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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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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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In Medias Res


This week is an odd duck of sorts–I’m between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the first summer term in my graduate program–and it’s a little bit like having a vacation. My stress level’s returned to normal. I can contemplate watching TV after the kids go to bed.

It’s also the week-after U8 soccer ended its spring season. We played the last game in a steady (and at times heavy) rain, beating our opponents 5-0. Julia came away with a pair of goals (!!) and Thomas contributed well offensively. I helped coach the team with Kirk Lawton, and once more I finished reminded of how much joy there is in watching groups of young people coalesce and grow together.

We are entering the age range of youth sports, however, in which the comments from the parents’ side of the field occasionally veers into queasy territory.

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