Post 380: Life Marches On…

I guess this post is more about me than the kids. It seems Luke and Lily are both firmly and unequivocally on there way to a life of well being.

I have been working out of town and only see them on the weekends, and it feels that each week another milestone passes. Nothing tangible, nothing I can even relate, but it is there, the inevitable ongoing growth of two young spirits.

Needless to say, they are flourishing.

Luke is erudite, deeply involved in facts and figures and baseball. He reads up a storm, takes part in whatever is going on and even though it is not always apparent on the surface, loves his sister deeply. The other morning after the usual amount of bickering and cajoling I was leaving with Luke and Lily was staying home with mom. Lily came running out with Luke’s water bottle and Luke says:

“Thanks, can I have a hug?”

Of course he can because Lily is the living embodiment of love and rainbows, ice cream, cake and silk scarves. A hug is always available, especially for her brother. One of her favorite pastimes is flying around in circles on the round swing. Delightful in all respects.

I am not trying to hide that fact that they fight, fight, fight, argue, harass, bicker, stomp and DISAGREE! But what lies beneath is warmth and love.

Job well done? I don’t know what to think, it is this new perspective from afar, of seeing them only sporadically which makes me feel like I am totally out of it and the years of being “in it” are passed. I also know that is not true, but it sure feels like that today.

Which is about me, as I said.

Post 379: Downhill Racer

When I was about Luke’s age I went to Ski Camp. Loved it, spent a week straight skiing everyday in the Berkshires. I became a pretty good skier over time. But, my memory says that I spent the entire first season learning to snowplow, maybe “stem-christi” (if that still exists) and certainly taking lessons every day.

Around that same time Downhill Racer starring Robert Redford arrived at the movie theaters. Oh, I loved that movie. I may have turned into a very careful, non-risk taking type of skier, I still see myself as a downhill racer.

Well, lucky enough for me Luke became one in nine outings. It has been uncanny to watch. basically he was up and skiing by himself at the end of day one, skiing down pretty much any trail he so desired by the end of day three and at day eight he now does this:

Post 378: If you…

I don’t want to finish the post title as it might sound contrite, but I trust after reading this you will agree it is the only appropriate description.

When Luke started school, one thing happened immediately, he came home talking about playing baseball at recess. Now, for many schools, this would not seem at all out of place, but you must remember that Luke’s (and Lily’s) school is not one made from heavy team action, no Friday night lights here. There regular team sports are Frisbee golf and cross country running.

So, when Luke came home so excited about playing baseball, I was truly curious. Then I found out that he was playing with just one other boy, a stick and a rock. I was impressed and aside from the rock, it all sounded like a great plan.

A few days later it was:
A stick, a wood chip and four players.

Then:
A stick, a wood chip and a full infield.

Then:
Full teams, including the teachers, REAL bases and a REAL bat.

About a month goes by and all I know is that the entire class plays baseball pretty much every day, even the teachers. They have umpires and some sort of a “review” system in the event of a close call.

Luke just loves it all, its the first thing I hear about when I pick him up after school (hit a grand slam today Dad!)

So, like I said:

If you build it…

 

Post 377: Keep Out!, but stay close…

So much transition, hard to know whats what these days.

Since we moved across the country, Luke has been spending a LOT of time in his “grumpy duffers” mode as we call it. This can involve very heavy stomping around, complete disregard to either parents request, usually attenuated with an “I am NOT going to do it!” clause and possibly a jag or a toss of some object towards Lily. Culminating in a complete removal to a “safe space”, such as the now moniker-ed “Keep out!” room. (which is a hall closet)

What we realized after re-reading some of the dated, yet totally applicable Your Eight Year Old  is that he is truly in the throws of the sinister nine year change.

Good to know, take a deep breath and surround him with support, that’s what we can do as his parents.

Meanwhile developments continue, one of my favorite is the “fake phone call” in direct response to listening to his mom and dad on the phone talking to who ever. Lily does it as well. Actually Lily may even be more into it as she dug out one of the lego iphone highlighted way back in post #331 and walks around the house in complete conversation with imaginary tel-marketers, friends, relatives, you name it. I LOVE listening to these conversations, they are complete with lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” and “uh huh?”

I was able to record a Luke call surreptitiously, it is far from his best, but still has some great moments. He is using the regicaster as the phone.

Post 376: A Yard for the boy

We have been in Maine for a wee bit and there is one thing for sure. Luke finally has a place to go hit a ball, a baseball, a golf ball, a “you name it ball”.

It is a yard big enough for a boy.

This made me go back to one of my other blogs and retrieve a draft post I created years ago, but never finished.

A long time ago I had the privilege of watching David Mamet direct his play Oleanna over the course of many weeks. It was an unforgettable experience to be a fly on that wall but this post only has to do with one line from the play that has always stuck in my head.

..and a yard for the boy

So, when Luke started getting really industrious in our small, trying to be functional yard in Los Angeles I wrote this:

I have been working feverishly to have a yard for my son Luke that is a place where he wants to explore, work, play, hide and discover. I feel I have done pretty well.

He never ceases to amaze me in his own exuberance over things to do in the yard.

It is an interesting process keeping up with Luke’s interests. He likes to work hard at just about anything and is quite adept at doing things on his own. Recently he broke one of his plastic play tools and I realized it was time for a functional (ie real metal)  tool kit, it was a blast putting it together and the only stumbling block thus far is the “saw”. He wants a saw and I want to give him a saw, so now he has a saw and it is just a matter of making sure he does cut his finger with it.

He is building a house. He told me that it will be the same size as ours, but have a second story on it and he will use his saw to cut the wood and his monkey wrench to connect the water pipes to the main lines.

Each endeavor seems to bring a lovely and direct approach. The other day he asked about baseball. I said I would be happy to get a bat so we could practice. He ran away and came back with a 1 5/8 inch wooden dowel that was lying around, and you know what, we practiced some baseball!

So now, many years later here we are. Luke loves baseball, dreams about it, plays games by himself about it, follows the stats about it and has a yard big enough to play ball in! So, if nothing else I feel I have accomplished that.