Also, a dear friend is going to have surgery tomorrow morning -- please keep this person in your thoughts. You don't even need to know who it is to send good energy out. That's the wonderful thing about postive thinking -- it flows through all of us.
Okay. I had a great summer. But I am so ready for fall. It's time. It's too chilly to hang out at the pool (which really was the very best part of summer...did I mention that I finally braved diving off the high dive late this summer? That makes you feel kind of invincible. Until the next morning, when you just feel kind of sore.) The air conditioning is off and fresh air flows through the house again.
The band had a great long weekend retreat, many thanks to Kelly's parents. We had families and a few special friends along. It was the perfect end to summer. And we got to listen to hours of practice on all the new material, which was really cool. Any time band and family can be combined, I think it's a win.
Two kids are finally at school...
Paul is in third grade. His teacher has a reputation (well-deserved, it seems) for being a tough, no-nonsense educator of the old school. Paul adores her. Last night, we had back-to-school night, and I know that he's going to be fine. My favorite quote of the night: "Do not stress -- this is gonna get heavy." That's his teacher. She's talking about the year ahead. I have full confidence in her. I'm excited. And so is Paul, which is the important thing, after all.
Maggie has started her final year of preschool. She's an old pro at the routine. I think her first day sort of exhausted her, though. Thank goodness for daddy-daughter shopping trips. And dance parties. Maggie is chomping at the bit to get to kindergarten now!, now!!, now!!! Me? I'm trying to remember to savor these last few days of little girl time. I know there aren't that many left and I want to soak them up.
Charles turns 40 today. I think every decade gets better for him. It's my biggest hope that things always go in that direction. We should all be so lucky.
And yes, he did buy the Beatles reissues for himself for his birthday. Did you really expect anything less? If you see him, make sure to wish him a happy birthday. He'll like that.
There are a few of these beauties left in the garden, but the seasonal transition has begun. And I'm looking forward to new things this fall. I can't wait to tell you all about them...
Paul and I have had many homework battles over the past few years, including last night's epic replay of the end of 2nd grade. It was miserable. There were tears. And recriminations. And more tears.
So imagine my surprise when, on the way home, Paul asked if he could get right to his homework. (This has never ever ever ever happened.) And imagine my continued surprise when I went to check on him 20 minutes later, he was actually doing his homework.
I am flumoxed. And just a little weirded out. This feels like checkmate.
In middle school (Prairie Middle School in Aurora, Colorado, thank you very much) I knew a very cool girl named Linda Ceriello. Linda and I were partners in 7th grade home ec. We made 13" red velour stuffed lips pillows together (pudding, too, but the pillows were the best part of home ec). She was the coolest girl I knew at the time -- very rock and roll. And at a time when I was painfully shy, she was my friend.
In high school (that's Overland High School, right across the grass from Prairie), we were both very involved in art and music. We had a high school vocal recital together...that's me all the way over on the left. Linda is second from the right. She was really good at art, and I was...intimidated. Now, I grew up making art -- it was always part of my life. It got me through a lot of times when actual confidence (which I sorely lacked) couldn't. I was always that kid who could draw, that kid who could do needlepoint, that kid who could... But Linda and another dear friend, Kris Langan, were really good at art. I mean really good. I didn't think I was in the same league and I let that guide me right out of Sam Short's art room (and, to be honest, from those friendships). What a mistake. I concentrated on the other thing -- music -- that was relatively easy for me. I went to school for that, and continued on all the way through grad school and the start of a career. Deep down, I always wished that I had stuck with art.
Now that doesn't mean that I regret the years I spent honing my musical abilities -- not by a long shot. I met people -- including my husband -- and had amazing experiences that I would never disavow. But whenever I'm especially stressed out, I've always returned to visual arts. Growing up with two very artistic parents, visual arts are probably hardwired into my DNA. And over the years, I've definitely gravitated to the visual side of things. Between photography, graphic design and the decoupage work, I'll probably put "artist" as my occupation on this year's tax forms. Not too bad.
All this is by way of saying that the thing you're supposed to be is probably always inside of you, if you only stop, sit quietly for a bit (hours, days, years) and listen really hard. It's already there. You have everything you'll ever have locked inside -- it's your job to figure out how you're going to realize it.
UPDATE: I received the nicest comment from Linda today (you can read it in the comments section) -- it's so interesting to see how different people experience the same thing. Also -- thanks Linda!