Sunday, August 13, 2017

To my Auggie, at 7

My dearest August,

Here we are, my sweet babboo. You're another year older, smarter, sillier, snugglier.

You're endlessly loving, curious, and creative. Lately you're also more prone to frustration. You've been a perfectionist for years. Your preschool teachers would tell us how you would recycle projects at school rather than bring them home because you didn't think they were good enough. By the way we gush and rave over your work and ideas, I can't imagine where this comes from, but you are generous and loving with praise for everyone but yourself. You're quick to call yourself "a failure" or "incapable" and it breaks my heart every time.

(Ok... Except when you insist with every cell of your body that you absolutely can do something that I know you can't and it's a mess and falls apart and you are frustrated. Those times I just nod quietly.)

You are so very bright. You adore math and numbers, strategy and puzzle solving, origami and Pokemon and grand schemes. You have to be told 1000 times to get away from the piano and stop practicing; to put a book away and go outside to play; and--yes--to put away your laundry and shoes and breakfast dishes. You're always invested in whatever passion your brain has latched onto and only the strongest of incentives (and sometimes threats) will burrow through that blanket of focus.

You are my funny philosopher and constant thinker. Everytime I think that you talk so much that there must not be a single thought that you don't speak out loud, you surprise me with something really intense, like a theory you've been pondering about how entire universes work. And I just marvel.

This summer we collected monarch eggs from our yard and have been raising them until they emerge as full grown butterflies. All three of you younger kids are enamored (Maryna is not a huge fan of any insects) but you are the one that sees magic in them. You see magic and mystery and science and math and patterns and schemes in everything, my man.




You are magic. 

You are still the surprise we never expected. You are bright-eyed and quick to smile, always ready to give a hug and a kind word. You love to laugh and even more so to make others laugh. You are sometimes the calm little rock I can count on in a crisis to sit with me, hold my hand, and give me those quiet nods of understanding. To slip into my room and offer to rub my back and tell me things you love about me and ask what else might help me get more rest.  And other times you are the crisis, whirling around in a storm of Auggie-energy and moods with manic giggles and jokes between real frustration and sadness. You are a complicated little puppy, my love.


You are my tiny guy (still wearing mostly size 3T and 4T despite this being the end of year 7). For a little slip of a guy, though, you are all heart, brain, courage, and ideas. You are light and fire and ringing bells, my boy. I can't imagine this circus without you.

Love you so,

Mama


Pokemon cake, 2017



Saturday, June 17, 2017

spafikik.

Auggie struggles to say specific. It comes out spafikik. And I die laughing.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Interview with August, 6 years, 10 months

What is your favorite food? Umm..... my favorite food would be..... I'm thinking... everything.
What is your favorite song to sing?  probablllly... Yellow Submarine. Oh, .... "I me mine" actually
What is your favorite song to listen to? I don't quite have one. Classical or Beatles
What is your favorite movie? Trolls or the Narnia movies
If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be? Probably a cheetah
What is your favorite color? Red
If you could pick one vegetable for us to never eat again, what would it be?  um... mama? are mushrooms a vegetable. Oh, then MUSHROOMS
What is your favorite book?  um.... probably the perdayn chronicles and the chronicles of narnia. Do you know how to spell perdayn? P-r-y-d-a-i-n. 
Where would you like to go on a vacation? probably...um...... Puerto Rico again
Who is your best friend? Brixton
What do you like to do with this friend? Make potions and play Ten
What is your favorite outfit? ahhhh.... probably a red shirt and ... jeans if it's winter usually
Can you tell me a joke that you like? Why is 6 afraid of 7?..that one. That's a good one, right? it's kind of funny. 'Cuz 7 ate nine.
Fairies or Princesses?   uh... fairies
Favorite Flower? um.... the snow drop or maybe the rose. Oh! Tulips!
Favorite Bird? Chickadees and blue jays
Favorite Butterfly?  Monarch
Favorite Season?  Summer and winter
Favorite work at School? ummmmm ... reading comprehension
Favorite Dinosaur? Brachiosaurus 
What do you think are three words that describe you?  ummmmm... nice. snuggly. talkative.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A chef, an inventor, and an artist
Anything else you want to share? mmm... my favorite type of art? my favorite type of art would be making puppets. my favorite piano piece is Fur Elise. **whispers: that's my favorite** Oh, my other favorite would be probably the Darth Vador theme march. 

See also: August at 4 years 10 mos
See also: August at almost 3.

See also: August at 13 mos

Interview with Jorge, 10 years 4.5 months

What is your favorite food?  mmmm......does that count dessert to? oooooooohhhh... it's so hard, I have a lot of different foods. pasta.
What is your favorite song to sing? hmmm... the pikachu song.
What is your favorite song to listen to? The pikachu song.
What is your favorite movie?  Can I count TV shows, too?  I kind of like Star Wars
If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?  hm. A human.
What is your favorite color? green
If you could pick one vegetable for us to never eat again, what would it be?  mushrooms
What is your favorite book?  oh.... hm. I'm not actually sure cuz I'm.... The Warriors, I guess. I just read those all over again.
Where would you like to go on a vacation? Guatemala
Who is your best friend? Jasper and Brian
What do you like to do with this friend? Play Pokemon
What is your favorite outfit? Anything on top of my clean laundry
Can you tell me a joke that you like?  hm. I'm thinking... I like all jokes, except daddy's.
Fairies or Princesses?   neither!
Favorite Flower? Dandelion
Favorite Bird? Eagle
Favorite Butterfly? Probably those little white ones that we see
Favorite Season? Fall
Favorite work at School? Geometry
Favorite Dinosaur? T-Rex
What do you think are three words that describe you?  Energetic, Athletic, and Awesome
What do you want to be when you grow up? cook.
Anything else you want to share? nah.

Jorge age 8
Jorge age 6

Jorge age 4

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Interview with Maryna, age 19 and 2 weeks

What is your favorite food?  um, Thai food
What is your favorite song to sing? Despacito
What is your favorite song to listen to? 2U
What is your favorite movie? Hunger Games
If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be? Cat
What is your favorite color? Pink
If you could pick one vegetable for us to never eat again, what would it be?  Broccoli
What is your favorite book?  Hunger Games
Where would you like to go on a vacation? France
Who is your best friend? Sinedu
What do you like to do with this friend? Watch movies?
What is your favorite outfit? pants with holes in them, shirt, fuzzy vest
Can you tell me a joke that you like? no
Fairies or Princesses?   princesses
Favorite Flower? roses
Favorite Bird? [shrug and head shake]
Favorite Butterfly? [shrug]
Favorite Season? summer
Favorite work at School? Gym
Favorite Dinosaur? blah.
What do you think are three words that describe you?  [shrugs...]  adventurous, determined, smart
What do you want to be when you grow up? translator
Anything else you want to share? no.

An Interview with Katie, age 12

What is your favorite food?  Tacos
What is your favorite song to sing? Anything, I guess.
What is your favorite song to listen to? Same. Anything.
What is your favorite movie? I don't know.
If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be? Probably a cat
What is your favorite color? lavender or turquoise or silver
If you could pick one vegetable for us to never eat again, what would it be? [looooong pause] I have no idea.  
What is your favorite book?  Can I say 'all of them'?
Where would you like to go on a vacation? Puerto Rico, Spain, or France
Who is your best friend? Probably Anna
What do you like to do with this friend? Talk and play games
What is your favorite outfit? Tshirt and sweatpants, except in the summer, then it's a skort.
Can you tell me a joke that you like? [shrug] not one of daddy's
Fairies or Princesses?   Fairies
Favorite Flower? Probably lilies
Favorite Bird? I really like cardinals
Favorite Butterfly? Probably monarch. wait can I say a moth? then Madagascar sunset moth...they're so pretty.
Favorite Season? Spring
Favorite work at School? Math workbooks
Favorite Dinosaur? Brachiosaurus I guess.  or Pterodactyl
What do you think are three words that describe you?   smart, bossy, and... [long pause] crafty I guess? 
What do you want to be when you grow up? Actress or fashion designer
Anything else you want to share? [shrug.]
As you can see, 12 has hit with the vague non-committal answers...

See also:
Katie, age 10
Katie, age 8
Katie, age 6

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Repeat repeat...

Still here. Still in every kind of waiting.

Tenure? waiting.
Talking? waiting.
Summer weather? waiting.
This wart on my foot? waiting again (with occasional wailing)
Figuring out what we're going to do for Katie's school next year since she graduates this week? waiting.
Trying to find a 3rd car? waiting.

The last two years have felt like 100 repeats of the same frustrating, semi-decent-but-almost-better week over and over and over. Every single week I think: "I'm sure at least some of this will be resolved within a week or two..." And yet, here we are. 2.5 years home. Two years since I submitted for tenure. Waiting, waiting, waiting, delaying any actual confrontations or decisions, hoping for some kind of (positive) resolution.

And so it's hard to see the little progress steps that we do make.  Maryna turned 19 this week. She had prom 2 weeks ago. She got a job nearly 2 months ago. Katie sang a beautiful solo at her concert about two weeks ago (Francesca Batastelli's "He knows my name").  She's in Canada for a French immersion trip with her class this week. August is crazy brilliant at math. He never stops talking. Jorge has grown so much and no longer drives me completely bonkers with his decision making every hour of the day (maybe a few days a week, but infinite improvement). He's actually so patient and helpful and forward-thinking now that I sometimes feel like I don't even know this boy. I'm excited to get to know him.