Saturday, September 12, 2015

12 September 2015

I want to remember this moment.  Baby boy, standing naked, belly-up to the bathtub, watching the water intently as his bath is drawn.  Content, finally, at the end of a trying day.

Did all my babies have that little underbite when there were only six teeth? I know they all had the round, overhanging belly, taut after a dinner eaten with clutching fists.  And that cornsilk hair that will grow long and awkward before I can bring myself to cut it.

The baby chirps, a happy tree frog, and I remember his brother, chirping with joy after eating dirt in our little suburban yard four years ago.  And then his bigger brother yells up the stairs, "Mama!" with his little-boy voice.  They have been gathering chestnuts (or chinquapins, Henry isn't sure) in the gloaming and will need a bigger bowl to display them on the nature table.  The nuts are shiny brown and just the right size and smoothness to tuck into a pocket to turn and hold and stroke with the pad of your thumb when you are unsure during the first week of first grade.

Oh, but this has been a long day, and a long week.  But such a short almost-seven years, and four-almost-five-years, and almost-ten-months.  (So they all say.)

Our "morning words", our memory work, right now is Christina Rossetti's "Who Has Seen the Wind?".  We are in that full, fleeting stage of a family's life where all our spirits whirl around this house together, both noiseless-ly and with a lot of noise, and we rustle each other's leaves, and I try to water their roots, and I only take a deep breath at the end of the day when it is fully dark and I can hear the dog running in his sleep. I want to remember what this feels like, to be right in the middle, watching the leaves blow in the suddenly cool, autumn breeze.

                           Who has seen the wind?
                           Neither I nor you:
                           But when the leaves hang trembling,
                           The wind is passing through.

                           Who has seen the wind?
                           Neither you nor I:
                           But when the trees bow down their heads,
                           The wind is passing by.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

9 January 2014

G, over breakfast: Mama?  Maybe you can be the girl I'm going to marry.  Then it could be you and me forever and ever.  All. Alone.

H: Hey! Mama's already married!  You can't change the people you're married to.

L: That's right, Mama is married to Papa, but you may find someone special to marry when you get older.  And you can stay with us as long as you want.  We have lots of good years left before you grow up.  And I'll always love you.

G: And we can play games!

. . .

Our favorite family game right now is HedBanz.  So nice for pre-readers.  And hilarious:

L: Now, G, don't tell Henry what's on his headband.  He's trying to guess.

G: Okay.

(Two minutes later.  The excitement builds.)

H: Am I a food?

B&L: Yes

H: Am I an apple? A pear? A banana?

B&L: No, no, no.

G:  YOU'RE A CHEESE! A CHEESE! A CHEESE! (Huge, triumphant smile and maniacal laughter. Repeat, on almost every turn.)

Same idea, but way more wonderful fun than a drunken college game of Indian.

Friday, March 1, 2013

1 March 2013

New "foft" pants for G.  Elizabeth Zimmerman February baby pants made entirely from scraps.  There is something supremely satisfying about using scraps.  Also satisfying when the boy loves something that I made so very much.  He told everyone we met yesterday, "Mama made these!"  Ravelry notes.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

15 February 2013

On a hike at the Rye Marshlands Conservancy, with the Jay House in the background.  (Probably need to choose a less wide-open lens on these bright snowy days, but I kind of like the feel and colors anyway!)

Looking out over Long Island Sound.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

17 January 2013

Saturday was a mud pie kind of day.  I'm so thankful that my kids love to play outside.  This series of photos reminds me of that Amish proverb:  "Put the swing where the children want it.  The grass will grow back."  At the rate these boys are growing, that grass will grow back all too soon.  Feeling happy these days.  Settling in to winter days.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

15 December

Yesterday was a big deal if you are a Sumner kid.  First, both boys got haircuts.  This was George's first-ever cut.


Then, we rode the train into the city to see both Papa's office and Santa, at Macy's Herald Square.

The train photos are so precious.

They were so excited about that train.  And the train after that one, and even the final train, on the way home (although one of them fell asleep, lounging across my lap, while the baby chirruped and giggled all the way back to our stop).  They also loved Papa's office.  They stood on the air return in the glass corner of his floor and exclaimed over the Christmas lights below, completely unfazed by the height.

And Santa, well let's just say that they were less happy about Santa.  H was a deer in the headlights until the end of our two minutes with the big guy, when he told what he wanted and what G wanted.  G had already been whisked off of Santa's lap and into my arms.  Too traumatic.  Here it is:

And this is officially the most mommy-bloggy post I've ever written.  Can't help myself sometimes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our Sandy

As the storm was gearing up, we saw white egrets walking across our lawn, hunched into their bodies against the wind.  The light was definitely hurricane light, gold but dark.  There was a bit of anxiousness on my part-- I hate it when I know something is going to happen, but not when it will happen.  In the end, the winds were fierce, but we didn't get that much rain, and the whole thing had passed by the time we woke up Tuesday morning.

We were only without power for six and a half days.  I spent much of the time looking for light: firewood, batteries, flashlights and candles, and (strangely) my iPad.  My husband spent much of his time keeping us warm, setting fires and tending them.  It's no surprise that all of my photos from that week are of different fires.

I loved sitting with my children and watching the flames, and I even mostly loved having them camp out on their mattresses in our room.  Everything felt very slow and comfortable until my husband had to go away on business and it got cold, both on the same day.  And then the kids and I skipped town, headed south to Virginia.  Of course, four hours into the five hour drive the neighbors called to say that the power had been restored.  Sigh.  I know we had it easy, compared to those who were severely affected in the city and in New Jersey.  I am grateful, and I think of those folks often.  But I will remember Sandy as a dark and quiet time with some warm points of light.