Old Acquaintance. 

He was promised (a pinky swear, even) that he could stay up until midnight this year. He’s never stayed up that late. He did, once, make it until 11 at a sleepover with his teenaged cousins and he was an absolute bear the next day. But that was a whole year ago and he seems to have done a lot of growing in that time. Two pounds, two and a half inches, and a fair amount of tolerance for late nights. At this year’s cousin sleepover, he was a little ornery the next day, but nothing like before, which is why I shouldn’t really be worried about New Year’s Eve. 

Except I totally am. 

It’s not like he will be cozied up next to me on the couch alone at midnight either. We will be at someone else’s house, with a bunch of other people, after having partied with the kids he’s known his whole life for five solid hours. I am not expecting any of it to be pretty. 

Maybe between now and 24 hours from now I will find a way to adjust my expectations. To project a positive outlook. To expect the best instead of the worst. Maybe between now and 2016 I will figure out some game plan that will make ringing in the new year with a drunkenly exhausted 7-year-old at least a little tolerable. (At least he’s a happy drunk.)

In the meantime, I’m actually just delighted that I have a happy, healthy, joyful family with which to celebrate. So, cheers to that, right? 

Happy New Year. 

Here.

It snowed this morning — or sometime overnight. When I sent The Who to go check outside, he came back singing, “Up on the Housetop” with different lyrics — something about snow on the housetops and in my still-sleepy haze, I remember being impressed with his rhyming and syncopation.

I only brought Keens with me on this trip, in part because of my dedication to not wearing socks this whole winter, but in part because it was 75 degrees the day we left home and I didn’t check the weather in Boston for the rest of the week. I did hastily throw one pair of socks into my suitcase, so going outside is not a totally lost cause. (It’s only an inch or two of snow, after all. But, it’s raining now. And we all know what a mess that makes.)

We’re headed to the Enchanted Village today — a reincarnation of the old Enchanted Village that used to be displayed in a department store downtown in the 60s. So, yeah. Enchanted Village. And a 4D, 20-minute movie ride, a laser light show, and a music and ice show next to an indoor ice rink. At a furniture store. (Seriously.) People who live here don’t think this is weird at all; we’ve been going to see laser shows and movies at the furniture store since the early 90s. Maybe we’ll take a gander at some bunk beds as we wind our way through the store.

It’s been a nice visit — easy. All family (save one friend-date I had last night on my own.) We love coming here.

A Procrastinator’s Bullet List.

  • I always feel like I am hemorrhaging money at this time of year. Every day there’s something new and expensive to buy. I’m trying to remember that it generally evens out over the course of the year, but between The Who’s birthday, Hanukkah, Christmas, travel, and gifts for teachers, etc. it gets hard to keep it in perspective.
  • It’s come to the point where the Panera lady recognized me at Trader Joe’s and knows me by name. She is the closest thing I have to a co-worker.
  • I illustrated a curse word coloring page. I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite page so far.
  • Silhouettes of women or girls doing gymnastics are nearly indiscernible from silhouettes of women or girls doing ballet. Or maybe I’ve just been looking at silhouettes of woman and girls doing both ballet and gymnastics for too long.
  • Every good [after school/evening] activity must come to a [bitter, tantrum-y] end.
  • When it’s 30 degrees outside, I wear capris and crocs. Today: 60 degrees, a sweater, jeans, socks, and full shoes. Plus a jacket. The check-out line at the craft store is already the seventh circle of hell this time of year. All my clothing made it practically unbearable.
  • 70 degrees on Christmas Eve. That’s the forecast. I’d like to be enraged on behalf of the melting polar ice caps; instead, I’m just psyched about many more days with no socks.

Rain.

It’s been pouring rain all day — perfect weather for the kind of afternoon I planned for us. This morning was his first performance of The Nutcracker — 10am, a show for kids on field trips. He was done at 11am and I gave him the option of going back to school or coming home. He chose to come home, though I think before this week of nighttime dress rehearsals, he might have chosen school. He loves that place.

We were home by noon, in jammies by 12:15, and settled into the couch to watch TV by 12:30. Lunch was delivered by 1pm and by 3, we had consumed an episode of Ninjago, two episodes of Project Runway Junior, and four pieces of pizza. Mary Poppins is on in the background now as he works on a Perler Bead project — the ultimate in kid-zen.

I’ve enjoyed the crazy springtime weather we’ve had here for the past couple of weeks — despite the allergies that seemed to accompany the newest crop of dandelions blooming in December (!!) but I’m glad for the dark and wet backdrop to our afternoon today. (That said, if it could go back up to 60 tomorrow, I’d be cool with that, too. I mean, I know the polar bears are dying and everything…but…I don’t want to wear socks.)

Bullets. Plus One Photo.

  • I’m finding Facebook to be less and less rewarding as time goes on. I am less compelled to post than I used to be and I am sick of all the “inspirational” stories and quotes that I have to muddle through in order to maybe stumble across something actually interesting and/or useful. I’m still looking for a Livejournal-like experience somewhere, but it doesn’t seem to exist. (I know LJ still exists, but the community has largely dispersed.)
  • I took this whole day off from illustrating, which wasn’t necessarily the smartest move in terms of deadline, but I needed a creative break. Instead I spent the day packing fair trade fundraiser items, seeing a movie, making dinner, and shuttling The Who to and from dress rehearsal.
  • I have mostly eaten no added sugar for weeks. Three weeks, maybe? Four? It’s mostly boiled down to not drinking soda and declining cake at birthday parties. It also meant that I brought my own blackberry seltzer and a big container of fruit salad to the movies. I feel a lot better when I don’t eat things with a ton of added sugar.
  • I was waiting for one student to turn in a final assignment before submitting all the final grades together, even though they were done and calculated days ago. Then, in the hustle and bustle, I missed the noon submission deadline today. All is well and grade changes have been submitted, but my inbox is flooded with “Why did I get a “No Grade?” What did I do? What can I do to fix it?” panic. And they’ll keep coming in until the grade changes are complete.
  • File Dec 16, 6 42 27 PM

    This Baby Mouse.

Buried. 

Today at The Who’s well visit, we were given some sad and sobering news about his pediatrician. The delivery (from the pediatrician herself) was direct and honest and blindsiding and although I think the outcome will eventually be ok, I’m  certain that it affected both of us strongly and in different ways. 

For my part, it was an acute reminder of mortality. And of how it can all change on a dime. This woman lives in my town. Has four children. Last year at this time, her whole life told a different story. 

For The Who, he had a complete and total meltdown before bed tonight. It was ostensibly about regretting an earlier decision he had made, but was probably more about having feelings of fear and sadness bubble up, making something that might have been small into something seemingly catastrophic. 

I never cease to be amazed at the ways in which feelings burrow down and emerge dressed in different clothing. And how recognizing them can give air and space to what might have stayed otherwise  insidiously underneath. 

Today at The Who’s well visit, we were given some sad and sobering news about his pediatrician. The delivery (from the pediatrician herself) was direct and honest and blindsiding and although I think the outcome will eventually be ok, I’m  certain that it affected both of us strongly and in different ways. 

For my part, it was an acute reminder of mortality. And of how it can all change on a dime. This woman lives in my town. Has four children. Last year at this time, her whole life told a different story. 

For The Who, he had a complete and total meltdown before bed tonight. It was ostensibly about regretting an earlier decision he had made, but was probably more about having feelings of fear and sadness bubble up, making something that might have been small into something seemingly catastrophic. 

I never cease to be amazed at the ways in which feelings burrow down and emerge dressed in different clothing. And how recognizing them can give air and space to what might have stayed otherwise  insidiously underneath.