Angela Amman

Blue and not quite wordless Wednesday

fake blue glasses

 

We popped the lenses out of blue, plastic sunglasses to make Odd Squad glasses. (Do your kids watch that show? It’s goofy and silly, and Abbey and Dylan adore it.)

He reads One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish aloud and “in his head,” and I’m not sure where the memorization ends and emerging reading begins anymore.

The blue monster pajamas are his favorite, until the nights when he’s overtired and ornery and says they scare him when they’re on the top of the drawer.

Blue is his second favorite color, though sometimes he picks it first. Favorite things are complicated when you’re five and have lots of favorite things.

In his cup holder

funny things in cup holders He couldn’t wait for cup holders.

Dylan’s convertible car seat didn’t have cup holders, putting him at Abbey’s mercy. Some days she was happy to share one of hers with him, though it meant he had to ask for whatever he had her put in there.

Many days he had to tuck his bottle into the seat next to him, or hand it to me and ask for it a million times during each ten minute car ride. Her cup holders collect important things like sparkly rocks and beaded bracelets, too many hair ties and bows to count.

My own cup holders — two, in the center console of the small SUV I constantly feel we’re outgrowing — generally hold two beverages. A travel mug of coffee. A can of diet soda that only stays cold enough for moments once out of the refrigerator. My favorite water cup with the interchangeable straws. Lip glosses get tossed on the passenger seat and roll onto the floor, where I forget about them until I glimpse myself in the mirror and realize a little color might detract from the circles under my eyes.

My cup holders speak an adult language, one of caffeine and hydration and practicality.

Now that Dylan moved into his booster seat — still secured with a five-point harness because he can’t sit still for thirty-eight consecutive seconds — he doesn’t have to ask Abbey to hold his water anymore. Sometimes I can even convince him to fill up his own water bottle before we leave the house. He runs from room to room looking for his favorite one, a Spiderman one I love, too, because it has a simple flip top and not one of those straws that seems impossible to clean.

The water bottle inevitably rests in the right side cup holder. The other is sometimes a messy mystery of crumpled snack wrappers and baby wipes. Napkins stay in the glove box, pristine, because even though the kids seem so big some days, there’s nothing like a baby wipe to Cheez-it fingers. I scoop out the detritus of our drives and toss it into the trash can on the way to the house, wondering with a sigh when he’ll remember to do it himself without my coaxing.

Other days, though, trinkets appear.

On a day he needed help with the bottom buckle, I opened the door to spot a trifecta of treasures. Each little toy holds its own lore in his mind. I see a toothbrush and part of a building set and ever-present LEGO parts. He sees tools that make superheroes, that glow and shine and fit perfectly into hands and pockets when he’s asked to go on another errand or when he’s on his way to play with a friend holding superhero talismans of his own.

funny things in cup holders

Blink

school year 2014 - 2015

They won’t always pose for these photos, at least not with smiles reaching all the way to their eyes.

Someday, they will live in that in between place where first days of school are annoying pauses on their journey to being grown up. They’ll believe grown up is a destination, an end point, and not just a messy set of stops and starts that make even the best adults reminisce about playgrounds and the summer reading program at the library.

I blinked this year, and they were taller, sillier, wiser, calmer, crazier, and amazing-er all at once. Summer’s barely started, and they’re counting down days… vacations and activities and plans that break up the days of nothing.

I’m not grown up yet, and I see the magic in the milestones over which they dance with grace and smiles. I see the magic in the days of nothing, and I hope they spot glimpses of it, too.

Shift

change in perspective

The three of us walked to the neighborhood commons for a while on Saturday, blue skies and sunshine teasing us with thoughts of the lazier days of summer. We didn’t have much time, and the swings always surprise me with how high they seem to fly when I pump my legs just a little. When did I become so afraid of flying?

They crouched near the little footbridge, eyes searching for one of the million things that makes their days magical, the little things I sometimes gloss over in search of what we need to do and where we need to be.

Inchworms, hanging and dangling, creeping and inching, green and precious against the dark wood.

She would have looked for hours, I think.

He sped off, legs pumping against pedals on a bike he may outgrow before September.

The spell was almost broken when she slid her hand into mine.

“Three inchworms or maybe caterpillars,” she mused.

“Yes,” I answered, not caring about the inchworms nearly as much as I cared about her wonder at them.

“What a lucky day,” she continued, “we’re so lucky.”

We are. We truly are.

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