“Weekend” bonus shot, 08.11.09


Tub mayhem, Carmel, CA. (Two years ago, these same kids were this big.)


Weekend bonus shot, Tuesday extendo- travelogue edition.  The day before we’re to return home from vacation, I finally find the library with WiFi. 

Even though the bath has been a reliable barrel of fun, most of the fun for these kiddles has been found or made outdoors.  It has usually entailed either beaches:


Or dogs and beaches:


Or popsicles:


Or maybe a few more popsicles:


The dear old friends whose progeny these are met about twenty years ago as apprentices at a theater company in Minneapolis.  They have not let go of each other since, driving each other and their worldly goods to a theater program in New York, bunking together there for years, and, once parting, remaining vital to one another through decade-long residencies in two different time zones.  Now they’re raising their children in the same state.  Granted, it’s one of the biggest in the nation and they’re at either end of it. We’re working on that.

It would be accurate to say they are both fiercely loyal, passionate, and dramatic.  

It would also be accurate to say that their apples have fallen squarely next to the tree.  So a great number of plays were composed, and enacted, and exuberantly extemporized:


Into which some folks made impish, zig-zag cameos:


But the biggest thrill of the trip happened quietly, indoors, late one night after the bath. Somebody just read her first chapter of her first chapter book, polysyllabic words and all, and her head nearly blew off her shoulders in the process. (I don’t have the title with me, but it’s som’at about a pig. Mercy somebody. Added: here she is.) It happened right here, at this table, with her mama and her baba flanking her:


Her words, as it was all coming clearer and clearer: “The black wires are all bending in my head. It’s like a rainbow.”

13 thoughts on ““Weekend” bonus shot, 08.11.09”

  1. The beach, the ocean, the plays, the popsicles and the grand finale of the explosive and exponential increase in the size of the world that comes with reading – absolutely beautiful.

  2. Wow.

    Her words, as it was all coming clearer and clearer: “The black wires are all bending in my head. It’s like a rainbow.”

    You just could not make this stuff up. Amazing and thrilling.

    So glad you all got a break — there is nothing but happiness, joy and creative spirit in those photos. What wonderful times and wonderful memories-in-the-making.

  3. Welcome back! Sounds like a great holiday.
    Just what kind of genius do you have there? Reading chapters at 4…self taught?!
    And please tell me that you have some kind of colour filter on your camera or have edited the sky colour. The sky in most of your pictures is impossibly blue.

  4. What your little chapter-book-reading monkey said is the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen anyone say ever about cognition and thought. Simply astounding.

    Fabulous photos too.

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you.

    The soul is a bit more calmed now than it was when we headed south about a week ago.

    Alpha, if it weren’t so labor-intensive (no pun intended!) to get knocked up and give birth, the beloved woulda done so immediately upon glimpsing this photo too. Me, too. Practically. Right in the solar plexus.

    Chumpy, I’ll cop to boosting the tint just an eensy, teensy, weensy little bit. Just a bit. But not much. It is California in late summer, after all. Wink.

    And re: reading. I myself was only a tad less blown away than her. She has been chipping away at it all since she was big enough to hold a book. I can honestly say that she (as I’m sure a great many kids) was born already wanting to, badly, and most of the intervening years have been taken up with her trying to scramble back to something she may even still have a memory of from the last time around. Mostly we try to stay out of her way. Though truth be told, she did frequently ask for help on the bigger words (multisyllabic, funky vowel combos: damned English irregularity — it’s your people’s fault, Juliet& Chumpy!).

    By the way, Chumpy, she does a good job of frequently reminding us that even if some parts of her brain have shot forward at a whiplash-inducing rate, emotionally, she is nicely, appropriately, quite certainly settled at four-going-on-five. Just try and take a popsicle away from her before she’s done, for instance.

    Lizk & annz, your loving book-reading to her has certainly played a part in the larger drama. So thank you. And I’m with you, though, az: it’s quite something to be privvy to someone’s report from the precipice of what we know to be such an enormous, consequential life-shift. When she said that, the beloved and I looked at each other for a moment, since we didn’t immediately realize what she was saying. And then we did. And then got all teary.

  6. Seems like a stupid thing to write but I thought that the love of , and being lost in, books would not be enjoyed by my children: that in today’s over busy intrusive childhood mental world, there somehow wouldn’t be the right conditions for them to connect with books in this way. It’s been delightful to have been proved totally wrong.

    Curious metaphor with the whiplash: the dissonance you describe being caused by multidimensional connection rather than traumatic separation. Think I might be able to see the sparks from here.

  7. Here’s to being proven wrong by the timeless magnetism of the human imagination.

    PS In unrelated news: today the lil’ monkey, in a conversation about “places and lands,” said the place she wanted to visit most dearly was Scotland. Can’t say whether or not this was influenced by the bagpipe player we saw on Sunday. Or the fact that it triggered a long chat about her name, my mother’s maiden name, and its Scots origins. But I just wanted to share that. You, back to your sparks, me, back to mine. 🙂

  8. Beautiful. And thank the good lord my second is still younger than that breathtaking boy of yours– if I didn’t still have two- and-a-half on the horizon I think I’d be on the phone to our sperm bank. Now.

    And reading. You must be over the moon.

  9. “The black wires are all bending in my head. It’s like a rainbow” Whew -that girl….just wow.

    Absolutely beautiful kids, in every way. You’re both doing a fantastic job.

  10. Thank you thank you, SJnky. One tends to see how very flawed one is. What with one’s perfectionism and all. So thanks.

    True enough, humans are just darned amazing things, period. Leaving them to their own devices (or knowing when to) is maybe the thing that takes the most effort.

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