Easter Weekend updates

This weekend felt like the first time in WEEKS we’ve all been together. (I know it’s not true. It feels true.) I went to Seattle, then I went to California for nine long days. Then I went to Madrid. Then Adam went to Seattle. The busy times are tailing off, but not over. We have another weekend of apartness coming up. I have a customer coming onsite (which is very time consuming, if not as bad as traveling). But the light at the end of the tunnel is growing.

Learning to speak in math sentences
Learning to speak in math sentences

Big news this weekend came from the Russian Math department. Thane has shown a great passion for math, over several months. He LOVES to get a new concept and will go on at length about how much he loves math. The other day he calculated a fraction faster than either Unka Matt or I could. But he’s not so much into doing worksheets at school of the various concepts… so how to support him? It turns out there’s an advanced school about five miles from our house. (Maybe less.) I took Thane in for an evaluation on Thursday. The principal was very impressed with his acuity, and welcomed him into the advanced class with no prior tutoring needed. She’d like to see him in the competition team this summer, which sounds super fun, except for now I’m afraid that I’m becoming “that parent”. I just want to be the “that parent” who supports their child’s interests, not the one who demands genius ahead of joy. So we’ll give that a shot for a few weeks, and then decide about the summer.

Lined up and waiting to go hunt!
Lined up and waiting to go hunt!

Saturday was just lazy and lovely. It started with the annual neighbor egg hunt. (The moms had stuffed the eggs the night before.) The kids crawled all over the hill and the grownups clutched our coffee. Grey has grown two inches this year. (I last measured him on his birthday.) I watched the “big boys” (ten year olds), mine with the white and blue-checked Easter basket I bought him when he was born, and wondered how many years we have left of Easter Egg hunts. I tried to enjoy it extra, just in case.

Grey, reclining with eggs and loot
Grey, reclining with eggs and loot

In the afternoon, we went for a leisurely hike around the Winchester reservoir. I brought the foraging book with me for the first attempt of the year. It’s still very early for even the early early spring stuff. I thought I might see some wild garlic or ramps. We saw neither on our trip, but we did find a huge patch of wintergreen. We’d seen something earlier that I THOUGHT was wintergreen, but it didn’t have the identifying minty smell so we passed it by. My caution was vindicated because it wasn’t wintergreen, this stuff was! We carefully harvested a very small amount of a very large patch. Of course, I hate mint and it sounds like the most useful thing to do with wintergreen is infuse alcohol so… well… it was fun to gather. I have it soaking in water to see if we can make a weak sort of infusion. If I’d gathered more I could’ve made a jelly, but I didn’t.

Bridge building
Bridge building

The Easter celebrations in our church were good ones. We are still a little raw from loss, I think. This was our third pastor in as many Easters. But there were pancakes and music and children and cries of Alleluia! We had a superb dinner with friends afterwards, which was oh so good in both food and company. I learned a lot about Danish wedding customs!

How was your weekend? Did you enjoy the pascal celebrations?


I have pictures of the weekend which you can see here! If you’re particularly strong of stomach, I recommend the video of Grey reciting his “poem” with the classic refrain “I shall not pee. I shall not pee.”

Welcome spring

So spring this year decided to start off by jumping to the end and giving us the first day of summer. I suspect it got up near 80 degrees today, which seems anomalous as you walk under bare branches and through winter-cleared meadows. And walk we did! I broke out the sunscreen today, and liberally applied it to all and sundry. Grey played alone in our backyard – a recent graduate to the privilege. He built an “experiment” with bricks and bocce balls that consumed his attentions for nearly an hour. I brought his PB&J down to him, so as to not interrupt the scientist mid-experiment. (The subject seemed to be gravity and the slope of the yard.)

The boys and I walked our errands this morning: library, bank and post office. Grey told me a long story about the friendly Goblins he knew who didn’t eat people, but ate people food and some goblin food. Some of this goblin food was Goblin Mashed Potatoes, which taste like your favorite things ever: beef barley stew and chocolate cake and lemonade. I only hope that they don’t taste that way all at once!

There was some goofing off at aikido, but I was proud of my eldest for taking correction from sensei with grace and without the fit-pitching that would’ve been our lot 6 months ago in the same way.

Then, en famile, we went for a walk in the Middlesex Fells reservation. Now, one thing my husband and I have noticed we have not done well is teaching Thane to walk. Mechanically, he walks just fine. He runs on toddler legs from room to room. But this is not a useful form of locomotion without the ability to walk where you wish him to go, in such a way you have confidence he’s not going to dart into traffic. Basically, he doesn’t know how to walk holding a grownup’s hand. So today initiates the start of the “You have two perfectly good legs, so use them” training for Thane. Sturdly little toddler feet traversed nearly a quarter mile of the Fells before quarter was granted. He learned the joy of 1-2-3-whee. (Grey, sadly, is nearly on the other side of that beloved tradition.) Grey befriended a local rock, adopted him, and named him Leo. As we took a break and Thane’s father chased him around to attempt to prevent the falling-off-cliffs option, Grey looked at me and said, “I love my baby brother. I hope he stays safe.” Then he offered said baby brother tangible proofs of love in the form of cheese and pretzels. Greater love, my friends.

And now I’m sitting in the back yard, thanks to the miracles of technology and wireless, watching my husband rake up the detritus of winter, thanks to his fine efforts. I have a novel lined up next, and an internet friend who I’ve known for probably 7 years but never met coming over for dinner tonight. There’s babysitting on tap for tomorrow after church, and my mom is coming out next weekend.

Life, my friends, is very very good.