Nothing new under the sun

It’s Mother’s Day, and I’ve spent it in glorious sloth and catching up on some things that need to be caught up on. Someone praised my blogging on Facebook today, and I’m happy for the compliment. But then I find myself with another week coming, and another post, and not such great ideas.

This year’s lilacs

Or rather, I have some excellent ideas. I’d love to tell you about Mother’s Day, lilacs, and how much I love lilacs. Except I did that back in 2009. (Eight years later, the boys still roll down the hills at the Arnold Arboretum during the Lilac Festival.) Also, please note that in that post I whined about how hard it is to come up with things to write about. I also covered lilacs in 2010, 2011, 2012 and probably every year since then. Maybe I should start thinking of these posts as traditions instead of repetitions?

Yesterday at one point I had on my “Mirkwood National Forest” t shirt, had my “Not all who wander are lost” sticker on my laptop (the other laptop has a custom made “Gates of Moria” sticker and was reading Tolkien.

In an attempt to restore and rejuvenate myself, I’ve reread Tolkien for, I dunno. It might be the 40th time. I have my own “Editor’s Cut” of how to read the books if I’m in a hurry. I read them super slowly this time, to notice things that had previously escaped my attention. I did! It’s such a rich text. I love it more each time. This time I pondered a parallel between Theoden of Rohan and Roland of “The Song of Roland”. Both are killed by their own weapons (horse and horn), arguably because such characters couldn’t be bested by a foe and hold to the story. I also saw more clearly than ever some of the Christian allegory Tolkien claimed he was including. There is much of the Christ story in Gandalf’s death, resurrection, transformation & teaching. But I’ve also covered the topic of Tolkien pretty well.

Complaining about being busy is boring. Being busy is also boring.

My life is pretty awesome. The most I have to complain about is too much awesomesauce. There’s chocolate cake to celebrate tonight. And at any moment now I’m going to log off and start playing Civ VI like I intended to three hours ago.

May your remembrances of mothers and mothering bring you joy today. For those of you who do not have your mothers, may you find consolation either in memory, or in the memory of those who have served as loving influences in your life!

Lilac loveliness

Grey and Adam admire the nest. Thane tries to grab onto Adam's backpack.
Grey Thane and Adam admire the nest. Thane Grey tries to grab onto Adam's backpack.

It was a busy weekend this weekend – even by my criteria. There were about 6 loads of laundry, 3 sets of dishes, two lawns mown, a three year old’s birthday, two aikido practices, one jello mold attempt and one 60s dance party. And that was just Saturday.

Today after church, I decided the weather was so lovely that I had to find my way down to the Arnold Arboretum for my annual sniffing of the lilacs. It was glorious weather, and glorious sniffing, for all it was two weeks before the planned Lilac Event, with the warm spring my timing was perfect. We wandered, romped, rolled, rough-housed, sneaked, ran and sniffed to our heart’s content. I realized, actually, that this annual event last year was just about the last time I walked without limping in the last year. I was much better, but very nervous on the rough ground today.

Anyway, the pictures I took reminded me that oh! I have a camera! And I should maybe download the pictures on it!

So here you are: a few pictures from recent days!

Celebrations of a jet-lagged mother

Smiles in sunshine
Smiles in sunshine

I still owe you some summaries of my trip to Europe. It was really a neat experience. Basically, we’d spent about 10 hours in a windowless conference room discussing projects. This does not merit blogging upon, except to touch on the fact I must be doing ok at the new job since they gave me a second high profile, big-deal project to manage. Not code, manage. Since that’s the direction I wanted to go, I’m trying very hard not to go into actual-coding withdrawal. Anyway, after 10 or so hours of complete senescence, we’d rise in order to drive to that night’s restaurant. And then we’d spend three or four hours eating. OH MY GOODNESS. I actually did gain 3 pounds in a week — a combination of lack of activity and 3 to 4 hour French dinners. I had beef, duck, white asparagus & rabbit. Yum!!!
My hotel in Obernai - from the back

On our way home, we flew about 50 miles north of the volcano. I watched the ash plume and the southward streamers heading to disrupt other planes. It was a quite a sight to watch.

When I got home, 100% of the human males were running temperatures. Thane scored triple medication during the week: otic eardrops with antibiotics, oral antibiotics & an antifungal cream for a diaper rash. Poor kid. Grey had gotten sent home with a 101 degree fever, which would’ve been worse if my husband hadn’t come home with a fever feeling terrible. So deeply jetlagged as I was, I was still in the best shape. Yesterday, we mostly vegged. There was lots of tv. And Wii. And computer games. Because really? There are times when it is appropriate to do your best lump-impression, and a rainy, stormy day when the entire family is sick counts as a good lump-day.

But today, against my more realistic expectations, everyone seemed fine. Great even! Amazing the impact that two naps can have on a body. So we went to church. It was a really awesome service. The kids are just an overwhelming force in the sanctuary. We were doing this Genesis creation play we’ve done before. There are about 20 elements of the play that the kids wave over their heads. We ran out.

And it was good
And it was good

Then after the service I got to chat with a new family who was visiting the church. It warms the cockles of the heart to see the congregation grow and thrive, and to watch those joyful and energetic young faces! I’d also like to say on the record that we don’t pay our preschool Sunday School teachers nearly enough. (Side note: I’ve discovered that our young adults are usually surprised and shocked to learn that the position of Sunday School teacher is an unpaid one.)
Thane and I at the top of the hill
Thane and I at the top of the hill

After service, I figured the kids would start wilting, but they were doing quite well, actually. My heart had been longing to go to the Arnold Arboretum for their annual lilac festival that happens on Sunday of Mother’s day. I had thought yesterday it was out of the question, but at the last minute on a whim (as you could tell by my inappropriate garb) we decided to go. We had a ball. There were the Morris dancers (I love Morris dancers). The sun was bright, but it was cool and windy. There was ice cream. There was wandering. We wandered through scads of fragrant lilacs. Grey rolled down a grassy hill about 10 times. You might hear rumors that I rolled down — in my Sunday dress. Mere rumors, I assure you. I’m far to dignified and well-socialized for such tomfoolery.

Of course, the remainder of the day was dinner and cleaning and grocery shopping and antibiotic dosing, etc. But you know what? I’ll take it. My Grey is so super snuggly and affectionate. I love this age, and I love who he is. He is so loving towards me, and the rest of the family. Today he made up a song about how much he loved Thane. And he gives me such great kisses and hugs — I wish I could bottle them against future adolescent dignity.

And now the Red Sox are actually winning a game against the Yankees (wonder of wonders!) and we have tickets for tomorrow (look for us in the Bleachers) and life is just good.