End of Summer

It's a foggy kind of day...I stayed up too late for no particular reason and woke up to rain. I thought about taking the kids to Phipps - which is a fantastic place to go when it's gloomy outside, but M has the car today and I didn't want to take the bus. We went to Creative Reuse instead, on what has to be the worst sidewalk in the neighborhood, all broken glass and discarded needles. Today there was even an abandoned pick up truck, with smashed windows and flat tires. Laurel wore her rain boots, but thankfully hesitated at jumping in the puddles along the way. I wonder about raising my kids up next to all this urban decay and crime. But there's something really beautiful about listening to the crickets chirping from within piles of discarded brick and weeds. We've neglected our backyard a bit this summer, and it's suddenly thick with small trees and Rose of Sharon. It reminds me of how easily the forest could overtake us if we gave it a chance. This summer one of the books we bought the Reading Warriors was the World Without Us, which must be a terribly foreign concept to teens living in well-kept suburbs, but there's evidence of it all around us in the falling-down houses in Homewood and Larimar that we walk by. The old people in the neighborhood remember Mrs. So and So who used to live there and always had geraniums in the summer, but it's hard to imagine now as holes in the roof open up and porch floors sag with moisture.

Laurel started school yesterday, but they have this weird easing-into-preK kind of schedule, so she doesn't go back until Friday, and next week is a partial week due to holidays. Instead, we're enjoying a few last leisurely days at home. I picked up a carton of air-dry clay. It has a much different texture than playdoh, and Laurel was really into experimenting with adding different amounts of water to thin it out. It made a giant mess, though.

Marko sits up. I noticed a few weeks ago that if I sat him up he would stay there for a while before toppling over, and now he can push himself up on his own. He crawls on his stomach, very quickly. We have nine thousand baby toys, but he is interested only in chewing on electrical cords or dirty shoes.

The hardest thing about having these two kids is the age difference. They are three years apart and so totally different in what they need and how they play, but both require constant attention. Marko likes to grab, smash or fling anything he gets his little hands on. Laurel likes to set up elaborate castles or stores or tea parties. Obviously these are not exactly compatible traits. I imagine this will simply get better with time.

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