Monday, June 24, 2013

Birthday: accomplished

Our spider-and-fence-loving two-year-old is now three.

We spent the day running to Harmon's grocery store, looking at fences (he has a thing for fences), playing Mario Kart (it has fences), playing Donkey Kong (there are spiders), running back to Harmon's, opening presents, and eating a chocolate spider-and-fence cake with rocky road ice cream.


I remember a class I taught at the U about five years ago. It was one of my favorite classes ever: I was an exhausted and shell-shocked new mom, but my class was awesome. They tolerated my tongue-tied-ness, made jokes about Aesop's fables, even wrote a perfectly-structured argument outline on the board entitled "Why We Should Be Allowed to Leave Class Early" (it worked). And one time, in this class, I told them something glib and completely untrue. I told them "Having a baby is much easier than getting a graduate degree!"

This is a lie.

Having a baby hurts. And then they grow. They get scraped knees and weird obsessions with fences. They cry when it's time to blow out the candles on their birthday cake because "the fence is burning!" They wake you up in the middle of the night, running-hug you in the middle of a book, and take over most of your life. It's worth it (which is sometimes not true of grad school), and (unlike grad school, books, skydiving, or anything else) parenthood never ends.

So happy birthday, my newly-turned three-year-old. May you love spiders and fences forever, and know that I will always work harder than anything to be your mom.

The picture is from here, and for some reason my computer isn't letting me edit any text in this post, so you are stuck with my very first draft mwa ha ha. Oh, and you are also stuck with the fact that I am too lazy to upload all the pictures from today, so you do not get to see my son crying as the candles behind the toy fence on his cake make it appear that the fence is on fire. Poor three-year-old...

Monday, June 10, 2013


My students graduated on Thursday. The boys wore black. The girls wore red. Jonathan Swift got a mention in a speech (he was compared to the irritating banjo music that marks the two-minute mark before the bell, but still!). Lots of students wore cool necklaces made of money or chocolate or hard candies, and I couldn't help but be proud of all of them. High school graduation is the first of many academic achievements for most of them, but it is an achievement. They survived thirteen years of school, and grew up in the meantime, and when they walked across that stage with the biggest smiles I couldn't help but think of my own sons. They'll leave high school and begin something even bigger, and I can't wait to see what all of them will do.

Congratulations, AMES students--especially all of you that had to read Jonathan Swift, and then dig deep into Thoreau's thoroughly terrible rock!