You know you're my kid when ...

You have a 50/50 chance of being the one who was dutifully picking up the raisins you spilled this morning, and then screamed in fear and dropped the large wiggling “raisin” with antennae you found under the desk. You now fondly refer to this as the “raisin-bug” incident, and mom refers to it as the “time to have the landlord call the exterminator again” incident. Enough said.

You have “just a minute” on the list of your first words.

You know that mom CAN be silly, but doesn't really like to be, and that she gets cranky when you're silly most of the time.

You hear “come Here if you want help!” from the time you can walk. Unless you're screaming bloody murder of course.

You know “you'll be ok” because mom tells you that all the time. For now you believe her.

You have climbing into a warm bed with two in-denial-about-the-clock adults down to a science. You know that a sure way to get them up, and get in trouble, is to dig your elbow into a bladder or an eye.

You know the intense pull of a book, ANY book, and the frustration of being dragged away from it. You know mom understands because she does the same thing, but it doesn't seem fair at all.

You know mama runs a lot, and you have an inkling that sometimes she's running away. She always comes back though.

You still think home haircuts are cool. Or you don't know what a haircut is yet, and eat your hair as much as your food.

You understand guilt well, and are able to use it to your advantage, long before you know what the word means.

You know how to hold grudges, and long to be teased out of them. You often are. You learned from a master sulker.

You feel frustrated by how much is going on in your head, and never have enough time to get it all down/out/explained.

You talk early, and often.

You eye doctors with curiosity and awe, but believe almost all medicine comes in spoons, eyedroppers, and teas. You don't know yet this makes you unusual.

You get frustrated very easily, especially by things that don't work the way you think they will. You express this vocally and loudly.

You remember every promise or implied promise, and are devastated if mom doesn't.

You love unconditionally.

You're a lightweight who'd rather snack all day than waste time at the table eating a meal.

You love to make gifts and give them to your parents.

You expect to understand things and be able to figure them out. You also expect to be able to do them well right off the bat. You don't get “having to work hard for something” very well yet. You're learning though.

You know mom putting you to bed means a storybook, and dad putting you to bed means a homegrown tale of mystery and intrigue. You still fuss when mom says it's her turn.

You have Alone Time down pat, and don't mind your parents taking it as long as you get full attention from whichever parent is home. You know both are more indulgent when the other isn't home.

You dream big. You are beautiful. You are stubborn. You are creative. You are intense. You are dramatic. You have dancing eyes and a ready laugh. You hardly remember life without a brother.

Your mom expects you to need therapy when you get older, and is coming to terms with it. You don't know this yet, but you do know she expects a lot of things of you. She's sorry for it. She expects the same things of herself.

You remember Farmer's Market Saturdays, the big rock at Fort Greene Park, summer sprinklers, water balloon fights, quesadillas, the Co-op School, kombucha, Sunday night singing, visiting cousins and family and the ocean, petting Dominic, Mister Charles, having housemates, Chinatown afternoons, the Brooklyn Bridge, the lego stash at Aunt Ruths, and fireworks in Prospect Park.

You are amazing, adored, humbling, frustrating, mirroring, stretching, and mine to raise.

cross posted over here. yes I've been quiet lately. chewing a lot on my faith and how I show/share/feel about it.

There'll be days like this, mama said

D was sent home sick from school on Wednesday, as he threw up in class and felt miserable. I got the call as I was helping clean up at the Thanksgiving potluck at Fynn's school, so bundled Fynn up and headed over to get D. We had to wait in the entryway for him to come from his class, and he dragged himself down the hall looking miserable, and didn't make it halfway down the first block home without throwing up again. Thankfully it was shortlived, as he was well enough by noon the next day to make it to Thanksgiving dinner after all :). I confess to loving getting photos of him when he's sick, as I get a side of him that never is capture otherwise. The calm/internalized side.

One of my all-time favorite shots of him is the one below, taken after his raging stomach infection was starting to clear up when we were in Ecuador, just before he turned 2.

He scared me that time with his fragility and misery, he'd never ever been subdued like that before. This week it wasn't scary, just quiet and a bit sad. He's recovered 100% and was just as insanely hyper today as ever :).


Douglas finally lost his first tooth, and boy was he ever pleased :) It wasn't the result of falling off a bike or smashing his face on the sidewalk, contrary to what it looks like ... those scabs are from a 2-week long bout of some kind of skin infection, which earned him teasing and a few tears at school.

This one had to imitate, or course, and there was a lot of "hurts, hurts" heard for the next bit.

Nothing could compare to the tears this morning, coming from D. I'm so tired of the excuses for not getting dressed by himself, he's perfectly capable. I sent him to get dressed this morning, and told him to wear something longsleeved (and reminded him which drawer it was in, as he hasn't dug in there yet this year). I was finishing up after my shower, and said I'd come dress Fynn and then we'd leave for the farmer's market.

Almost 10 minutes later I went into his room, and he was playing on the bed, still in his PJ's. When I asked what he was doing, his reason for not being dressed was that he couldn't find anything he liked to wear! There were about 8 long sleeved things to choose from, several that he liked a lot last year. I'd had enough, and told him to just go get his coat on, and he'd have to go in his PJ's. You'd have thought I'd told him I was throwing away every single toy he owned! Oh my goodness. And the PJ's were red plaid and could be thought of as just pants, and he had a big red hoodie to cover up the top half. Haven't seen him that upset in I can't remember how long.

I wasn't going to back down, and he ended up having a great time and no one questioned him at all about them. Here's hoping it will make him think twice before doing it again! Perhaps too severe, but it's the end of a long road of dressing complaints.

M is due to walk thru the door in about 5 minutes, from his last 3 week stint in MA. Yay! They left one piece with a 'saggy' varnish coat, so someone might have to go back up in a couple weeks for a few days, but that doesn't really count.

and PS. prayers really appreciated for my ankle to totally heal, it's still not and I've had to skip another major workout today. the marathon is only 6 weeks away!

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Fynn turns 2!

On our 2nd day here in MA, Fynn turned 2. In typical fashion, the celebration was last-minute, hectic, and thoroughly enjoyable. M had decided not to have Art Club that night (people over to paint together) as it would be too much on our 2nd night here. Instead we could just have a picnic in the park. He told his coworkers that we'd have a potluck, and then got cold feet that they might all come, and might not be bringing much to eat, so we ended up taking pasta salad, lasagne (made before we left NY thanks to Rose), cucumber salad, burgers, hotdogs, buns, and sangria to feed a crowd.

Lots of sides/munchies were brought, the kids painted (including a visitor from the playground we'd just met) and we had silly string, glow rings, and cupcakes. Fynn went home filthy, exhausted, and happy.

I loaded him in the car at the end of the night, and asked him if he'd had a happy day? He grunted a bit and cuddled with his new 'ackoe. When I came back to the car with another load of stuff, he was in there singing to himself "happy day, happy day, happy day ...".

Happy day indeed :). Thank God for 2 years with such an incredibly happy child.

fynn's words

rather than update you with all the things i'm checking off my lists, and all the new things that keep getting added and remembered (can you say NYC Dept of Ed is INSANE? I KNOW you can ...) I'll try to get down what fynn's language is up to. I never remember to put such things in baby books, and michael remembers it much better than i and he's not here to hear it!

Current words of note (there are far too many to count, everything gets repeated)

  • sheen! ... (machine, any thing powered that makes any noise, and can't be identified with a more specific word. always said with great emphasis.
  • ackoe! ... backhoe, one of douglas' early favorites also
  • VACUUM! ... still a favorite
  • lower ... blower, for the leaf blowing maintenance guys next door
  • shruln ... Shirlan, his babysitter
  • ocky ... clocky, the running alarm clock, which now causes him to scream in terror every time it goes off. tonight at supper he took his sippy cup, rolled it on it's side across the table, and gleefully declared it "ocky!"
  • douglas ... an improvement on 'uglass' which was his brother for several months.
  • HAVE IT ... used indiscriminately and with passion
  • cream ... ice cream ... you're getting the drift about now that shorter is better, and why bother with the first half of the word anyhow?
  • NaNow ... candy, ie Not Now, applies to all candy and cream, and most chips
  • ead ... dead, as in lego man lying down is dead.
  • Down! ... pick me up
  • peas ... please
  • bonk ... pretty much any injury
i'll possibly add more later, off to crash.

The weekend so far

Becky came to visit on Friday, and stayed till early this morning. Short and sweet is best, and worked really well. We kept busy, I got in a long run while she watched the boys, and things were relatively quiet. A good thing :). I enjoyed the visit though it's never a relaxed affair, and we had some 'girl time' after the boys were in bed that included a horrible movie (Beowulf, do NOT bother!), popcorn, and more talking.

She was off to the bus this morning, thanks to my FIL, and I crept back to bed for a few more winks. We made it to the flea mkt later and scored some dirt cheap old kid-sized gardening tools, and took them to the park to try them out. It got so warm we all overheated (not just Fynn in his sweats) and came home to a long nap for 2 of us at least. Mister bookworm read for 2 hours I think.

Then a snack in the window while I pondered what to do, as the informal get-together this afternoon for a friend of D's never happened, and I had a big bowl of ceviche going begging as a result. We took it to the back yard, played in the sandbox and with squirt guns till it got cool, and came in so the non-ceviche lovers could supplement their supper with leftovers.

They were both antsy as soon as it was time for lights out, and Fynn dove for D's bed instead of his crib. I took him up on it, threw a pillow next to him, booted D to the top bunk (he loves to) and am hoping for the best! It's about time, and I'd love to get the crib out of that room so there's more space.

almost off and running ...

still have to pack, change cat litter, pack food, shower, feed kids, and a few other things in the next 2.5 hours. b arrived in great time, took care of fynn while D and I went to his last karate class, and will be taking stellar care of house and feline while we're gone. yay for housesitters!

one note from karate today ... D us usually paired with a little boy named Stone who's not the most aggressive kid in the bunch, and usually has even more trouble concentrating than D. His brain seems permanently on 'wander'. So they were fighting each other today, using the kicks and punches they've learned. They're supposed to assume fighting stance with hands up to protect their faces. D punched enthusiastically and rapidly, danced from one foot to the other while forgetting to kick, and Stone stood there looking dazed. The sensei repeatedly reminded Stone to "get your hands up!" which always resulted in him assuming the position of hands straight up in the air, rather than fisted and protecting his face. It was amusing and eerie at the same time. Fortunately D didn't see the humorous aspect of it and I hid my snicker. He's an incredibly gentle kid, and I don't know if he's in class in an attempt to find discipline and focus or not. It does seem to be helping D with that, and I'm going to sign him up for another session I think.

Off to pack, and will be unreachable for the next 8 days unless M's phone gets turned on, so happy spring break!!


We went to the park today after school. We'd arranged a playdate as J's mom had stuff to do, and both boys were thrilled. Rather than corral them in the little park next to school, chasing Fynn every 2 seconds, we went to the big park down the street (FG) and hung out next to the big rock. It took half an hour of playing with sticks, stones, bark, etc (all great fun) before the high school kids left the rock long enough for the boys to take over. It's about 7 feet tall but climbable, which they finally did to their heart's content. Dropping stale popcorn bits over the side, sliding down, feeling big and important and a bit scared ... all good.

It was a much better day than yesterday, where everything that could go wrong seemingly did. I won't gripe, but it rather sucked. We all, however had very good sleep and things seemed so much better today. Perhaps that was the main reason, but I caught trains just barely today, made D's poetry assembly for just long enough to see him perform and then make it to class. Relaxed at class as no one showed up :) and then off to Salvation Army for an armload of spring clothes for under $20. I love thrift stores in the city. Honestly, where else can I come home with an Oscar de la Renta silk skirt for $8? Of course the lack of fitting rooms made me take a chance on it, only to find that my thighs, YES, my thighs are just barely too big for it. Not my waist or hips. I think I can genuinely say this is a byproduct of running, never having had that problem ever before.

The one highlight of yesterday? Finding a nanny! Whee. She came over, loved the kids, seemed laid back, responsible, fun, direct, and she has a son just a few months older than Douglas. She starts right after spring break, which is next week ... and I can't wait. The plan is still to go to MA to see M, but haven't figured out the car/transportation issue yet, waiting on word from friends as to car status. My friend B called today, asking when it would be good to come for a week to get away for a bit ... and she's coming the exact days we're gone ... yay for Dominic and apartment sitting! Won't get to see her much :( but she'll get the time she needs, and we get a loved-on cat and happy apartment when we get home. Yay for that.

The link I posted yesterday to what's becoming called the Hobbit home? Haven't stopped thinking about it. Sent photos by mail to M with a request that we build one, will see how he responds. The sudden connection I made to it was rather overwhelming. Been questioning today how much am I passionate, and about what? Been feeling the lack of passion for coaching, even as business picks up. I love it when I do it, definitely, but don't miss it when I don't. I miss working with my hands, touching dirt, building something bigger than I can do myself, and more that I can't articulate yet.

So, in the absence of thoughts, a few more pics from today.

Watching popcorn roll, wearing his medal from the Run for the Moms last year.

He's almost always laughing ...

Another tulip tree on the way from school to home ... finally remembered my camera.

More pics here ...


He won. I gave in Saturday night, feeling utterly defeated and spent. (I'm referring to this, which hasn't been solved.) I've been listening, but not bending. Just waiting, tense, to see what will come.

I'd been too depressed to write or really function much on Friday and Saturday. Saturday night I was making dinner, cut my finger open twice in 10 minutes, and fell apart. overwhelming emotion was utter and complete defeat. i slowly realized i've still been trying to do it all under my own steam for the last umpteen years, only asking for help when it's big. i want credit for what i accomplish that way, and he gets it for the miracles. somehow? that just doesn't work. at all. my ego has to go out the window. entirely. i'm NOTHING without Christ. nada. and that finally sunk in. we shall see, could have many implications in how i coach, live, etc but i feel a huge relief. i don't want to fight anymore. ironically i feel a lot more able to be myself, use my skills, etc and not worry about being proud in it. it's only because of Him. my desires and hopes are still there, but I'm at peace as to how to pursue them, or not.

we baptized both the boys yesterday also, had been planning to for a couple months and the day was just right. D was very excited by it, and pleased. Will see if he takes it to heart or not.

out of the mouth (and pencil) of babes

Douglas helped me with the grocery list this morning :) I love the spelling.

Fynn's latest words, that I've figured out anyhow, crack me up. He loves candy, of course, what kid doesn't? And thanks to his brother and father, he's learned a lot earlier than D to ask for it. The stash of leftover hallowe'en and birthday and valentine candy is in a jar up on the open shelves where we keep our dishes. Out of reach of both, but D can get it with a chair.

At the end of every meal, at least the ones without huge battles or dramas, D gets to pick a piece for dessert. Now Fynn has learned to turn and point at the shelf, asking repeatedly "Na now?" It took me a day to figure out the connection ... he thinks it's called Not Now because I've said that so many times when he asks. Works for me!


While making lunch today, Fynn was sitting near my feet (as usual) playing with one of the toys strewn across the floor. I looked out of the corner of my eye to see that he'd taken the old phone cord (the coiled receiver cord) and 'plugged' it gently into his ear. He then proceeded to have this conversation ...










"da da da"

(bunch of indecipherable nonsense in a soft sing-song voice)

"bye bye"

(pulls plug out of ear)


at least he was speaking quietly and I'll take that part as flattery :)

his vocab is expanding rapidly and one favorite is
with the emphasis on the 'ow' and always with a questioning inflection.


Douglas continues to amaze with his reading, witness him in the background of The Mad Composer video below. No hiding anything by spelling, and I catch myself being nonplussed if he misses a word as I'm so used to him reading absolutely everything he sees.

He turns 6 exactly one month from today. It's rather hard to believe.

18 months and 8 days

I weaned Fynn on Jan 8th. It's been much harder on me than him I think. Only one episode of shirt pulling, and that after I let him climb in bed with me in the morning as I was exhausted. He's still waking up at 6, and gets a drink of some sort and goes back to bed till 7:30 or 8. I can still feel it, and wonder how long that will last?

Bittersweet. It was time. But I loved it this time around. Not sure if we'll ever have another, so could be the last time. Makes me sad, that part does. Moving on I guess. Hormones still adjusting, though I feel less blue this week.

It was a LONG weekend


That culminated in a visit to the ER sunday afternoon with Fynn. He'd had a 104-105 fever for three days, and I called the Pediatrician I'd used once before, who thought that the fever combined with his lethargy was enough to bring him in. Thankfully and ruefully, the diagnosis was an ear infection. Whe knew that chewing on his hands combined with fever equalled that? He wasn't showing an undue interest in his ears. Glad to know, and his fever is mostly gone and his appetite's back. I didn't even fill the Amoxycillin prescription as he's already on the mend and I hate antibiotics unless I have to use them. Can't wait to see the bill, and sincerely hope they'll let me bargain it down. Rather expensive way to find out he's got an ear infection! Grrr.

He's still clingy, but nothing like he was for the 4 days M and D were away. Listless, sleeping on me, head on my shoulder, and didn't even pick up a toy until this afternoon. Not quite the Fynn I know :|. Thankful he's better.

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Day 17 - Cheeks

I don't seem to have words tonight, so went looking for pictures. This one was taken almost exactly 5 years ago ... sir Cheeks in the leaves in our front yard in PA. I miss having a yard, but not that house, or living there. D and I went leaf collecting on the way home from school yesterday, and he made an arrangement in the middle of the table that was really nice.

D's cousin A is visiting, and so the 3 boys are sleeping in the same room, and quieted down remarkably quickly. I introduced them to sewing today, and silly me suggested that D could make a pouch of some sort ... they had felt squares and thread. A decided to do his own thing of course, and made a cave. D decided that was pretty cool, and ended up abandoning the pouch idea, wrapping the felt around his foot, and sewing a shoe. Amazing that neither one sewed themselves or their fingers, and they had a hoot.

I got out fabric to make curtains for the boys room today, and the sewing machine (both are considerably difficult operations, given the way things are tucked away/stored in this apartment) and then ran out of steam. Got lost thinking about the fabric I intended to use (a heavy dark green wool ... need to warm up their room) and that I bought it to make a cape for a friend and never did.

at last, a header at last!

Finally worked around what was apparently a blogger bug, and now have my header back. relieved sigh.

and in other news ... Fynn went down w/out nursing tonight. for the first time ever, at least when I've put him down. Here's hoping it's the beginning of the end :)

Day 5 - Kid Challenges

Douglas managed to get himself a day with no play today, which was sad for all concerned. He apparently had a good day at school, but only a little time on the playground and very little 'choice time' in class which equates to free play. After he came home and we said goodbye to my dear friends S and C who were in town visiting, he sat down to do his homework. I wasn't in the mood to stand over him and beg/coax, so Michael set him up and we left him to it. His reading is so good that I don't have to do anything other than read the list from the teacher and point out the appropriate worksheets. He reads the directions and does it himself. He could do the rest too, but I figure I can manage that much :).

He sat and dawdled, muttered, got distracted, wandered, did work on one page he didn't have to, and stared off into space .... for almost 3 hours. He was periodically reminded to get back to work, but he took that long and still didn't finish writing his sentences. It was enough work that if he'd paid attention to it, he could have finished in about 45 minutes. I still think that's *a lot* for kindergarten, but he takes it to an extreme. Gets it from his parents I guess, has to do it differently. Coloring in 6 balloons becomes an exercise in creativity with different colors and patterns and swirls. He always asks to do extra drawings, coloring things he doesn't have to, etc. He doesn't visibly dislike any of it, but gravitates to any that allow free expression of any sort. He doesn't really like writing out words of the week, or practicing letters.

Then it was time to stop for supper. It was spaghetti and meatballs, and he LOVES the meatballs and really doesn't like spaghetti, though it no longer causes violent gagging for which I'm eternally grateful. He inhaled the meatballs in about 3 minutes, sucking large amounts of air along with it as they were really too hot to eat. Then the sauce and 1/4 cup of spaghetti took ... 1 and a half hours. 90 minutes. Of the same ridiculous dawdling, complaining, fussing, whining, and so on. He ended up having to finish in silence, and I suspect M pitched in on the last bite or two. When I told him there was no play time and he had to go to bed, he of course burst into tears.

A brutal day for a 5 year old, but I was SO tired of nagging I wanted to leave it to him to see what it was like to really waste his time. And I think the point was made ... at least for a day or two ... we'll see.

As for his brother ... nothing stunning today per se, but the realization has been getting stronger in the last few days that he's going to be an even bigger challenge that D. He's typical in that he does anything for attention/reaction, no matter whether it's positive or negative. He, however, is to the point where he knows *exactly* what he's doing, and will gleefully and excitedly do exactly what he's been told not to, turn and grin at you to see the reaction, and if you don't get to him fast enough, will turn and do it again with a laugh. Pinching his brother while he's doing homework (usually in his underwear, so lots of options there ... what's with the never wanting to wear clothes?) is a recent favorite, and of course the reaction from D is enough to get him really going. Trying to tell D that the reaction is exactly what he's looking for (a loud yelp, anger, etc.) doesn't really help him change his behavior. He remembers for the next 30 seconds and then goes back to yelping. Fynn just does NOT care. If you tell him to apologize he'll go give a hug (meaning head-butt) and kiss, and then pretend to be demure for about 12 seconds before getting the implement of choice (read: fly swatter, pen, spoon, pincer-fingers, car, musical instrument, you name it ...) and going back to beating or poking. Day before yesterday I was sneaking a nap in D's bed while M had them busy in the kitchen for a few minutes, and he escaped, came in and found me, and woke me up by jamming a small square wooden block in my eye socket as hard as he could. Needless to say he got a reaction from me that time.

I try to give him a quick, quiet, firm reminder, move/remove the offensive object, and turn my attention away. So far it seems to be utterly ineffective. I'm not giving up yet though. We've almost won the "don't eat the cat food and play in his water" battle, or at least I pretend so and don't move it nearly so often, so perhaps there's hope? These phases seem so incredibly long and hideous and frustrating at times, and then again the months seem so horrendously short and wasted and I can't believe he's already 16 months. Yes. I know. But it's still true and a matter of perspective, is it not? I seem to have misplaced my rose-colored glasses today.

Taking a stab - Day 3

the princess in her tower room, originally uploaded by herm007.

As if I have nothing better to do, I'm attempting to join in the fun at NaBloPoMo and post every day for the month of November. We shall see, I haven't joined the blogroll yet but will after this post.

Last Sunday, after leaving the hallowe'en party pictured above (quite the deal, and Douglas had a ball ... he used to be babysat with JM) we shivered our way down the street to the bus stop, as we had yet another party to go to, where we were meeting Fynn and M. It was a windy corner, we were underdressed, and Douglas was completely hyper. He was clutching the spooky house he'd built at the party with two hands, and extremely proud of it.

In a few minutes another mom and her 7-year-old boy sat down to wait with us. She told me the bus only passed about every half hour on Sundays, and that we had about a 20 min wait. I considered hailing one of the many gypsy cabs tearing around the roundabout in front of me (which is the only one I know of on the entire east coast? but I'm sure there are more ...) but decided Douglas needed to run off some steam, or he'd be entirely unbearable at the next party, which was not at all kid-focused and in much much smaller quarters.

The other boy pulled a toy out of his mom's shopping bag , wanting to show Douglas but too shy. They admired each other's creations, and then Douglas went back to his crazy dancing and circling of the bus stop. The mom then asked me what school he went to, as he son wanted to know ... he kept watching Douglas like he was an exciting alien from another planet, and apparently hoped their schools were the same.

Along comes an older Indian man, and another woman and teenager, and all seemed to know each other. The older man was on crutches, had a grey mustache, and was quite friendly though didn't speak to us. When the bus finally came and I unlocked my frozen fingers to take Douglas' hand, he pointed to the grandfather-ish gentleman and said he wanted to sit by that man. He chose a single seat right behind him, and I told the man he'd asked to sit by him. In fairly strongly accented English he proceeded to tell Douglas all the things he could have to eat if he came to his house ... indian rice, nice chicken, and so on ... all to solemn nods from Douglas. Douglas agreed he'd like to go home with the man. He had to ask to have most things repeated at least once till he got it, but persevered in an abnormal way for him, without one sign of frustration. They eventually fell silent.

The man and his friends got off before us, and Douglas yelled goodbye to him. The man asked several times if he still wanted to come to his house, this time getting a shake of the head "no" and he came over to sit by me. While the bus stayed at the stop, the man tapped on the window and continued to ask good-naturedly, through the closed window, if he was SURE he didn't want to come? The pantomimed conversation continued until the bus took off again.

I'm still not sure what prompted the interest, but enjoyed it thoroughly, as did the man. Perhaps the mustache? He never commented on the crutches, so I don't think it was that. No idea really, and when I just asked him now he got a similar grin on his face, but assured me he had no reason ... "I just wanted to." Good enough!

Summer ...

Summer ..., originally uploaded by herm007.

is almost over, as far as vacation goes that is. We snuck in yet another beach trip today, to Jacob Riis park. A hit all around, as M came along, thought the lack of shade was pretty wearing. Fynn did nap, thank God, and so I got a wee bit of one myself, and not too pink for it either.

This boy starts Kindergarten on Tuesday. Life is funny.

This pic is quintessential summer to me.

And now I really will go and shower off the sand, as I said I was going to 90 minutes ago before getting lost in internet-land. The same kind of 'getting lost' caused me to overflow the kitchen sink earlier tonight, flood the cabinet, and send drips in to the tenant below, but that's another story.

Backyard Boys and That Thing

There seems to be this magic spot in the backyard where the light is perfect in the evening. I took full advantage of it on Sunday afternoon ... and here are about 1/4 of the pics I took. I need to edit them more, but haven't had the time.

I have issues with pictures of myself, you may notice the general lack of them. I'd rather be behind the lens. A friend posted a pic of me on facebook, several actually, and I only liked a couple of them. He gets good shots of me, but I have trouble having them out for public consumption. It's good for me to be uncomfortable that way I think.

I'm testing my feelings/limits/freedoms in the last couple months in a new way, as we stepped out of The Meeting 2 months ago. I alluded to it here, but wasn't ready to talk about it. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done, especially the 'call my parents and tell them' part, knowing the incredible depth of their disappointment and sorrow over it. They've been remarkably gracious and non-guilt-tripping about it, which I'm thankful for.

The day we talked to the local assembly about it was the best time I've ever had there. An open, energetic discussion, much more agreement than I'd imagined, no acrimony/judgment at all, and we stayed for lunch ... a spontaneous first. I left there feeling absolutely exhilarated, free, and floating on air. The next week I crashed, going through the Telling the Parents part, and mourning the rift it puts between us. They won't ever treat or love me differently, but I don't believe the disappointment will ever go away. Given the 36 years I spent with the group, I do understand that.

I've been heading this direction slowly since I was about 20. With the first big 'split' that happened I started to really question the "we're the only place the Lord is in the midst (in a special way)" teaching, and reached the point several years ago where I couldn't stand it anymore. I'd started acting on my belief that the Lord could be in the midst of any believers who call on the Lord out of a pure heart, and felt a tremendous joy/guilt in it. Guilt in that I'd been told all my life it was wrong to have communion with anyone not 'gathered' like I was, but joy in sharing Christ with other friends. I can't draw the lines between us/them like I was taught, and am tired of tripping over them. I feel forced into withdrawing, though I'd rather just have fellowship with most of the group I left, when I felt led to, along with the other believers I run across who want to have fellowship. It's become something it wasn't when I was young, and something that I can't be a part of.

I'm incredibly happy with the decision, and feel free in ways I never thought I would. I'll probably drop in to the meeting in Addison when I'm there, to see many real friends, and the first time will probably be hard and emotional. But I have no regrets. The fellowship I have had in the last two months has been sweeter and more real to me than almost any in the last 10 years. I look forward to whatever is next. We have no desire to join another group whatsoever, and while that scares the part of me used to a 'ready-made' network, it's by far the healthiest thing at the moment.