Archive for June, 2007

Rose's Vocabulary


It seems like a common thread of questioning is along the lines of "How is Rose's English?  How is she speaking?" That sort of thing.  The truth is, she speaks great, and can be more coherent and understandable than a lot of the homegrown three-year-olds I know.  

Occasionally, though, she says something that Charles or I just don't understand and we ask her to repeat herself.  This morning, she wraps herself around my leg in a big hug (she only comes about up to my waist these days) and gives me a kiss.  Then she runs into the kitchen to see her dad.

I hear her telling him something, and I hear him ask her to repeat herself, and then he calls me in for a consultation.  I am otherwise occupied in the other room when he asks, but I have some context that he does not.  She said, "I kissed mommy's butt."

I translate and everyone has a good laugh.  Especially D. 

Sibling Yen


So Dillon and I had a long discussion in the car today.  We've been having long discussions because I've had to drive him to this "Artists Inspired" camp every day in Brookfield, which is easily a half-hour drive, and depending on traffic, can be up to an hour.  I personally hate driving that much, so it's kind of a pain in the neck, but all of the heavy-hitters in town (Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Art Museum, First Stage, and the Symphony) are teaming up on this weeklong camp, and D is loving it, so I just have to suck it up.  The artwork he came home with yesterday was fabulous, so I guess its all worth it!

Anyway, we're talking in the car and D is expressing how cousins can be just like brothers.  This is a common topic in our family as Dillon desperately wants more siblings and I think our family is perfect as is, and so I tend to emphasize the "family is what you make it" thing.   Then we start talking about step-brothers, a concept that was recently introduced to D from one of his friends.

I explain to D that he'll probably never have a step-brother or step-sister, since it usually means that your parents got divorced and remarried to someone else who has kids.  (I didn't go into the possible death aspects there.)  I told him Charles and I weren't getting divorced, so he wouldn't get a step-brother.  I asked, "wouldn't you rather your mom and dad lived in the same house than you had more brothers and sisters?"

"I have to think about that, mom" he said, "I don't know…"

Then he changed his train of thought and said, "When I get married, my wife is going to have lots of brothers and sisters. That way I'll get some brothers and sisters that way…  And when we have children, you will be a grandma!  Won't that be exciting and special?  And my wife's parents will be a grandma and grandpa too!"

He's a pretty cool kid.  

Missing Luke Already!


My brother Luke left for New Orleans at noon today.  I assume those reading my blog sort of know the family for the most part, so you probably know he got a fellowship to go teach in the Recovery School District there.  I've been helping him with some of the paperwork and the whole, finding a place to stay, getting ready for the Praxis Social Studies Teacher's exam, etc.

My mom asked today why this was so traumatic for everyone.  I can't say for sure.  It feels much different than one of us leaving to go to college.  I think it might be partly because it happened so suddenly, he only got notified he received the fellowship a few short weeks ago.  Since then, it's been a blur of anticipatory excitement, studying, crossing things off his "to do" list.  We only crossed off "Find a place to stay" last night, so you can sort of see how it's been.  

It only hit me last Thursday that I had less than a week before he left, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't cried a little every day since then.  I kept asking him, when are you going to leave, again?  And he'd tell me, very patiently, but his friends joked about slashing the tires of the Mustang on Monday morning to keep him here.

After I dropped D at camp this morning, I went to my parents' house, Rose woke Anna up, and the "grown-ups" had a breakfast of Diet Coke and Krispy Kreme donuts while we waited for Luke to get there.  Then we re-packed his car for him because he had packed like a boy, totally inefficiently.  We managed to get most of his gear into the trunk where he could safely leave it in his car overnight if need be.  Rose played with her Uncle Luke for the last time for a while.  She absolutely adores him.  If you ask her what her name is, she'll say "Rosie!"  (Really, it sounds more like "Loahsie", because she doesn't have the "R" sound down quite yet.)  But that's all because of my brother.  I told everyone her name was Rose, that I didn't like Rosie because it sounded too diminutive.  We were giving this girl a strong name, after a strong woman, and that was that.  Luke, of course, didn't listen to me.  He liked Rosie, and anything he said, Rose liked too.

Dang.  Crying again.  I'm such a baby.  I know I'll see him a lot still, that now we have a great excuse to plan a trip (though not until it gets cold in Wisconsin, I am NOT envying Luke those hot, humid summers!)  But I was really enjoying being adults in the same city, having the occasional sibling night  where the four of us would go out together to a movie or something. And I know he'll be fine, I know he'll be a great teacher, he makes friends easier than anyone else I know, I am sure he will love it there.  But the very selfish part of me wants him here, hanging out with my kids, being a 'bad' example sometimes, but teaching them to play baseball and be wonderful friends and fabulous people.

Anna and I were signed up for some volunteer work at Dillon and Rose's school this afternoon, so when Luke's departure got delayed due to his new suit coat being not quite ready at the tailor, I realized we had to leave him.  He walked us out to my car, gave Rose a big hug, then Anna and I dissolved into a huge sobbing mess.  I managed to drive around the corner before I had to pull over to compose myself before driving the rest of the way to the school. We are all really going to miss him. 

I am so proud of Luke for this.  He has so many friends here, die hard friends who he's hung out with since first grade.  People who would do just about anything for him.  And he's still willing to leave his comfort zone to do something right for the world.  That's about the best example I could think of for my kids.  And the rest of us too.

Drive safely, brother. 

Happy Father's Day


I am loving this organization, families rising, and they did a great Father's Day Card .