Last Saturday, after several days in a row of rain, the kids noticed a deep orange and pink sunset. Jacob decided to take them outside and capture a picture of it on his phone. He looked next door, and observed our teenage neighbor outside with his phone as well, poised and ready to capture the image. “I was thinking the same thing,” the boy said.
Later that night, we watched an episode of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat with the kids. The majority of the episode was in Italian, but they stuck with it. Ellie noted (with relief) at one point: “At least we laugh the same.”
Last night Mae was set on making a card for Everett’s 5th birthday. “It’s not for a looooong time,” she told me wisely. Everett caught wind of her endeavor and found me, heaved himself by the elbows up over the couch, and whispered”I gotta secret.” “What?” He leaned in close and said carefully: “How you spell Love and Mae?” I told him. He said “What’s a L again?” I showed him on my fingers. “Oh yeah,” he replied, slipping off the couch.
The most frequent game the kids play is “Nature Survivors”– and storyline dreamed up primarily by Soph. More often than not, they are perched on the roof of the playhouse (Mae always needs help getting up). I now recognize “Harriet” as Soph, “Addison” as Ellie (Soph is peer-editing, she says it’s spelled Adyson), and Tiffany and Timmy as the littlest. Adventures have included going to an “amusement park” in which Adyson fell out of a roller coaster and was dangling perilously on the tracks. Another time Adyson and Prince Alfred (an invisible character) were on their honeymoon, a volcano erupted, and they needed to be rescued. Play seems to require no less than 57 costume changes a day and Everett has been running out of underwear because of it. Timmy loves dinosaurs, Adyson carries around a “fashion bag” all the time, Harriet wants to be a writer, and Tiffany has a headband collection. Apparently she hunts for them (headbands). Tiffany also loves eels from Chez Maurice, a restaurant the group robbed.
Cohen has invented his own version called “Search Party”- an attempt to dramatize epic nerf fights, but Nature Survivors usually wins out.
Jacob cooks a lot. I bake a lot. And also sit in rocking chairs a lot. Everyone I Facetime knows that I also jump on our toy trampoline a lot. Lately we like to eat outside even when it is a little too cold to do so. The kids have swum every day for the past week, even in the rain (and Sophie twice in her clothes.)
We’ve watched our favorite episodes of Parks n Rec over and over, and “Some Good News” and “Dude Perfect” are always lined up on YouTube (in addition to the old home videos my dad has been uploading.)
We planted new perennials along the fence and I like to just sit in a plastic folding chair and stare at them for a while There are harder, more monotonous and frustrating times, but always, always, those times come in waves, and waves, by nature, always recede. I write to ride the wave of gratitude even longer. (Thanks for making me, Soph!)