Monday, September 12, 2011

Keep Moving Forward

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” -Walt Disney

I considered recounting our 9/11 story here. Everybody has one, and I'd venture to say most people could be moved to tears while recounting their own. But somehow, as time has passed, it feels more like something I'm loathe to share much anymore. It's not that I care less, or god forbid, that I've somehow forgotten about that day, but time has a way of shedding light into the dark corners, if we let it. I'll never be at peace with what happened, but I think I'm finally at peace that it did happen. The world in which my children live, grow, and will one day maybe raise their own families, will forever be touched by 9/11. I used to kind of rail against that, but it wasn't a particularly helpful frame of mind. The best we can do in this life is to simply live it.

Nobody can promise me, or you, or my beautiful children, that we'll get another tomorrow, but the unbridled human spirit wants to keep moving forward anyway. I choose to work on recognizing and embracing that sentiment, in this life, which I personally feel is the only life I'll be given. It's sometimes easier to dwell in the house of grief, to wring our hands with worry and too much anxiety over what the neighbors will think, but the only people we're shortchanging when we fall into that pit of despair are ourselves and the people we love, who aren't being allowed to rise to the occasion of trying to love us for all that we are. 'Cause they do, you know, warts and all.

So yesterday, on the 10th anniversary, we spent our day in the light. Both boys were finally past the point with their yucky colds where I didn't feel like it was detrimental to them or the general public to take them out into the world, so we ventured to the Cincinnati Nature Center's extremely awesome playscape. We told them to go explore, and explore they did. They floated twigs down the stream, climbed up slippery creek rocks on their bare feet and played an intricate game of hide-and-seek with a friend they made there. It warmed my heart when I heard Anderson ask her if she wanted to play with them, and I couldn't help but beam as I watched the three of them hide in the little caves pretending to be lions. She was 8, so a little older, and she watched over David (who will be THREE on Friday, eek), especially. We were so happy to encounter such a kind, peaceful family on our trip. The whole experience reminded me how valuable it is to relax into a moment under a gorgeous blue sky, out in the light of the world.

We finally coaxed our two exhausted, filthy, happy boys back into the van/Goldfish cracker habitat, and made our way back to the life that didn't exist 10 years ago, a little lighter despite all the mud.

By they way - the Disney quote is shown at the end of one of our favorite kids movies, "Meet the Robinsons." This is a great movie with a fantastic message. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day of School Bust

We were so ready. We were going to kick things off with a visit with friends to the Cincinnati Nature Center Playscape Tuesday morning, have a little brainstorming in the afternoon about rivers and so on and hit the riverbank this morning to gather up mud-covered gross things for neat art projects. Instead, I woke up to a small voice saying "Mommy, the back of my throat, well not really the BACK of my throat, hurts really bad and I want to sleep in your bed." Doh!

Here's poor Andy taking his first sick day from school, on the would-be first day of school.

At least I didn't have to call anybody! Yay for flexibility. Pushing things back a few days will really make little difference and I'm reminded of one of those cool intangibles - he's not missing anything and can take his time getting better without that added stress. Now, here's to hoping his germs aren't the extra-friendly kind. Little brother is just fine so far.

In the meantime, I have a ton of organizing to do after hitting up the Half Price Book's 20% off sale over the 3-day weekend. Wow. I managed to score a ton of great books, including several that are part of series we have started, and all in the clearance section. 20% off $1.00 or $.50 is an incredible deal, and for non-fiction kids books, HPB is a treasure trove. There were tons of DK Eyewitness books, beautiful almanacs and visual dictionaries, great science books with pull-outs and posters, workbooks, etc. Probably my favorite find was a stack of Cricket and Muse magazines at $.50 a pop before the discount. These magazines are $35 a year for 9 issues, ad-free, and really wonderful.

We also hit up the Cincinnati Friends of the Library annual warehouse sale with a 50% off everything coupon for being members. Let's just say we had to carry those out in a couple boxes. They actually had all kinds of art supplies, and lots of fiction with library binding and dust jackets, which means super durable books, super cheap. I picked up some DK books there, too.

So for less than $50, I could fill another bookshelf. I was really pretty picky about what I bought, but knowing how much they both click with book learning and how often picking up a random book around here leads to amazing, rich learning experiences, it was hard to resist the bargains. I'm positive once everything is on the shelf, there will be hours and hours spent in there just pouring over books and endless "Mommy! Look at this!" moments. $50 well spent.

Here's to hoping we'll have some Ohio River experiences to report on soon. Down with germs!