A Look at 2009


Keeping It Real

Ever since Edgar came into our lives–on 3 November 2005, to be exact–he has not wanted for compliments.  Between his big blue eyes and sweet, infectious smile people understandably and not at all unreasonably feel compelled to sing his praises–that is, all except for one person.

Oscar lets his brother know regularly just how hideous, uncivilized, horrifying, and filthy he thinks he is.  (Note:  These are, of course, Oscar’s words and are not at all condoned by his very appropriate parents.)

Lately there has been talk of Edgar’s getting glasses–something his eye doctor has slated for March 2010.  So, Oscar, in perfect brotherly fashion, picked up Edgar’s new monkey, held it up, and proclaimed with elder fraternal authority, “Edgar, this is exactly what you’re going to look like when you get your new glasses–ugly!” 

I don’t know whether or not Brad Pitt has a brother, but I am going to assume that if he does, he has had to field his fair share of ego-checking commentary from him.  And if I had to guess, I would say that this truly is one of the benefits of a sibling relationship:  Our brothers and sisters never let our heads get too big–and that is a very good thing.

Santa’s List

On this Christmas Eve morning, Oscar asked his unsuspecting mother to write the following down on a piece of paper:  “Samantha Hines, ” “Edgar,” “Oscar,” “August,” and “Daddy.”  He then ran off with the paper, emerging two minutes later with what he claimed was “Santa’s ‘Naughty and Nice’ List.”  He helped me crack the code as he presented the list with a sly look and a chuckle:  “A happy face means you’ve been nice, and an ‘x’ obviously means you’ve been naughty.”

Three guesses as to who might really be responsible for this list–and, as the proverbial “they” say, the first two don’t count!

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, Merry Christmas from all of us!

He’s One of Us

There is no doubt that Oscar fell in love with August from the moment he first saw him.  Edgar fell in love approximately one week later.

But now–as August has recently passed his six-month milestone and is engaging beyond belief–Oscar and Edgar have made him a member of their herd, a playmate, a friend. 

And I’m fairly certain the bowl-on-the-head you see pictured here is part of August’s initiation and an honor in the eyes of his brothers! 

Congratulations, August . . . You’re in . . . now and forever!

A Little Alone Time

Virginia Woolf wrote about the need for “a room of one’s own”; and it is true that everyone occasionally needs time and space to be just with themselves–to reflect, to rest, to simply be

So, when Edgar asked if he could go upstairs today to be alone, the empathic, human, fan-of-independence and -Virigina Woolf  part of me thought, “Of course.  Everyone deserves some space.”  But the mother in me shrieked inside, “Edgar?  Alone?  Upstairs?  Unattended?  Aaaaggggghhhhh!”

Those who know Edgar personally know that he is as sweet and beautiful as he is terrifying.  The shirt we bought for him when he was a year-and-a-half that read, “I Do All My Own Stunts,” was as accurate a predictor as anything could be.  He moves in ways that belie his small stature as well as defy gravity.  And I have had to learn to reconcile my maternal fears with his need to move.

But leaving him alone for more than sixteen seconds in a whole other area of the house? 

Motherhood is synonymous with letting go.  So let go I did–sort of.  I gave him permission to go upstairs, slinking quietly down the hall every few minutes just to be sure he was okay. 

On one of my stealth missions, I brought my camera, and this is what I saw:

So, he wasn’t completely alone–Dream Horse 2.0 was keeping him company. 

It was a leap of faith to give him this space–albeit for only a few minutes.  But he is growing up, and I am letting go.  And I guess that–and a whole lot of love and gray hair–is what this relationship is all about!

Just When You Think You Know Someone

First, a short quiz:

Between Oscar and Edgar, guess which child, when the temperature dips below 70 degrees in the house, asks for a sweatshirt? 

And between Oscar and Edgar, which child seems completely immune to the elements?

When the Blizzard of  ’09 left its mark on Newport, RI, today, Oscar peered out the window and said, not at all uncharacteristically, “I’m not going out there until things calm down.”    Edgar, on the other hand, woke up, skipped down the stairs, announced, “It’s Christmas!” and asked, ” Can I go out and play in the snow?’  He cried when we told him it wasn’t and he couldn’t–at least not until the storm was actually over.

So, can someone please explain to me why when we finally did venture outside, Edgar went in after two minutes, claiming he was too cold and then decided to plop himself on the couch and experience winter vicariously through his Frosty the Snowman DVD whereas Oscar returned to civilization only after we started to fear frostbite? 

Happy to be back in the house

Happy to be out in the snow

They keep it interesting, that’s for sure!

Meanwhile, someone else enjoyed his first snow . . . Next year he’ll be running around in it after his brothers, but for now he is indeed a snow angel!

August's first snow