Monday, April 4, 2011


The elephant on the roof was the first indicator that the weekend might be a tad unusual. I offer you, here today, a series of weekend vignettes.

(This has nothing to do with the elephant on the roof. Just some cuteness I wanted to share.)

Scene One: The Pur
ple House

I should clarify that I already knew there was an elephant on the roof. But Little Miss Avery Kate did not. And she didn't believe me, either. Now, Miss Kate prefers to stay home. In her jammies. This is not always conducive to productivity and errand-running. So sometimes mama needs to say things like, "It's okay! We'll get to see the elephant on the purple house on our way home from gymnastics today!"

It happened to be April 1st. She was, understandably, rather dubious. But, I kid you not, we passed the purple house, the roof of which is adorned with various large safari figures. The elephant's trunk is raised as if saluting the nearby crocodile, while the tiger is posed charmingly in the corner. We craned our necks long enough to catch sight of a gorilla. We all looked to Avery, expecting her to clap with glee. Her response? "It wasn't very funny. Not funny at all." I'm not sure what this child requires in order to be amused.

Scene 2: The Park

Saturday morning dawned bright and promising. I proposed that we head to the park to enjoy the surprise sunshine. Drew and Bethie were away for the afternoon, so I bundled up Aidan and Avery for the jaunt. Naturally, we wore our winter coats. Because that's just what you do in the Pacific Northwest. By the time we had biked to the park, the wind had picked up. Considerably. I pulled my hood tightly over my head, but it kept blowing off. Avery complained about the hair in her face. Her legs were tired. We stood there, disoriented. Thankfully I had remembered the Law of the Wild which, according to Annie Dillard is, "Carry Kleenex." We wiped noses, attempted the swing, and finally found shelter behind the bathrooms. Going to the park should not be a painful experience. We went home. Just before it started to hail.

Scene 3: The front yard

After the hail subsided, the sun shone once again. Miss Kate informed me that it was perfect kite-flying weather. So she made her very own kite. The diamond-shaped paper was criss-crossed with an extremely sturdy crayola marker frame which was very liberally taped in place. The pink yarn tail was adorned with Kleenex, pinched just so in the middle in order to form lovely, frail little bows. But the best part was the "Watch me, Mama!" that issued from my girl's lips as she headed out the front door in her coat, scarf and hat. Up and down the sidewalk she dragged that merry kite. Cheeks flushed, head tossed back, sheer joy personified. It was contagious. Cars passed, passengers pointing and smiling. Joy caught. Joy shared.

Scene 4: The Family Room

She announced that the parade was about to begin. We took our places on the couch (it was raining again) and waited eagerly. The familiar strains of some ancient VBS album floated through the room, and in came the star of the show. Clad in a pink leotard, she reached into her shoulder bag and began to throw note cards and rolls of toilet paper at the applauding audience. This is a perfectly normal thing to do if you have been raised in a town that boasts a paper mill. Every single parade that Miss Kate has attended has featured rolls of toilet paper being hurled violently toward screaming fans. It's a sight to behold. The note cards, in case you were wondering, were individually penned, "Evry buty hav a good time."

Scene 5: The Kitchen

I've been trying to say "yes" to my children more often. This means that strange things often happen, such as marshmallows being roasted over the stove or plum pits appearing nonchalantly alongside clay figures. I'm a bit nervous about the pocket knife that Drew nearly landed on when going to bed last night, however. Apparently little brother was on the top bunk whittling away at a stick or something. Will need to do some investigating into the matter.

Scene 6: The Boys' Room, 1:50 a.m.

Of all the unusual things that have happened in the last few days, perhaps the most remarkable is the fact that this wee boy

suddenly morphed into this young man:

It happened at 1:50 a.m. this morning. He became a teenager. This boy who used to call me "Mother Bear," this boy who used to be obsessed with dump trucks and garbage trucks, this boy who used to sleep with the Field Guide to Birds of North America and the yard debris schedule tucked under his pillow, this boy who casually dropped comments such as, "The isopod is a parasite that lives on swordfish . . . ." at age six. This boy, now thirteen.

I've been told by the wise women that it goes by quickly. I've been told to enjoy these days, because they are fleeting. I've been told that I will look back on the diaper days with fondness and longing. I'm here to tell you that those wise women were absolutely right.

But I'm also here to tell you that I'm thrilled at what lies ahead. True, this child no longer pretends to be an aardvark or Thomas the Tank Engine. Instead, he hangs out with his friends, dribbles a ball non-stop and has an appreciation for electronics. But this same young man also makes his mother tea. He reads to her. He tends lovingly and creatively to his volatile little sister, expertly distracting her when the "tantrooms" threaten. If this is any indication of what's to come, I say bring it on. I welcome with open arms, Drew, my teenage son.

Yes, it was a good weekend.
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  1. Not sure why this, more than any other blog post you've written, made me miss you. A lot. We must remedy that as soon as we come back from Disneyland. Can't believe Drew is 13...that means my firstborn is entering those teen years in 7 months! Yikes!

  2. Many good blessings lie ahead! Thank You, loving Father!

  3. I agree, Stacie! It's been way too long. Hope you're having a wonderful trip!

  4. Oh Julianna- I LOVE this post! Truly love it! Why? Because this is something I have really been thinking about lately. Abby is 9 now and it seems like everyone who asks me that cringes immediately, then follows it with "Ug! IT'S right around the corner! Those HORRIBLE teenage years!" But your post is proof of what God has been teaching my heart- that I do not have to buy into what the world tells me, according to its standards, my children will behave like.I'm fairly convinced that I'll still love Abs when she's a teenager- and that we will still have hot tea together and read to each other.
    Thank you, Friend!

  5. Thank you, Marla! I'm glad you were encouraged. My mom always felt the same way. People would approach her with the understanding nod and a look of pity when they heard that she had teenagers. But she would just brighten up and say how much she loved this exciting new phase! I'm sure that did much to help my own perspective today.



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