Going away this past week with J and the kids to visit relatives in WA was awesome. We may look like a walking pharmacy to TSA, but we all made it.
Watching K learn to navigate through 2 new houses quickly showed how adept her memory is when it comes to memorizing layouts. In 2 large houses, it took her about an hour each time of wandering slowly with bumps, trips and minor falls before she was back up and running everywhere. It’s gratifying to have others notice the progress in our kids. All three have had reasons for people to expect little from them, and all three consistently out perform expectations.
It seems every time we travel, our kids pick up knowledge and or skills simply by being exposed to other families and their ways of life. Sometimes it takes days or weeks after to fully manifest, but there were at least two big take aways from this trip. The first came from a favorite line heard during the trip from one of the cousins, “You stole my imagination!” This became a popular threat to keep our kids in-line. We would threaten to take their imagination. This worked as well as stealing their smile used to work. It’s another priceless interrupt to whatever process we wanted stopped, and we always need more of those.
The second was probably the biggest thus far. After watching me struggle to get O ready for bed a couple of nights, my brother in-law shared a method to get him to bed which thus far worked surprisingly well. I have usually gotten A to bed with a prayer ending it by saying for what we are thankful today. The thankful thoughts have thus far been enough of calming boon to allow her some rest. For O, this never worked as he has never had the religious bent of my daughter.
For O, what worked well on the trip and first few nights back were talking about the best parts of the day. We then went on to how much was possible when rested with the promise of tomorrow being another exciting and good day if we have rested well enough to enjoy it. It’s a much more straight forward approach, and I had tried it a few times before without success. I couldn’t find a way to show him the relationship. However, kids change and mature. It seems O has grown a bit more self reflective which I wasn’t picking up. Sometimes, it is hard for me to see what happens right in front of me, and it takes somebody else pointing it out.
I note while getting to go to bed and sleep has gotten easier, the staying asleep through the night evaporated the night we got home. Still, progress is progress, and it’s enough to give me hope.
Sometimes it takes going away to realize what is missing. I have lived in MD for 27 years, but it wasn’t until this past week I realized how lacking our parks and public play grounds are. I’ve said for years my retirement destination of choice would be OR or WA. In WA, it awesome watching my kids play on their fantastic playgrounds in Aberdeen and Olympia. I’ll admit it, I’m jealous. If it had just been 1 or 2, I could have attributed it to just a few outstanding parks, but it was persistent. We just don’t have the quality parks they have there.
Speaking of things seen better or more clearly from a distance, check out these shots taken out the window of our plane on the ride home.
my favorite and current wall paper:
the other three:
Here are a couple of miscellaneous things I really enjoyed on the trip:
1) Listening to A describe Rent after she went with the older cousins and moms to go see it. She talks mostly about the man who dressed like a woman. The idea is funny to her, but she liked Angel’s character the best in the show.
2) I loved getting lost on a run in Aberdeen, WA. Suddenly what was to be a quick 2 mile run got much much longer. I was able to keep my pace for most of the 45 min run, but I had to stop twice because the hills got the better of me temporarily.
3) Number 2 was only possible because of the weather. It never even reached the mid 80’s, and it spent most of the time in the lower 70’s. It’s July! My physical symptoms and pain were at their nadir for months despite being the last week in my Tysabri infusion cycle. At home, it was 100 plus as there was a week-long heat wave that broke the night we returned. Now that is awesome timing.