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Archive for June, 2009

being six

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In our neck of the woods the weather has been glorious.  We haven’t yet opened the door on the constant 105 degree weather.  We’ve seen more days in the 70’s and 80’s with glorious winds that are perfect for kite flying.  This weekend we packed up all the kids and treked the eight houses to the local elementary school and unrolled our brand new Chinese kites.  After 20 minutes of fiddling and a few stomps and crying, kites were assembled and ready for flight.  After about 20 more minutes of running back and forth, the kites were still ready for flight, but not being very cooperative.

IMG_4472All of this running makes a little boy tired.

IMG_4485When you’re six and tired you scream a lot.  You scream because you’re legs are so tired they might fall off.   You scream because the stupid kite won’t fly.  You scream because your brother is playing with the kite.

IMG_4515You scream because the kite’s in the air and you don’t have the string.  You scream because the kite’s on the ground and you have to run again.  You scream because you’re six and you’re tired.  Then once the kite’s in the air you prance around excited and you scream for joy.  Then you scream because it falls out of a sky like a torpedo.  Then you scream because you have to go home and take a nap.

The thing about when you’re six, your memory is longer.  You don’t forget things quite as easily. And if you think you might forget it, you write it down in your journal.

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Sometimes while Dave is away it seems like my days are longer and more arduous.  I am constantly amidst the long days of whining children.  The days seem to be fraught with fighting and yelling, and I’m a little ashamed to admit how hoarse my voice grows.   The days seem to never end because the toddlers have learned how to climb out of their cribs.  I feel buried under mountains of laundry and piles of papers to be corrected and read.  Once I finish cleaning, I just have to start again, because I have apparently raised slobs.  On these days, the days that I feel like crying and cracking a bottle of whine at 10 am, I remind myself how blessed I am.

All of my children are healthy.  Sometimes you have to go with the basics.  Because after a day spent with Ms. Sass, Mr. Poutyface, and Mr. Scream and two boys in the full throws of terrible twos, it’s all you can muster.

I have a husband that works hard.  I have a husband that will take all five children to a pool party alone.  I have the kind of man that will watch four boys while I trek San Francisco with my girl scout troop.  I expect him to spend the day playing with children and referring fights.  I expect to come home to a mess and ordered pizza.   What I find is the complete opposite. While I’m away he builds me a gate.  He ventures to Home Depot alone with all of his boys.  When I come home, the house is clean, the laundry is done, and dinner is made.  He amazes me.  He loves me better than anyone ever could.  That’s enough to get me through the day.

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I’m not quite sure

imagesLast week was the kick-off for our library’s summer reading program.  We’re regulars at the library, but something about earning stickers and bookmarks for reading has the kids begging to go to the library more than usual.  I give the kids free reign over their book choices.  They can pick out whatever tickles their fancy.  Sometimes this means that we wind up with 5 “Where’s Waldo” books and an assortment of board books en espanol.  I will flip through the book and look at the font and see if it is at the appropriate reading level.  Or in Mike’s case if it looks like it will be a chore and a bore to read.

We came home with this book.  “King and King” by Linda de Hahn and Stern Nijland.   I niavely thought it wad about two kings that become friends and do royal activities together.  Boy, was I wrong.   It starts off with a rather haggish looking queen forcing her young prince to marry.  They interview lots of princess who just aren’t a good fit.  Then the young prince spots a handsome young prince and they fall in love and marry.  By about page 5 or 6  I realized what was going on.  At this point, I was in too deep.  I could have just stopped reading, but I didn’t want the subject to seem taboo. We read it through and I commented a little here and there and we moved on to an innocent picture book about farting dogs.

This book has had me thinking a lot.  It really isn’t the gay issue.  I like to think of myself as pretty tolerant.  It’s not like I think it’s catchy or anything.  I personally am still trying to figure out where I stand.   I think everyone deserves to be loved and to love and for now, that’s all I’ve really worked out for sure.

What really bothers me about this book is that it poses itself as innocent and harmless.  I read the back cover and the inside flaps, and there wasn’t any mention about the prince finding his same sex partner.  Little by little as you read farther and farther into the story, you realize what the story is really about.  At this point there are lots of questions.  Like why is the Queen so mad.  Where is the King?  Why are all of the princesses so ugly?  Why did he make fun of her long arms?  How can they get married?  How can they both be King?  Who’s in charge?  Was the Queen happy?  Why are they kissing?  Why is there a heart over their mouths?

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I felt ambushed and ill-prepared.

I don’t think the book should be taken out of the library.  I think that as parents, we should censor our kids reading, not the library.  What may be too risque for you, may be perfectly acceptable for me and vice versa.  What I do think, is they should labels these books with a stickers for us, naive parents.   Everything has a sticker at the library.  Color books, counting books, California missions and even the holidays have a sticker.  Christmas has a picture of tree and Halloween looks a little spooky.   Maybe I’ll start my own rogue stickers.  I’m not quiet sure what I’ll use for the picture though.

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