Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Visit with Mom/Grandma August 2010

Mom was here for five days to visit while also staying with the boys for me while I went to a weekend workshop. They did scavenger hunts, went to the library, played hangman, and Mom worked with Ezra who is suddenly playing two-handed pieces like "Fur Elise" and the "Ode to Joy" where last week he was still using one hand. When I got home we all spent time together. Saturday for example we went to the Minnesota State Fair. If you are from the East Coast (I never knew I was from any coast until I moved here and suddenly am grouped along with everything from Maine to Georgia apparently). You can see such novel things as pigs wearing ribbons, milking demonstrations, and people in real cowboy hats, looking everywhere for Wilbur and Charlotte and finding them several times over, and each year the fair vendors try to top each other for the most unhealthy possible concession. The buzz creates a lot of traffic. E.g., a few years ago someone introduced deep-fried candy bars, then Twinkies, and every year since there is a new abomination. I had spaghetti and meatballs on a stick last year. When we first got there this time the boys "convinced" us (repeated their intention over and over with variations until we just gave in) to go on the Space Tower.

It was high. Maybe Mom has some better pictures of the view. I wasn't thrilled to look out the plexiglass window much less take pictures of what I saw. Vertiginous.

A novelty is the butterfly room. We spent some time in there picking up butterflies. When they are lively they will land on you and stay there. This evening we needed to give them some help. They may have been towards the end of their short lifespan.

At one point I was explaining to Ambrose that "monarch" meant "king" and an adult man surely over the age of 50 leaned in and asked me to repeat it. What did it mean? In his defense, I believe he was a fictional character who only ten minutes before had, disoriented, stepped out of the pages of Garrison Keillor's latest novel. These other pictures are particularly grainy. World's Largest Boar, "Reggie," 1,500 lbs:
The River Rapids Boat Ride. We got a free go-round and ended up very wet. We laughed a lot.
The boys enjoyed the animals but in the only picture I have you're seeing the effects of deep-fried Twinkies and cheese curds on their energy levels.We did a lot of other things but didn't take many pictures so I'll have to skip ahead to the last day, when Mom and I took the kids to the bus for their first day of school. That morning:
The bustop.
I'm glad I've been over the shock of Kindergarten twice so 4th and 1st Grade respectively were relatively painless. While I moaned about the end of summer the past few weeks, really I start doing that around August 1, this year is more of a beginning than anything. My new professional life means I can put the kids on the bus more often, pick them up, and even start doing stuff around their school once in a while. For me changes are coming I can't quite believe. A sense of arriving or just starting to arrive. That also adds a different quality to September. But back to the visit, it's hard to explain my thoughts and the history behind them seeing Ezra so eager to play the piano and practice and listen to my mom, watching them work together. Seeing him make the same concentration-face he made arranging his Matchbox cars in a line at ages two and three. Finding the paper left behind numbering things to find on their walk to the library and imagining Ambrose's reaction to finding a Volkswagen, a baby in a stroller, a man with a cane. How seeing my mom's unmistakeable handwriting on that piece of paper kicks off a flashing filmreel behind my eyes, more dreamlike with each frame, of the tags on the presents of 37 Christmas mornings. This history puts its own frame around pristine new moments in time. And then again sometimes the weight or the lightness of certain moments makes their histories irrelevant.

Thanks Mom. Thanks Grandma.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

This is beautiful, Eric.