Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Little Things

One night as I was calling the kids up to dinner, I felt rather impatient that it was taking Leo and Pax so long to come up from the basement. We were rushed, as usual, squeezing in dinner between karate practice and Jeff's departure for work. Knowing that this is an exceptionally difficult time of day for all of us, I've been working really hard on being patient, understanding, and cool-headed. Just as I was about to blow my lid, up darts Pax and Leo, dressed for dinner:

My frustration vanished as we laughed and settled into our seats, ready to enjoy a meal fit for kings.
Perhaps because he is a late talker, Pax is unusually expressive in his body language, his pantomime, and his facial expressions. This one, I love. This is his "ready, aim, fire!" face, but it looks a lot like his "I'm putting so much effort into this!" face. (As in trying REALLY HARD to open a lollipop wrapper, or climb the top shelf of the cupboard.)

Pax's favorite thing today: The book, 10 Minutes Till Bedtime. (You know, that adorable one with all the mischievous hamsters who cause trouble at bedtime...)

My favorite thing about Pax today: the seriousness with which he applies himself to his job - his work in the sandbox. He enters that sandbox a man on a mission, and works hard at scooping, sifting, shoveling, spreading, and sculpting until the foreman has to drag him, kicking and screaming, off to bed.

Leo is so much more than just a pretty face, but oh, that child is so beautiful. I adore him in this jacket - it was (obviously) Jeff's when he was a kid, and his mother carefully preserved it all these years for another Carter to enjoy. While I don't think a rainbow striped jacket had quite as much political weight and innuendo attached to it in the early 80's as it does today, I still love and admire that Jeff's mom dressed him in clothes like this - because children look beautiful in vibrant colors.

Leo's favorite thing today: elaborate, imaginative play with one tiny doll and one matchbox car.

My favorite thing about Leo today: curling up with him and drifting off to sleep with him - a rare catnap for both of us, one that I relished in sharing with him.... my heart hurts already in thinking about how much I will miss him, miss our afternoons together, next year when he goes to kindergarten.


[Aidan, handing me a bunch of "beautiful" weeds he's just picked from the yard - ]

"Here, Mom, do you have a little vase we can put these in?"
"Yes, we do!" [me, digging it out and filling it with water...]
"Okay, good. Be sure to put it in the windowsill. I left all the leaves on at the top, you know why? Because that way, photosynthesis can still take place."

He is such a creative artist. It's not that he is an amazing artist, that he draws really well or is very talented in that way. But he is so, so creative. Nothing is beyond his capacity to imagine, to dream, to create. This was some kind of a painting of a dream he'd had, capturing the bad dream inside this irregular box. He labeled it, "Don't Come Out" at the top.

On St. Patrick's Day, he decided that his lovey Gladys needed to be appropriately dressed. So he found supplies - markers, glue, construction paper, scissors, stapler - and fashioned her this hat, and later, a matching green vest.
Aidan's favorite thing today: Reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

My favorite thing about Aidan today: That he is reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. That these conversations about Harry are just beginning. That Aidan is entering the genre and age and realm of juvenile/young adult/adolescent reading that I know - and love - best. That every time I turn around to ask Aidan to do something for me, he is curled up on the couch, deeply engrossed in the magic of Harry Potter.

...although I'm not at all surprised. Our shared love of Harry began many years ago, on Halloween: Aidan, dressed as Hedwig, with his Harry Mother.

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