Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Another Visit from Frederick

This winter's weather has been exceptionally brutal.  No, it's not that we've gotten tons of snow (don't let the school system's revised calendar fool you - we used up our snow days on flurries and raindrops, thankyouverymuch.)  Instead, we've had seemingly endless weeks of bitter cold days and gray skies, far more, it seems, than what is usual or acceptable.  January was particularly frigid; February was especially gray.

Suffice it to say, I am desperate for the change of seasons.  Lamenting for the hundredth time yesterday about the melancholy that refused to lift, I suddenly remembered, with a slight lift of my heart, what has pulled me through these end-of-winter days in the past.  I summoned every ounce of Frederick  I had left in my shivering self and basked in the warmth of my reserves:

Aidan and I enjoyed a rare and quiet morning at home last weekend.  I was happy to have his company, but preoccupied with getting dinner prepared for our evening guests.  He wandered off, I turned on the radio, and was deeply engrossed in listening to Radio Lab when Aidan walked in and shrieked - "NPR!  Oh my gosh, this is my favorite radio station!  This is the BEST!"

Um, what?  How much more awesome does this kid GET?

Another night, I went in to tuck him in and discovered him decorating the outside of a blank book (a Bear Book) I'd given him.  He'd decided to write a book of poetry, and read me the first poem in what promises to be a quickly-growing collection... indeed, he is my Frederick.
I love listening to Pax's constant stream of conversation.  A year into speech therapy, you would never believe that the chatterbox standing before you was once completely silent.  He struggles still with "fronting" and "stopping" (leaving off or replacing consonants like "d's" for "k's" ; leaving off sounds like "s" and "l" altogether) which is age-appropriate, but still something to watch closely.  I've grown so accustomed to his language that I don't even notice a lot of the errors, but there are times when I am caught off guard, and usually fight to hide my giggles.  A few weeks ago, Pax was sick with a cold and felt very warm.  I took his temperature, gave him Tylenol, and snuggled him into a nest on the couch.  When Leo and Aidan got home from school, Pax announced to them,
"I am sick.  I have a beaver."
Leo:  "A what?:
Pax, louder:  "A BEAver!"
Leo:  "You have a beaver?!"
Pax:  "No, a BEAVER!  I have a BEAVER!!"

His "beaver" went away a few days later, but I think we were all secretly hoping the beaver would stay, because it was just so darn cute.
My mom likes to describe Leo as a friend-maker everywhere he goes, and indeed, in this sense, he is truly living up to his namesake.  Leo is lucky to have several of the same classmates in kindergarten as he did in last year's preschool class, and there's a small group of them, mostly girls, who are quite close to Leo.  I volunteer in his classroom every week and assist with "writing workshop," where several times now, I've assisted them in composing a letter to none other than my Leo.  The one that came home today, though, is my favorite:
Dear Leo,
You Are the Best 
Mell Bou Evr.  
Love, C____.

Dear Leo,
You are the best mail boy ever.
Love, C_____).

The illustration shows Leo adeptly transferring an important Kindergarten paper into a mailbox, complete with a grinning face and longish blond hair.  I love how seriously these kids take their jobs, and I love how seriously these kids notice other people taking their jobs seriously.
My last bit of Frederick reveling happened last night when I walked in the door from tutoring, exhausted and chilled to the bone.  I'd had a rough day, and Jeff knew it.  Imagine my pure gratitude, then, when I came home to find a toasty warm fire with my rocking chair and favorite quilt awaiting me.... the warmth of the fire coupled with the warmth of the gesture saw me through the cold dark night and into this day....

....where I am surrounded by Fredericks.

1 comment:

Susan said...

So proud of you. However, I miss being the official family tooth puller. BTW, for the record, Grandma Bowes drove a Chrysler LaBaron......but I remember you always talking about the "loose tooth" feel of the upholstery.