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Three Little Birds

January 29, 2011

I am alternately obsessed with and trying desperately to ignore the news from Cairo. Either way, all I do is worry.

• • • • •

I had a lovely dinner with Julia. We drank wine, ate crepes, listened to a jazz trio, and talked about family, blogging, and other things. She also loaned me her copy of Orangette’s book, which I am devouring. It is both engaging reading and hunger-inducing, as any good recipe memoir should be. The service was so stunningly efficient, that I actually made it home in time to say goodnight to AJ.

• • • • •
I spent the day with AJ, which was really fun. We have been arguing a lot lately. Nothing earth-shattering, just a lot of disagreements about video game time, attention to homework, chores, etc. So it was nice to have a day where we were getting along. I took AJ to the Pinewood Derby this morning — Mr. Spy had to coach a basketball practice, which AJ was missing. His car, the cheesemobile, came in 14th out of 30 in AJ’s age group, topping out at 186 mph and putting him in the top half, which is what he wanted. He won an award for “most humerous car” (sic). AJ’s favorite part was beating his friend C in one heat, because C has come in first for the last three years. Afterwards, we celebrated with ice cream and AJ proposed using the PInewood Derby as his science fair project next year, comparing a low rider, a block of wood on wheels and his previous car models for aerodynamic properties. Afterwards I took him out for ice cream.

(The silver things on the sides are weights we added at the last minute to make it heavy enough to roll fast).

On the way home, we stopped at the drive-through pharmacy, which is next to the skating pond. While we waited for our money to fly through the pneumatic tube, AJ was staring at kids playing hockey on the ice. “Can we go skating?” he asked.

When we got home, AJ had to finish a draft of a book report for school. It’s the first real book report he’s written, and although it’s been increasingly like pulling teeth to get him to do his homework, he threw himself into it and did an excellent job.

“NOW can we go skating?”

We drove to the ice rink. AJ’s skates were two years old and he couldn’t begin to put his feet in them, so we had to consult the pro shop. The kid behind the desk was wearing a T-shirt from a local high school’s football team. AJ was wearing his sweatshirt from his football team. They instantly began talking about football. It turned out they both played the same position. We bought AJ a new pair of skates. While the kid was sharpening them, he tried to get AJ to to cheer on his football team. AJ refused, whether out of team loyalty or out of embarrassment, I’m not sure.

“C’mon, say it! If you don’t, I might sharpen your skates wrong. You might fall down!”


He held his ground and kept laughing.

The skates, as it happened, were perfect. We drove back to the pond and pulled AJ’s hockey stick and the new puck we’d also bought out of the back of the car. The ice was in terrible shape. It’s been close to the freezing mark for several days and the pond was covered in a thick layer of slush and was full of nearly invisible divots that threatened to send us sprawling. But we squeaked around the ice. Or, rather, I did. AJ took off fearlessly, whacking his puck all around the pond.

We came home for dinner, but our neighbors kidnapped AJ for an evening that involved going bowling and to a video arcade. It’s well past his bedtime and he’s not home yet. I’m trying not to worry. I know he’s fine. But I wish he were upstairs in bed. I’m going to be a wreck when he gets a driver’s license.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2011 9:40 am

    Yes, you will be. I am.
    This weekend I spent a lot of money on food for last night’s cast party, because it helps when the teenagers gather at our house and I don’t have that additional worry about them driving home at midnight. We’re up until they arrive anyway.
    I’m already looking forward to next year–how will I ever sleep when I don’t know where my oldest is?

  2. January 30, 2011 9:45 am

    When I think about it, Jeanne, I don’t know how my parents refrained from calling all the time my first year of college. I’m currently working under the assumption that we’ll all have subcutaneous GPS tracking chips by then.

  3. LSM permalink
    January 30, 2011 5:18 pm

    One of the reasons I get so much reading done lately is that I’m waiting up for my teens to get home, and reading is a lot more distracting that late-night television. Fortunately, our kids are pretty responsible, but that doesn’t stop the worrying.

  4. freshhell permalink
    January 30, 2011 5:58 pm

    For some reason I was picturing his derby cheese wedge as being big enough for him to drive, like those old pedal cars. How do they go fast? If the answer’s too complicated, don’t tell me. My brain will probably over heat or something.

    Hope your brother stays out of danger and that things in Eqypt calm down soon! I know that must be horribly nerve wracking for you.

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