Midswelter

LIFE WITH KIDDOS
Thomas hangs off the side of a Land Rover, which he really wants us to buy.

Life without a brother can be hard, especially when you’re the only brother in your brood.


Thomas, alas, has determined that he would really like to have a sibling that is his gender. The discovery isn’t terribly surprising–this summer, he and Julia have suddenly grown into a place where conflict is a not uncommon circumstance–but the admission came after our prolonged absence while we were in Colorado. The three kiddos had been dispatched to Carl and Dianne’s for the duration, and it seems the closer quarters compounded the matter.

Naturally, the idea that a brother is at odds with his sister is nothing new; this is as ancient an idea as any. We’d arrived at a boiling point, though.

The other evening I came home from work to find Thomas clearly in a funk. Kelly glanced at me and nodded at him, trying to convey in the silent language of parents that the boy needed to talk. So I went in to change, and he followed me into our room, and I proceeded to open up his can of worms.

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Gaining Altitude

AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN

Sometimes a better perspective involves increasing one’s elevation.


We landed in Denver in mid-afternoon, embarking upon only our third trip sans offspring, picking up a rental car and heading into the mountains. We’d picked Colorado because neither of us had ever been and because two of our favorite bands were playing a concert together at Red Rocks. We’d left without making any solid plans beyond hotel accommodations. It was my first time on an airplane in a year and a half.*

Whomever settled the city of Denver surely must have done so because it’s the last stretch of reasonable flat land before everything gives way to brown, stony mountains. Let’s stop here, I imagine they said. Seems good enough.

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Planting Flowers


If ever there were a sign that my life is brimming over with things to do, it would be that it was only this weekend that I got to the business of setting out flowers around my house.

Somewhere along the way our landscape became an escape for me–a hobby that always began with pleasure, especially on cooler, spring days. Nothing better than meandering around a garden section, eyeing the myriad varietals, choosing hearty specimens from a sea of containers, picturing in my mind what went in the front yard and what went on the deck, remembering the bursts of sun that each spot received, imagining the needs of every location.

Our current house, which we bought the fall before Thomas was born, has plenty of shade. We’ve opened up the canopy just a little in the time we’ve been here, but my rule of thumb is that shade plants go in the back, flowers go in the front. Everything needs a good dose of water a few times a week.

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