Wednesday, September 26, 2007

To Boston and Back

So last week I let it slip about my frustrating childhood habit of losing track of things, and how I see it popping right back up in the gene pool. Well, guess what? I'm not over it yet! On the flight to Boston last week, I apparently lost my iPod, which is very sad since it's not like I'm going to rush out and buy a new one (it came free with Tim's laptop last year). I had loaded the first ten chapters of Our Island Story onto it for Ian to listen to on the flight, and sure enough, just as I suspected it would one day, the compactness of the thing did me in -- it must have slid to the floor as we prepared to land. No luck in the JetBlue lost and found either, and no emails from any Good Samaritans who have discovered it and noted the contact info engraved on the back (my husband knows me well). On top of that, yesterday I lost my debit card at Central Market, and I left my camera in my mom's car when she dropped us off at the airport! YIKES!

But on a happier note, the trip went very well and we enjoyed the time spent with my parents. For anyone who doesn't know, my dad was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in April 2002, and has thus already outlived over 75% of patients thus afflicted. He gets around in a power wheelchair fulltime now, and breathes with a BiPAP during daily naps and nighttime. Despite the grim inevitability of the future, we just feel so grateful to have had the extra time, and to be able to snatch a long weekend every couple of months to get together with him and my mom. This trip brought up some important discussions about caring for them as the burdens grow greater in the next few months. It wasn't all serious talk, though. We also took walks to the nearby Animal Rescue League (where the kids ended up in a photo shoot with a Great Pyrenees for an upcoming charity gala, LOL), stopped for ice cream at the same place we always went when my siblings and I were wee ones, and explored the incredibly bucolic Walden Pond (The highlight of this famous landmark for my kids? Not the groovy Thoreau vibes, not the chance to splash around in their clothes, but watching a horse urinate in its paddock. Yup. Caroline says to me approximately twenty times a day, "Know what, Mom? "What, Caroline?" "I saw horsie go pee on ground!" Sigh ... even at 22 months, it starts so young.)

I hope we were able to be helpful, or at least minimally burdensome, and at the same time, it seemed like an abrupt change of scenery for a few days helped get me out of the rut of anxiety I seemed to be spinning my wheels in beforehand about our homeschooling (can't elaborate now). In the meantime, I've been inspired from recent reading to spend more time, as much as possible, outdoors with the children, and to present to them a feast of ideas rather than a litany of facts. I often wonder how we're doing with respect to that W.B. Yeats quote about education being not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a fire.

And so I'll end with a brief note of what seems to be stoking the fires this week. We've all been hooked on Jim Weiss' Arabian Nights -- sometimes we sit in the driveway with the car on to hear the end of a story, and I actually listened ahead last night on my way to my support group meeting (don't tell the kids!). Books we're reading and enjoying: Shadow Spinner (Ian and I), The Family Under the Bridge (all of us), and Shadrach (Ian alone).


Tracee said...

Philip's listening to Our Island Story as well. Cool. I'm so sorry about the loss of the i-Pod and then leaving the camera and losing the bank card! Yikes. And thanks for giving me a new word to look up...bucolic, LOL!

Jenny said...

LOL at the Walden Pond experience! takes so little to entertain them. ;)