Archive for July, 2008

Family Day 2008!


Woah.  Three posts to the blog in one month.  Guess you can tell it's summer vacation from grad school too…

July 31st is a special day.  (Besides being Charama's birthday!)  It was two years ago today that Charles and I met Rose for the first time, in Ethiopia.  Our family became complete.

So we had a little plan to celebrate- go to the Bayshore Mall where there's a swing band playing tonight, and have a picnic in the park and listen to the music.  I got off work really late, and Cubs v. Brewers and State Fair traffic conspired to make me even later.  It looked like rain.  But we stubbornly pushed through, and we met up with my parents, Mary Ann, and Nana, staked out a spot (Dillon brought magazines to read) and it turned into a beautiful night.

It only took Rose one song to get into full Martha Graham mode.   She has become quite the elegant dancer/choreographer…  They covered the fountain at the mall to make a dance floor and all eyes were on her as she totally owned it.  More than a few people came up to tell me what a beautiful daughter I have.   She shines.  Or glows or something.  It's impossible not to smile when you watch her enjoy the music, which she really does wholeheartedly.  She finished all of her routines with a gymnastics flourish, arms in a 'V' in the air.  I kinda wish I brought the camera, but then again I am happy I didn't, I was much more in the moment, enjoying the evening, and not worried about documenting it.  

Rose even got her brother to put down his magazine for a while and they danced together for several songs.  D's experimenting with a lift that isn't sanctioned by the parental ballroom authority.  We're worried Rose will wind up on her head.  Other than that, they looked great.  When he got tired and thirsty she ran off the floor after him and got grandma, Mary Ann, and grandpa to dance with her.  She wore everyone out.  Charles and I muddled our way through some swing and foxtrot numbers, but it was his tango with Rose that totally stole the show.  It was a lovely evening.  A perfect way to celebrate our family.

Soundtrack of my week


Dillon had an auspicious taste in music from the first song he identified as his favorite: the Big Payback, by James Brown.  He was way too young to know what it was about ["get down… with my girlfriend… that ain't right!"] but totally dug the soul music, and to Dillon, the Big Payback was as much a genre as a specific song, to be determined by the word preceding it: to put on 'some' big payback music was to put on anything by James Brown, Otis Redding, The Temptations, etc.  

For the past two weeks, my kids have been serenading me with three songs: Pork and Beans by Weezer, Handlebars by Flobots, and Iron Man by Black Sabbath. They are three very anti-establishment, rebellious songs that my kids have adopted as the theme songs to our life.

Wash your hands for dinner?  "I'ma do the things that I want to do, I ain't got a thing to prove to you…"  Thanks, Weezer.

Take your elbows off the table?  "Look at me, look at me, hands in the air 'cause it's good to be… alive, and I'm a famous rapper…"  Thanks, Flobots.

Or perhaps the highlight was Dillon's forty-minute solo of the same line from Iron Man (you know it, sing along…_ "I am Iron Man – dinininin nuh nuh nuh IRON MAN!" which then morphed into "I am Iron Boy, I am not a team, I'm IRON BOY" and some additional lyrics, which only ended when we realized D was singing in the bathroom.  On the toilet.  And asked him to wrap it up a bit.

The funniest thing is that Dillon has progressed in his level of musicality to understand rhythm and cadence,  and to get very upset when Rose, who is usually the backup singer/dancer/overall accompanist, doesn't get it quite right.  She hasn't figured out that when one sings a song with another person, you try to sing together, as opposed to at different tempos, in different keys, and much louder than the other person.  So one could picture these kids in different rooms, unable to hear each other but singing the same song, only you're treated to it in person, in stereo.

But I love it, don't get me wrong. 

Though Charles wasn't happy when Dillon "illustrated" a thank you note to Charles' boss for some books with the lyrics from Pork and Beans "working out at the gym to fit my underwear" with the scene from the video (which I only let him watch once, I swear, unless he's figured out You Tube on his own) of a ninja kicking people's butts.  [side note, if you like You Tube, check out the Weezer video, it's awesome, though probably inappropriate for impressionable children under 7.] 

Dillon's view on love


Dillon was eating a quesadilla and yogurt for breakfast, and I was trying to fix an issue on my computer, and he started the following monologue, which I typed word-for-word. 


What do you think love could look like if you could see it?

I think it would be warm and liquid when it was hot but turn into a solid when it was cold.

Like if you were bad it would be a solid, like ice.

The liquid would have vapor and would go into the air, and go sideways toward whoever the person who released the vapor loves and it would go into their heart.  It's like a cycle because it goes from one person to another and another and back to the first person.  And you can release many jets of vapor at the same time.  Like at least ten jets of vapor at a time.

Can I be excused from the table please?