Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ramona, Willa, the blanket, and a little panic attack

Willa and I have been sailing through the Ramona books at night. We're on the third book now. The one that Ramona's mom gets a job and Beezus says, "now you get to be liberated!" and Mrs. Quimby smirks. Willa and I love Ramona and her antics. She can't wait to find out what happens next, and I can't wait to be reminded.

We were reading tonight when Jim came up to make sure I hadn't fallen asleep. It had been a particularly long (and exciting chapter - Ramona had to apologize to Susan with the boing curls for smashing her owl) and Willa's room is my favorite in the house.

So cozy.*

Anyhow, the night before Jim had given Willa an additional blanket for her bed. It happened to be the afghan that my dad had a woman make for me. It was a present for my high school graduation and had the Grand Valley logo stitched into it.
And our dogs have taken to sleeping with Willa at night. On the bed. I don't mind them sleeping with her, but dude... not on that special blanket.
So, Jim switched it for me while I was lying next to Willa in her bed - right before the Quimby's returned from Parents Night at school. He tucked us in and kissed both of our foreheads and left.
She asked why that blanket was special to me. I told her that my dad had it made for me before I moved out of their house when I was 18. That number caught in my throat. I looked at her with wide eyes. She's four. I have 14 more years. Phew... Wait! She's four and a half! Ohmygosh, she's practically gone!
I pulled her closer, kissed her forehead, and continued the rest of the chapter, getting some deep breaths in between paragraphs.
*Cozy can be yours... house on the market for 2 months. No buyer interest at all. Not worried. More later.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Family retreatlet.

November has already been a "hang onto your hat, and keep your arms in the car at all times" kind of month.
Jim is finishing his last class for his degree. On top of that, he's also completing his thesis. This means he'll be absolutely. completely. done with his Master's degree by Christmas. Ye-haw! The thesis is very time consuming. Even when he's able to spend some time away from it, his head can't quite give up a dedicated percentage. So, well... a teeny bit of strife.
We will all be very glad when he's finished. And that's not even touching on the parade throwing aspect of how awesome Jim is for getting an advanced degree.
To lessen the impact of time away, Jim brought us all with him when he had meetings in Traverse City earlier this week. We were gone all of 20 hours, but it was so nice to be away from the house. To swim with the kids. To watch them enjoy waffles with cherries and whipped cream. To not have to do the dishes from that meal. Best of all for me was the ninety minutes that Jim and I got to really talk to each other in the car while the kids slept.
But a close second was a moment in the pool.
Henry was standing at the top step, splashing the water.
"No splashing, please Henry," Jim said.
"I not splash! I am trying to get the water off of this step!"
He spent a few minutes picking water up with his hands (with great care and sincerity), pivoting, and dropping it behind him.

His self-appointed chore is a great metaphor for how our November is. I'm trying to focus on enjoying the beauty in the chaos over trying to control it.