Post 388: The never ending pandemic

As Lily asked in Post 385: Heard at lunch there is a somewhat ominous feeling that life will just continue with masks, distancing and a lot of alone time. I certainly know first hand how hard it is for adults, what I am less sure about and have varying degrees of concern over is that it might be even more damaging for our resilient, level headed children.

Luke is starting to get fuzzy about his life in California, which is now three years in his past. That means that of the three years in his current affairs box, one of them is in pandemic mode. Ugh.

All we can do is do our best and on this first day of 2021 think and pray for better times and as always be incredibly thankful for what we have.

OK, enough of that.

Luke is certainly having his time with early adolescence. It is coming out in awkward, physically disruptive jaunts. The other day we went out to play baseball with some friends, a sport Luke excels in. Luke could not the ball. I mean fifty swings at the air. He got frustrated, upset. When we were home later and talking about it he calmly asserted: “Well, it is not the most important thing in the world and I haven’t played baseball in three months anyway.” Way to go Luke!

He is also developing the loveliest sense of humor, I walked by his room, he was squeezed between the bed and the wall, where pillows, clothes and who knows what else lie. I thought I heard a rustle and asked:

Luke, are you there?

“Yes, just hiding from the alligators

Lily is growing rapidly in all directions. She does her darnedest to try and keep up with Luke, which in and of itself in a herculean task (or a Megara-ian task as it should be)

She is constantly producing the loveliest inventive artwork. Lego animals

and little surprises that appear around the house unannounced. We had recently got around to hanging artwork in a barren hallway, two of the images are of beloved music icons. A few days later this appeared.

So, am I concerned, no not really. Just trying to make sens of it all. My head is pretty fuzzy too.

Post 386: Marble Equilibrium

We don’t read as much as we used to about child development, but once in awhile I feel like, “better check the data to make sure there are no glitches”.

And, as I have mentioned before, we often rely on the Louise Bates Ames collection of books as a baseline for where are kids are at. Some of the material may feel dated, but in general we find the studies have been consistent with our own experiences. How often I see these books on the shelves of our trusted doctors and schools, I think it is not a bad place to start.

But it was with some trepidation that I ordered up a copy of “Your Ten Year Old…” because it seems like such a big deal. Then, when I noticed the full title “Your Ten-to-Fourteen Year-Old”, I was flummoxed.

Oh my, what exactly are we getting ourselves into!

The book remained unread or (even glanced at), on my side table for quite a while. But two things happened: The Pandemic wore on and my reading time increased and two, after a overdue visit to Luke’s doctor where he casually notified me that Luke was showing early signs of puberty, I internally pronounced:

Oh jeez, better open the book fast!

As with so many parenting moments of anguish, The written word calmed my worried soul. To paraphrase: Ten is calm, smart, collected, energetic, enthusiastic, smart, healthy and above all else filled with:


It describes our Luke with his many episodes of ups and downs and what one might expect from a thriving human being, so without further adieu, here is a few minutes of pure marble minded equilibrium from Master Luke.

Post 384: Pandemic uplift

There has not been a lot of ability to write or convey my thoughts on Pandemic 2020 parenting. Boy, there is certainly a lot to talk about, just not a lot of enthusiasm to fulfill, I imagine most people understand this feeling by now.

With restrictions easing and states opening and the slightest possibility of positivity, here I am saying something.

Luke and Lily are doing great. They both have there own way of dealing with this time:

Luke: “I really appreciate your home schooling, but to be honest, you guys are not very good teachers (duh!) I cant wait to get back to school!”

Lily: “When will I have a play date again!”

But when I sit back and watch them have their day, doing the things they want to do, I breath relief, I see healthy, inquisitive, hopeful minds, I am able to relax a bit on it all.

Lily just continues the love of exploration when given an opportunity.

Luke is constantly creating and partaking in interesting, mechanically provocative adventures.

Deep breath.

Post 382: Cinema

We have gone back and forth on how and when to introduce the incredibly complicated world of moving images to our kids. Given that it is a world I grew up in and now have as my vocation, it is hard to hold back on diving in aggressively.

Mom and Dad decided Luke is ready to see Star Wars IV (The first one in our books) and we even got excited about the possibility of finding a screening at a real live movie house.

Then I started to think more and more about it.

Over the last few months Luke has has more specific and increasingly fascinating questions about how movies are made and what constitutes a real life movie vs. an animated movie vs. a documentary? It dawned on me that his mind can barely differentiate between these concepts. That it is really hard to understand the differences between a documentary and a movie where people are pretending to be something or do something. Even animation is still a bit confusing to his young mind.

Then I started to think about how when the first moving images were projected back in 1896, just one shot of a train barrelling down the tracks, patrons ran from the movie house unable to comprehend what they were seeing. Even if this is fabrication of what really happened (no one knows), it still belies the power of the moving image on the human brain.

We opted to fall back and watch some of the Sound of Music instead. (laptop, home, part one only) listening to the questions during the show only confirmed what I was thinking, you need to work up to something like Star Wars, no matter who you are.

Q: Are there going to be more people? (after seeing Julie Andrews alone in the field in the beginning.

Q: Will there be more songs? (after the first song ended).

Q: What’s happening? (could be said at almost any conceivable moment)

I became intrigued on what is the best path to take on this visual journey and found a comforting post from a Waldorf teacher and parent on just this subject. What I love was that her methodology was to start at the beginning, silent films and work slowly through the decades following the major changes in cinema, Sound, Color, Faster editing, etc.

It all made a little more sense after that and I realized it is really a matter of just relaxing. Yes, Luke wants to DO everything NOW, wants to SEE everything NOW, wants to LEARN everything now, but it is our job as parents to figure out the least troubling manner to approach all this.

So, for now I am sticking with the Marx Bros.