Wednesday, March 13, 2013

That was Zeke, rush chairman, he was damn glad to meet you.

Zeke has always been an extraordinarily social kid.  From the time he was able to demonstrate that he knew people's names and their relationships to each other, he has known the name of every kid and every parent from every school/daycare facility he attended, and they all knew him.  When we walk up to the playground in the morning where his class assembles before the bell rings, he's calling out to everybody -- "hi, Costa!"  "Good morning, Mazzie!"  "What's up, Avery!" and also chatting up their parents, all of whom know his name.

"Who was that?" I'll ask.

"That's Leo's mom.  Her name is Lisa."

He likes everybody and says "hi" to everybody, even our Douchebag Next Door Neighbor.  "Hi, [Douchebag]! We're going to school!  See you later!"

Maybe it's just a function of my generally introverted nature, but I barely know any of the kids' or their parents' names.  I recognize their faces (usually) to say hello, but that's about it.

A few months ago my mom came to town to stay with the kids while J and I went to Vegas for one of my high school reunions.  She took them to the Greek diner on the next block for something to eat.  When they were walking home, Zeke said, "Mimi, come here, I want you to meet the guys in the alley."

Mind you, the kid is 5.  But he's simpatico with the "guys in the alley."

So they went around to the back of the row of stores (where the dumpsters and parking are), and there were three old Greek guys who sit outside on plastic chairs, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and kibbitzing about whatever old Greek guys kibbitz about.  I think one of them owns the diner or something.

Zeke walked up to them, introduced himself with a handshake, and started to chat them up.  Turns out one of them has a granddaughter who goes to Zeke's school, but, as Zeke explained to him, she's in Miss Becky's class, not in his class.  He told them about how he had gone to the zoo and how he liked the science museum, and about what he was doing in school.  After a few minutes, he shook their hands to say goodbye, and went on his way.

I think I have a future senator on my hands, God help me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Springing Forward

Yesterday was the first day of daylight savings time, and it was glorious.  I absolutely adore having long days.  There are always a few days of feeling surprised by the time -- "holy shit, it's already 7 and I haven't even planned dinner!" -- but the light makes up for it.

Toward mid-afternoon Zeke was having a rough time.  He was tired but refused to nap.  I was doing a workout involving a barbell loaded with heavy weights, so when he tried to come near me for a hug -- something I was unable to give without jeopardizing both of our safety -- I barked at him to stay out of the way, which only made him cry more.  Josie was napping, so J decided it would be a great time for Zeke to get out of the house and burn off some extra energy by sledding and snowboarding. Because it's light for longer, they didn't come home until almost 7. 

We happen to have a Zeke-sized snowboard because J is currently working on a job at a Goodwill distribution facility.  The guys at the facility told J and his coworkers to feel free to take anything that "falls on the floor."  (I'm reminded of that line from Married to the Mob: "Everything we eat, everything we own, everything we wear fell off a truck!")

Over the last three weeks, we have acquired 2 sleds, a Josie-sized suspension bike, a Star Wars Millenium Falcon toy, organizing tools for the cupboards, a London Fog trench coat for J, a J. Crew barn jacket for J, and 4 snowboards - 1 of them Zeke-sized.

It's kind of like the summer that my brother Josh got a job as a garbage man in northern Virginia (back when he was in college).  He kept bringing home goodies for all of us, including a life-sized plastic lobster that my parents still have hanging on the wall of their kitchen.  Eventually, Josh was fired for not having "good rhythm."  My dad was so offended on his behalf that to this day, he refuses to pay for the county garbage collection service -- instead he takes the garbage to the dump himself.

Anyway, the snowboarding lesson was hit or miss.  Because Zeke was tired, he wasn't as keen to try something that would have him falling down and messing up a lot, so mostly they went up and down the hill on the sleds.

The onset of spring in Colorado is sort of a confusing time, weather-wise, because it coincides with when we tend to get our biggest snowstorms.  Saturday it snowed heavily all day, resulting in flight cancellations and highway closures.  Today it was close to 60.  Friday it's supposed to be over 70.  Which means that we'll probably get a blizzard on Sunday.

But the longer days means that warmer weather is indeed coming, and bringing with it biking and hiking and camping and summer picnics.  And Spring Break.

We were thinking about heading somewhere beach-y for Spring Break until we discovered that to get anywhere hot enough, it would have been incredibly expensive because they totally jack up the airfare that one week.  We looked at Puerto Rico, thinking we could get in some good surfing.  The week before Spring Break, the plane tickets were around $500 apiece.  The week of Spring Break, they were $900.  Same with Costa Rica.

So instead of south, we're heading east.  We'll spend a few days in Virginia with my parents, celebrate Passover, go to the Air & Space museum and do other fun things like that.  Then we're going to take the train to New York and spend the rest of the week up there.  The kids have never been, but have seen parts of the city in movies, so they're excited to go to the zoo, to Central Park, to the Empire State Building, to the Natural History Museum, things like that.  Plus the train ride up there will be a big deal.

Spring always makes me feel happy and hopeful.  Things are good -- business is great, the kids are doing well, everyone is healthy.  All in all, I'm happy to be alive.