Monday, April 28, 2008

PL, day 13 again?

I think I misnumbered one of last week's paternity leave post. Today is the thirteenth day. I beg your forgiveness, but remember that I've been posting almost every day and the brain is swimming.

This weekend we spent a good amount of time outside, soaking up the nice weather. It was a bit chilly at times, but the sun and the flowering trees demanded outdoor activities. Lynda, suffering greatly with her allergies, managed to get out on Saturday and pulls some weeds in the big flower bed in the front yard. I followed up on Sunday with mulch to prevent the weeds from reappearing. We also spend a few hours on Saturday afternoon/evening talking to our neighbors and letting the kids play. It was a kind of thing where when I'm doing it, I'm glad I'm doing it and think to myself that I should do it more often. Outdoors and neighborly interactions. It's time tested!

Sarah says that she won't have any more homework for the rest of the school year. There is about a full month to go! What about the achievement tests? What about learning? What about scholasticism? Oh, but . . . that's one less chore for me to accomplish, so I guess I won't be too upset.

Speaking of upset, I did learn some sad news on Friday. One of my childhood neighbors died over the weekend and the funeral was today. JB was a nice man, if a bit gruff. He provided an interesting contrast to the life that I experienced in my family. As a child (and reflecting back upon it with an adult's mind) I can say that things seemed less bright, less comfortable across the street than in my home. Please note that I never really internalized these things at the time and I really don't mean these observations to be pejorative. Really, it was a function of home decor as much as anything--and the presence of cigarettes. I'm trying to find a way to describe the sense of Difference. My memories of the B's and their home are filled with happy memories--the super sweet tea, playing frisbee, football, baseball, and everything else in their yard, fishing in the pond, trying to row their boat without drowning, and thousands of hours in their driveway playing HORSE, Around the World, and trying to beat MSquared at basketball. It was a good and safe place to be when I wasn't at my own home. Along with the C's, the B's home were the two places I could go whenever I had to and be comfortable. That is a wonderful gift to give to a young child and I will always be grateful to them for that. Rest in Peace J. I hope you are in a better place and are healthier and happier.

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