Archive for the ‘oh, the cleverness of me’ Category

In 4th grade I had a crush on a boy named Jason. We lived a few streets apart and had been playmates since we were small. Our parents would joke about how someday we’d get married and after awhile I found this speculation rather comforting. I felt very proprietary toward him although I don’t think he ever really returned my feelings.

One afternoon in science class, our teacher thought of a demonstration to show how 2 pieces of matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time. She asked Jason to sit in a chair at the front of the classroom and then asked someone to volunteer to sit on his lap. I wanted to be chosen so badly but I knew I couldn’t raise my hand.

Too sensitive to put up with the teasing that would follow and too proud to give Jason the satisfaction of knowing I liked him, I sat in my seat, hands demurely in my lap and stared. I mustered all the attention and focus at my 10 year old command and in a Matildaesque moment of glory, my teacher and I made eye contact. She picked me! I rose from my seat primly and as though I could barely be bothered to, walked to the front of the room and found my place in my beloved’s lap.

Today is the first day of 4th grade for Mitten. I’ve had an astonished “I can’t believe you’re in ___ grade” moment every year since preschool though this year feels different because I remember my own 4th grade year so very vividly. I was on the cusp of adolescence and all the social trials that go with that time occupied my full attention. Mitten is no different. I’m hoping I can guide her through this with a bit more grace than I had. It would help if she inherits my psychic powers.

(p.s. Jason married his high school sweetheart. They have 5 kids. They named their first daughter Katherine.)


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Yesterday, the AC crapped out on us for the second time this month. Since it was hovering around 100, I spent the day wringing my hands over the possibility of having to install a new furnace and wringing out my t-shirts. By 10pm, I was crabby and the kids (+1 friend) were wilted. Faced with the prospect of nursing a sweaty baby in our sweltering 2nd floor bedroom, I booked a room at the Sterling Inn. Yasuro, wonderful man that he is, opted to stay home with the dogs, the better to meet the repair tech scheduled to arrive between 8 and 12 the next morning.

A quick stop at Meijer snagged a 2$ bathing suit (score!) for our guest, 2 bottles of orange soda and a pack of Oreos. I checked in at 10:30pm, The Boy in arms, a 9 year old, a 7 year old, and a 28 month old trailing behind. The room seemed a bit dodgy but the sheets were clean. I cranked the in-room AC as high as it would go, turned on the Disney Channel and started handing out sugar. Everyone but me was fast asleep by midnight.

I lay across the end of the bed and read Alternadad till bleary eyed at 2:30, I passed out. Morning came (a bit too) quickly and we proceeded to check out, have breakfast at Tim Horton’s and return to the inn’s attached waterpark till 2:30pm today. Having 4 to keep a close eye on and entertain is exhausting but the kidlets all had a great time and the AC repair at home only cost 144$. Less than last time and not a new furnace! Woo!

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