Post 369: Olympics

We don’t have a tv, but we love things like World Series’, Super Bowls’ (which the kids call the brain damage sport) and of course the Olympics.

So I signed up for some streaming service in order to watch the 2018 games in Pyeongchang. Little did I know, or more realistically, I was completely fooling myself that the screen exposure would come at great cost.

This morning before school I heard no less then four comments made between Luke and Lily about Jack in the Box, Shaq, Big Macs and Oreos. The Oreos commercial was even played out after school eating real Oreos while both kids mimicked the commercial with incredible accuracy.

I watched too much tv as a child, there is no doubt. So much so that I memorized the tv listings between 3:30p when I got home and 7pm when I guess it was time to start getting ready for bed. I spent pretty much every afternoon glued to the “idiot box“. Did it rot my brain?, no, but other than a vast amount of useless trivia and a small amount of relatively useless pop culture memories, it certainly did not add anything good for my life except keep me company. The time spent mindlessly watching could have been put the much better use.

So I decided to “pause” the Olympics. I expected some push back from the kids, but instead a wonderful thing happened! The Olympics didn’t stop! The kids just kept on going with their own.

  • 1. One man bobsled on the front lawn (which is totally flat) using our plastic snow sleds.
  • 2. Curling in the hallway with brooms and marbles
  • 3. Ice dancing in the living room, singles and doubles and I am so sorry to say that I was unable to capture any movies of this, because it was glorious, especially the part where Luke was picking up Lily and twirling her.

The games did continue another day and I decided to go a little overboard with the documentation, as is my style. Below is some “live” coverage.

Post 366: Luke and Lily’s cooking show

There has been a long history of Luke cooking his own concoctions in our kitchen. It started so many years ago when we literally found him all alone in the kitchen, knee deep in flour and eggs. Low and behold a cake he had indeed made! We gratefully donated it to a friends birthday celebration.

Cut to about two weeks ago when Lily decided to start her own baking creations. “Can I make a cake?

This has turned now into a routine activity.

We even had Luke and Lily cakes for desert the other night. Mom and I were very full and opted for just a bite or two, but Luke dutifully ate quite a slice, god bless him.

Today’s seminar took on a feverish pace, with a constant checking and Re-checking of levels of sweetness and a very specific attention paid what the other baker was doing and adding. Your adding chocolate?, I’m gonna add chocolate!

It all reminds me of this bugs bunny clip so much I can’t help but post it, so you can better understand the intensity of the whole affair.

I sat and watched as the amount of cleanup grew, and grew and grew. I thought fast, because what I was expecting was “I’m done” and a speedy exit. So before that happened I made some new house rules about the baking show.

Counter top needs to be be exactly as how you found it.

It worked!

Cakes were finished, some looked better than others, life goes on until the next episode of:

The Luke and Lily Cooking Show!

 

Post 359: Nine years!

[After the equilibrium/dis-equilibrium post (358) I got a wonderful reply from Luke’s teacher with a few articles on the “Nine Year Crisis”]

Luke’s amazing teacher sent me links to two articles about the nine-year crisis that capture what is going on in Luke’s world. (I know Luke is not nine, but that is part of the wonderful world of child development, NOTHING is set in stone). Once again it is empowering to know we are not alone on this:

Parenting The Nine Year Old

The Nine Year Change

Other than the profound nature of what this all means for my dear boy, there is a piece that particularly caught my eye about the celestial nature of this crisis period.

The position of the stars at birth, some say, holds the destiny of the human being. It takes eighteen years, seven months and nine days for the stars to circle back into that exact position. This moment of re-positioning is called a Lunar Node.  Often at these moments, every eighteen years and seven months, people tend to change their lives. It is as if the stars in their original position call to the human being and remind them of their true destiny, their true course in life.  We re-adjust.  The Institute of Noetic Sciences in a 25 year research project on transformative experiences noticed in the research that moments of transformation—Epiphanies—tend to cluster around the ages of eighteen/nineteen; 36 to 38; 55 to 58.  Nine-years-old is halfway round the celestial path and it is as if, the stars call the child to grow, to comprehend, and to remember the importance of his or her tasks on Earth.

(from Being Nine Years Old)

Post 352: Summer of Love

It was a big summer, it was also a short summer. We knew it would be filled with LOTS of personal growth for both Luke and Lily and it proved to be so true.

Our highlight was a two week visit to the State of Maine. Spent between Grandma’s lake house and a trip to Baxter State Park. I could go on and on with observations, the hours Luke spent looking for frogs, the solo kayaking missions, but one particular adventure speaks to me regarding Luke’s perseverance.

During our stay in Maine we had planned at trip to the top of Mt Katahdin, the tallest peak in the state, in Baxter State Park. The trip included a small group of family and there had been lots of thinking about the “what if’s”, such as what if Luke needs to turn back, where will we meet, etc. There is no cell reception in Baxter State Park, where Katahdin resides. It is a very rigorous climb, especially above the timber line. It was always part of the plan that Lily and I would not even attempt the ascent, spending our day on a pristine lake with no one but frogs. So it was important that we had a plan on where and how to meet.

I guess all that needs to be said is that Luke not only climbed the mountain, but was pretty much in front the entire time. When the adults returned to civilization uniformly “plastered” and could barely walk, Luke, when asked if his legs were sore, merely said, “Not really”.

This was one of the first times that I have had the experience of Luke dramatically surpassing my expectations. Which filled me with awe, love and of course admiration. I now think this may be a feeling I will have to get used to more and more as Luke’s confidence and resourcefulness blossom.

Like all the endless clichés of parenthood: “your life will change when you have kids”, “you can never love anything as much as your own child”, letting go is going to be a brutal one.

Because it was Maine, and because it was Katahdin, and because we were with family, the true story of a twelve year old boy that was lost on that exact same mountain in 1939 came up. Grandma loaned us a signed copy of the book “Lost on a mountain in Maine” by Donn Fendler. At first Luke had no interest, I think the cover was a bit off putting to be honest, but when we got home we started reading it all together in the evenings, a few chapters a day and he really go into it.

It is wonderfully simple book, told through the eyes of a twelve year old boy who so simply moves forward day after day after day with virtually no survival skills. Unbeknownst to him, hundreds of people searching for him day and night, and ultimately assuming he had perished. So when you finally get to the place ten days later where he sees another human being, half naked, covered with sores and bug bites, his feet in tatters (he had lost his shoes on day one) and having lost 13 pounds, it is impossible to not be deeply moved.

Interestingly enough, Donn Fendler recently passed away and there is a proof of concept for a movie version of the book. Sometimes the timing of things in life are so wild!

Our summer vacation was topped off by a cancelled flight that lead to a free first class upgrade. On both legs of the journey, Luke got the prime treatment from the airline folks.

Bangor International is the smallest big airport in the world!

On the JFK – LA we were in sleeper seats (first time for both of us) after watching a high end, super fancy-cool DJ guy wait in line at Priority boarding for over an hour, even I was taken aback when the gate check person came straight up to Luke and said “How would YOU! (yes pointing) like to be the first person on the place and meet the crew?

Well, here it is:

I dont remember two, three, four very much. But, I REMEMBER seven!

It was a truly wonderful summer vacation.

 

 

Post 350: Free Fidget Spinners!

Luke has been asking about fidget spinners. For better or worse I have a reaction to anything that is “faddish”, but boy do I remember how exciting it feels to be a part of something that springs up out of nowhere. The other day my reservations were welcomed when Luke came up and said,

Want to see the fidget spinner I made

Yes, yes, yes, I do.

Then, knowing that Luke is preoccupied with ways to make money (he currently saves all bottles that have a redemption value, even if it means transporting them across the country), I made the casual comment, “Luke, I bet you could sell those fidget spinners you are making”.

That lead to this:

Interestingly enough he said he wanted them to be free, because he felt awkward asking for money for them? Perhaps not the best business plan, but it made me love him all the more.

He still refers to it as selling.