Monday, June 28, 2010

Bob has interviews for two sixth grade teaching jobs tomorrow - exciting and hopeful. It really be good to have him home working, even though the house would be pretty full until we could afford to add on. I'm letting myself hope tonight.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sweet Shabbat after a stressful work week. I love the Friday night traditions, the candles and prayers, the slow mindful meal and deeper than usual conversations. I love the blessings and the presence of Liam, learning to love the traditions of his faith. Today he helped his parents make challah for the first time and it was unusually tasty - great mix of crispness on the inside and softness on the inside. I walked Lobo after cleaning the kitchen and felt happy in the summer moonlight - lighting far away on the southern horizon, the tensions of the week set aside for now.
Basketball camp ended yesterday on a high note, though Ruth and I were both working and unable to see the closing games and ceremonies. Bob watched Zachary play in two games, in which he demonstrated his quickness and developing understanding that it is better to pass than to always shoot. Chris and Liam arrived in time for the award ceremony in which Zachary was proud to receive ribbons for the tournament of games and an individual "around the world" tournament as well as his own basketball and a participation medal. Thank goodness the local resale sports shop, Play IT Again Sports, was willing to blow up the ball, which was given in the package, as yet uninflated. When I got home from work Zachary and I dribbled and passed the ball on the driveway, which was fun for both of us. I haven't played with a basketball in several years. I especially enjoyed hearing all Zach has learned, the labeling of bounce, chest and overhead passes, and his reminder to me to dribble with soft hands "like a cat", which he demonstrated beautifully. I love how hard he worked this week, in a group of around 100 boys he didn't know, mostly older, and how much he learned. The balance of personal best, quest for learning and growth, and the competitive culture is hard for me still and I really respect and feel honored to watch Zachary find his balance on that issue. It was also plain fun to have him around for the week. I also am very thankful to be married to Bob, who is the one who found the basketball camp otion, who finds so many enrichment options for all of us which I would never pick up.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The second two days of basketball camp with Zachary staying at our house have been rich in so many experiences for all of us. Zach is at camp with bigger boys and with boys who have already had formal basketball coaching, so he is dealing with being a beginner at something he wants to be really good at - and seeing that others are clearly better. It;s hard, as that experience always is. I'm proud of his perseverance and courage, hanging in and working hard each day, learning so much. We finished our library book about basketball rules last night. It excites me when he can tell me how many points one gets for different kinds of shots, how one makes a bounce pass, what the referee does with his hands to signal "traveling" and so much else. At this point I don't care at all if he's good at basketball, but am thrilled that he throws himself hard into learning and trying.Last night Chris fixed a spaghetti and meatballs dinner (whole wheat for Bob and me) at Zach's request and even made chocolate noodles and cream cheese chocolate balls so there was spaghetti and "meat"balls for dessert too. Bob and I had raspberries over the unsweetened chocolate noodles. Yum! Zachary has had several walks with and play times with the park with and without Liam, all great. Tuesday night K.K. was with us too, between dance classes, and she and I had a pleasant moonlit night walk with both dogs. Bob and I continue to use the gym, and it continues to feel good.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pickup at basketball camp was as delightful as delivery. I found Zachary at the end of an eight hour day still shooting baskets with some bigger boys. He learned a lot today, including the names of positions in basketball. He had a chance to play guard, center, and forward. He reported that the coach told him he made a good guard because he is "fast as a flash", which is true, and he was especially proud of winning the jump ball when he was center since height is not one of his strong points. He talked about dribbling, passing, when to use one hand and when to use two, serious in that delightful way people are serious about activities they are enjoying getting good at. I found a library book for him, Illustrated Rules of Baseball, which he and Ruth and I all enjoyed while Chris cooked dinner. Bob bought Zachary a small shaved ice, coconut and cherry, after his long athletic day, and it was a hit. Liam and Zachary had a bath together and played with the Fischer Price little people and city that both of their mothers loved as girls.

Bob and I continue to exercize at the gym, good for both of us. I walked Lobo tonight, hoping to enjoy being outside on shortest night, night of summer solstice. It felt hot and muggy and a little spooky to me - don't know why the spooky. I didn't walk long. It is always interesting to me that the light starts dying on the longest day, when it is so bright, so evident, and is reborn on the shortest day, when it is hardly evident at all. Life in death, death in life - that is something I believe, and maybe that's the spookiness after all.
This morning Bob and I took Zachary to basketball camp up the hill at Anderson High School, a four day coaching for kids from second to ninth grade. We gave Zach, Danny, and K.K. the choice of an activity camp as a Christmas present and K.K. and Danny made predictable choices, a special dance show with her favorite teachers for K.K. and Sea Camp in Corpus for Danny. Zach, who loves balls and all things athletic, chose basketball camp.

The camp is just up the hill from our house, a long walk or a very short car ride, so it makes sense for Zach to live at our house during camp. We went and got him at his house before bed last night, and basketball shorts and shoes packed in the soutcase, he was very much ready to come. His big brother and sister helped him pack his suitcase. When we got home we put Zachary quickly to bed on the couch so he would have plenty of sleep before an intense eight hour physical day. It was absolutely precious that Liam, still up after an active Father's Day with his parents, helped tuck his big cousin in and gave him good night kisses - so nurturing and Zach was dear with Liam too, patting his back and just being generally loving.

I'm so glad I got up this morning to take Zachary. usually sleep in on my Mondays off and Bob had offered to do the morning routine himself, but my sleepy brain perked to enough to realize that this first time was the only first time that is ever going to be for Zach and sports camp. I was so impressed by our boy. Not only did he get up and dressed and fed independently and quickly, but he looked great, very much the young athlete with the short buzzed hair cut he prefers and his strong lean little body in shiny red basketball shorts and a sleeveless uniform like shirt. More important though, he seemed completely in his element in the gym with all the other kids, many much bigger. After he followed the coach's instructions about where to put his lunch, he grabbed a ball and dribbled out into the court and started practicing shooting at the regulation height hoop which looks pretty hight to me. He missed a few shots, as did most of the guys, but then hit one and a bit later, to Bob's surprise, hit a free throw from the free throw line. I was so happy that he seemed so comfortable and comptetent and happy. We did wave good-bye and I think he noticed, but he was clearly in his own world, exactly as he should be.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bob and I found the San Antonio Art Museum today - free after 4:00 on Tuesdays and with a wonderful docent led tour of wide ranging exhibits from Egyptian through psychodelic - with surprisingly good Roman sculptures, beautiful Irish silver, and a wonderful collection of Latin American Art from preColumbian through colonial period to contemporary. My mind is spinning with images from art across time and space. My personal favorite piece today was a tiny (she would fit in the palm of my hand) Greek sculpture of a Mynad, every fiber of her tiny body caught in the spirit of dance. I was also impressed by a ceiling area, light shining through it, all done in glorious glowing glass in every color - not flat like stained glass windows but layered in three dimensions - looked like a magnificent coral reef - glorious! A funny item was an original Andy Warhol Campbells Soup painting (Split Pea)/ I've seen so many references to the sooup can paintings in books, it made me laugh to actually see one. We humans have surely made all kinds of things in the pursuit of truth, beauty, profit, and a good laugh.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bob and I are in San Antonio enjoying our week at the river condo - very sweet. We walked the River Walk early this morning before many people out - very lovely with beautiful flowers and trees, much healthier this nondrought year. It is a gorgeous summer for crepe myrtle in all colors - really intense and gorgeous bloom this year. Down by the river we saw a hawk in the sky and ducks on the water, including a mallard family with five ducklings. My favorite birdlife was the pair of yellow crowned night herons, the male in full breeding feather, building their nest in a bald cypress along the path. Most of this afternoon Bob and I have been working together on an idea we have for a novel for young readers - fun for us even if we don't ever get near publication. This tradition of the June get away in this place at a time of year when we are both tired and the temperature is rising is good for us.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's hard to believe it's Thursday morning again. Time seems to be getting away from me which is odd. I don't feel "busier" than usual - though maybe the difference was going to baseball games with Bob during the weekend. (The Longhorns won their regional and we will be attending and hoping for good results at the super regional against a strong TCU team which starts tomorrrow.) Also tomorrow, Ruth and Chris will have been married ten years. That's another example of time getting away from me for sure - such rich years with all the growth in their lives in education and love, and the struggle with infertility, the death of little unborn Mira (I still imagine her possible curls against my cheek with a sad yearning for the lost dream), and now the robust presence of Liam in all our lives and the joys of co-housing. Also this afternoon Bob has an interview for a high school math job locally. Times really are changing . Back to work with me for now..

Thursday, June 03, 2010

We are all so connected. Last night there was a big noisy scary thunderstorm while we sat at the dinner table. A brilliant flash of lightening electrified the room and thunder cracked gehind me, terrified and startled me and I screamed. As I screamed, I saw Liam's face change, his terror, and then his scream, mirroring mt own. Ruth and Chris calmed him quickly, but for a moment my fear of the storm entered him and I feel really guilty about this. I will work hard to be more careful how I react when I am frightened - around children, maybe around people period.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I am feeling happy tonight for no particular reason. So much is wrong in the larger world. But Chris made mushrooms and cherry tomatos on the grill, and perfect rice and a tart white dipping sauce for dinner and Liam is learning the signs and words ro "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly..." and Bob is coming home this weekend for the summer Friday morning...and I am just happy in this moment