Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shana Tova* (Seasonally-Appropriate Nostalgia)

They had the day off from school today, for Rosh Hashanah.  

As I made piles of outgrown leotards, and smooshed crowns, and fairy dresses that have not been worn in years (years???!!!) I kept thinking, this could very well be the last time they open this trunk and play dress-up... When they were small they rushed into costume, and were off to play stories that lasted all afternoon.  Today they spent most of their time choosing and re-choosing and tweaking and adding to their costumes and accessories, all the while inventing -- aloud -- complex back-stories for their characters.  The game/story itself lasted maybe half an hour.  And then the costumes were shed and a new game was invented behind Zaza's almost-closed door.

Later, as we left the play-park (how much longer will they still want to come here?), we walked alongside a young dad and his toddler son.  We got to chatting.  He and his wife just moved here from Virginia; they rent nearby; they're hoping to buy in the neighborhood.  I  mentioned that this part of town has been a wonderful place to raise children, and that my kids (and here I gestured at my ginormous offspring) have been coming to this park since they were his son's age.

And for a minute -- a long and bewildering minute -- I was so jealous of that young dad.  

Despite the fact that I still remember how sweaty it was being the parent of a toddler (all that lifting and schlepping and chasing and worrying). 

Despite the fact that I used to be so bored at the park that I'd actually nod off while standing and pushing the swing (we called it parkolepsy).

Despite the fact that I adore having children with whom I can discuss just about anything, who can open car doors and buckle their own seat belts, and who don't need to eat every two hours.

I just wanted so much to hold a tiny dimpled hand as we crossed that familiar street, to be able to scoop up a little person and sniff at their hair as their little nose pressed into my neck, as I told the story of the sad balloon stuck in the tree over the swing-set for the hundredth time. 

Perhaps after twenty years of celebrating the Jewish New Year at my in-laws' table, I'm finally starting to have an innate and season-specific sense of the turning, turning, turning of the year.  Or perhaps I just miss those portable little companions, with their little hands and limited vocabularies and curly heads that smelled like sleep, like home, like love.

*Happy New Year 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hunt and Peck

This summer we found two portable typewriters (with their cases) at two different thrift stores.

Aliza has been playing around with her Wards Signature 300 for a couple of weeks, but Ander's desk was just too crowded to accommodate his Smith Corona Super Sterling.  Today he spent two hours cleaning every cubby and drawer of his desk, just to be able to crack the case on that olive green typing machine.

(Oh my: they have both started typing up their Christmas lists...)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

First Passport Pictures

Dubbadad Had a Groupon (or Similar)

We strolled over in the gloaming.

The new butcher shop was closing up, and Zaza refused to look in the window (she's THIS CLOSE to going full-blown vegetarian, if bacon weren't so darn tasty).

The food was very good (though none of us had their signature, eponymous dish), and we liked the design of the whole space and the eighties music that was playing, but what Aliza and I liked best was the dog breed wallpaper in the ladies' room.

Found Whilst Purging His Desk (Pulled from Otherwise Empty 2010 Sketchbooks)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sometimes, When the Weather isn't Cooperating, One Must Whip Up a Bit of Autumn

First, I cranked up the air conditioning, and put on a cardi.

Then Lady J came over, and we split a pot of tea (before moving on to coffee), and ooohed and aaaaahed over pin-tucks and pleats and slyly striped taffeta and fetchingly beribboned bonnets, and wished -- oh how we wished -- that the leads actually had even a smidgen of chemistry.

We did enjoy watching Herr Fassbender, and he pulled off a nicely broody Rochester, it's just that we kept expecting him to kick over a tea table and magnetize the cutlery, or dispatch a bunch of Nazis/Xerxes-led-Persian-soldiers in a Tarantino/Snyder-style melee on the moors.  (Perhaps Ms. Wasikowska had the same expectation, because she spent most of the film looking very very nervous in his company.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Very Excited to Learn

Letter to her teacher after her first week:
I'm very excited to learn, and "We're here, we're here, we're FINALLY here!" (like the bunny)
Anyways, one of my favorites is Beegu.  It is a good book. Yay! Yay! Beegu is an alien.
Love, Aliza
P.S. Beegu...

There may have been more on the back, and on a previous page,
but this is what the lovely Ms. L photographed and e-mailed me.
Aiza said the quote was from a book Ms. L read to the students,
and that it's how she felt finally being in Ms. L's class.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back to School Night at Aliza's School

Dubbadad recently taught her how he draws noses...
Once upon a time there were two
kids.  They loved to go on adventures.
At night they always saw a shadow.
But they could not put it to-
gether.  Every time they got closer
and closer.  And that is how my story ends.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Mid-Week Visit from Tutu

She squeezed in a pie-making lesson before our early-birthday spa appointments...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I Found When I Cleaned the Garage to Make Room for the New Vehicle

In fourth grade, Ander would bring me a different drawing or craft project made in the after school program -- almost daily.  These chalk and oil pastel drawings on construction paper were my favorites (though the recycled Play-Doh tub cyclops is right up there)...