I have tried very hard not to succumb to the American RUSH. I say "no" alot. I help support everything, but I am not a room parent, a girl scout troop leader or a stage mom. I teach Catechism every other week and run away to my cello lesson/sanity therapy on Saturday morning when Gabby has speech therapy. Kit has soccer and piano lessons; Gabby has her drama class. None of these commitments last more than 45 minutes once a week. In other words, without shutting off the valve of life-as-an-all-you-can-eat-buffet, I left room for childhood desserts: playdates, walks in the woods and dance parties in the living room (John throws the best feis!), all in an effort to alleviate stress in our lives.
Do you think that worked? I have 192 photos in my October file, as if we went on vacation. We actually had one week in there with seven days straight of top-to-bottom booked days, all gloriously happy events and visits, and all I can say for having "prepared" for it was . . . no one got the flu! And what can I say about that? Woo hoo! A few choice moments:
In an efffort to get Jack out of his sisters' tutus and that Supergirl dress, we upgraded our dressup box to include Jack. The first thing he did as Knight Jack was slay that nasty Fisher Price dragon in the basement. (Once in costume he said, "Now where's that dragon?") In fact, the whole neighborhood is safer now.
Kit achieved solid reading status, so we put her to work.
Wyngate Elementary had their fun run and you can bet the Fleming girls were fast! Their prize? Uncle Matt Perlman came for dinner that night! We were over the moon! (Poor Matt, if he thought he could get a break from a spouse with a camera and three small, relentless children, he came to the wrong house . . !)
Next morning? Off to the Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome! Gabby's best friend from school, Ava, came to walk with her. Ironically, Gabby was in constant motion through this very exciting event (and barefoot, in the rain) save for the walk itself, where she got a ride from Daddy. Gabby is about 50 pounds.
Kit and Ava
We got home in time for our block party, made it to Sunday school early the next morning, and just when we were about to take a deep breath, realized that that very night we had tickets to Gaelic Storm (our long-awaited anniversary date). That's pretty sad, isn't it? Thanks to Buffy the amazing babysitter we made it! What's the Rumpus?!
Cousin Jane flew in that week, too. In a random act of serendipity her Air France plane landed just as John's flight delivered him from Boston. They both called to tell me they were in at the same time. John picked Jane up and whisked her home to us for pizza and beer and lots of storytelling.
John and I split up one weekend to cover one of Gabby's best friends, (Devin's), birthday party at a bowling alley . . .
. . . and the Christening of Cora (our newest niece!) in New Jersey.
We skipped the YMCA dinner, but are heartfully thankful they've made us famous around town (another story, see ymcadc.org if I never get around to it).
And did we mention Halloween? Guess we'll take a break in November, somewhere in between the sunroom construction off the kitchen, Gabby's eartubes/sinus/tearduct/adenoid surgery, my yoga certification workshop, Fleming Bogus Thanksgiving, and real, real, real, couldn't-be-any-more-reason-to-celebrate Thanksgiving.