschool brought to him much adulation and pride as well as anticipation in terms of what happens next.   And what happens next is Kindergarten.  And never has one been more ready.   A spalshy plaid pencil box complete with a lock and key coupled with his summer homework packet has whet Oscar’s appetite for school in no uncertain terms.  Regarding the pencil box, a gift from Auntie Janice, he delcared it “the best gift I’ve ever received.”  And the summer homework packet, sent to us  in a coincidentally complementary orange folder–well, let’s just say he’s mentally rearranging the furniture in his room so that we can bring up a desk.

Sitting at the table on Father’s Day, Oscar said to his grandparents, “You should come to my new school and check it out.”  His grandmother asked why.  Oscar’s reply?  “Because it’s cool.”

May he always have such pride in his school and in his work.  It can only lead to good things!

It’s Father’s Day

IMG_1598

IMG_2584

For the last four years and ten months I have felt like the luckiest person in the world because my sons have as their number-one role model the man I hope one day for them to become.  Loving, affectionate, compassionate, patient, present, curious, and kind, Don is the kind of  father every child deserves.   Happy Father’s Day, Don!  We love you!

The Graduate

IMG_2632

Happy Graduation Day, Oscar!  You have learned more than the facts and skills that will prepare you for your next educational adventure.  You’ve heard the beauty of the French language and learned to speak it for yourself.  You’ve experienced the power of storytelling and have created your own.  You’ve been inspired by art and drawn your own masterpieces.  You’ve heard beautiful music and made yours on the violin.  You’ve gathered scientific facts and become an observer of life.  You have internalized and embody your school’s motto to be the best person you can be and to treat others the way you want to be treated. 

You have graduated from a school that taught you the love of learning and the importance of being and staying true to yourself.

I am more proud of you than you will ever know.

 

Here is a link to the full set of graduation photos, if you’d like to see them!

http://picasaweb.google.com/samanthadonoscaredgar/OscarSPreschoolGraduation#

All in a Day’s Work

IMG_2266

While we customarily aren’t used to working per se on the weekends–and especially on a Sunday–we turned Don’s need to run into the office on “our day of rest” into a field trip extraordinaire.  As Don has been working from home for the last eight years and this rhythm was all the boys have ever known, sashaying into the office–on a Sunday or not–was one way to sate our collective curiosity as to where Don now goes every day.

The call center’s myriad attractions–including headsets and Expo markers–were beyond our expectations!  And we had a lot of fun exploring while Don readied the space for a visit from a potential client. 

IMG_2280

Oscar even left a note for Don, stating, “This will help him think of me tomorrow when he’s at work.”

IMG_2298

But perhaps the sweetest touch was this:

IMG_2271

–a reminder that even though we may occasionally need to make a weekend appearance, that priorities are always firmly in place.

Use Your Imagination

IMG_1431

I returned home from work this week and was greeted by the tableau pictured here.  It includes an airplane, a car, a tiger shark, and Santa Claus.  And while I certainly could fling together a random collection of items and set them up in such a way, there is absolutely nothing random about what you see.  This represents Oscar’s play–his imagination at work, the evidence of a morning filled with original stories that feature a motley collection of characters and modes of transportation.  And I find myself sighing–wondering what the story might have been, not having been there to witness it, and contemplating when, why, and to what extent my own whimsical imagination dissipated.  I envy children’s minds, their ability to find a story in a cardboard box.  And I think sometimes that I should take a break from the daily grind that occasionally consumes and rediscover my own imagination.  It’s in there . . . and if anyone can coax it out, it is definitely Oscar and Edgar–with a little help from a shark and Santa, of course.

Big Boy Bed

IMG_1697

This is it . . . one of the moments we’ve all been waiting for (the other will come this summer, I promise) . . . Edgar has moved out of his crib and into his “big boy bed.”  And indeed it is.  I was struck as I was making it for the first time (and certainly not the last) that this is going to be his bed . . . for a many, many years.  It will see him through his childhood and young adulthood.  It will be here for him when he comes home from college and whenever he wants to visit.  Clothes and toys and books will come and go, but this piece of furniture will be a fixture. 

Right now he wears little shark pajamas and shares his bed with Dolores and Dream Horse.

And if it’s okay with him (and Dolores and Dream Horse), I’d like it to stay that way for a very long time!

Dog Day Afternoon

IMG_1912

Oscar and Edgar participated on Sunday afternoon in the Potter League’s Heart and Sole Walk for the Animals, which raised approximately $77,000 for animal care.  The boys themselves (with a little help from those of us who know how and are allowed to turn on the computer) helped to raise $500 of that sum.

The event, while sunny, enjoyable, and downright goofy was also the boys’ first introduction to philanthropy.  We had many discussions about what is meant by the word “charity,” about the meaning of money, and about looking beyond yourself to help others.  That plus we got to hang out with a couple hundred dogs and some faboulous folks on one of the prettiest days in June . . . Not a bad way to pass the time!

Our friends even let us “borrow” their beloved Max so both Oscar and Edgar would have a dog to walk. 

At the end of the walk, we met up with the coordinator of volunteers, who congratulated the boys on their efforts, who in turn broke into spontaneous applause for themselves.  She said they deserved it.  I think the animals–not to mention their parents–would have to agree!

Oh, Brother

IMG_1537

Ah, yes . . . I think we have entered a new phase in the development of Oscar and Edgar’s fraternal relationship . . . The Age of Wrestling, which,  I imagine,  will last for the next thirty to forty years.

When a friend and her four-year-old son were visiting this week, the fraternization on display for our guests was at a fevered pitch.   There was pinching, pushing, poking, a little firetruck-throwing, and some good old-fashioned barricading to be viewed.  When it was time for me to intervene, Oscar must have sensed it was the right moment for an explanation. 

He said to our guests, “Don’t worry . . . We may act like brothers, but we’re really friends!”

And off he ran . . . to act like a brother to his brother. 

I was reminded this week that they are going to be the ones to create and define their relationship.  We can guide, model, and suggest; but the ultimate look of their sibling relationship will be theirs.  And though I am tickled by the distinction Oscar made between “brothers” and “friends,” I am so grateful that despite the occasional hullabaloo he sees his brother as his friend. 

There is sure to be more wrestling–and pinching, pushing, and poking–but at the end of the day they are there for each other.   They are each other’s constant playmate, partner in crime, and occasional nemesis.  But this, I suspect, is the sowing of the seed of a lifelong partnership.  And as their mother, it will one day give me great peace to know that they have each other.