Posts in WINTER

When the school announced the date and theme of the dance in mid-January, they also announced that the dress code would be semi-formal, in that no jeans or casual wear were allowed. They asked students to wear something that they might wear to church. The Girl scoffed out loud, and when she told me, we laughed hard. Obviously they did not know what I let my kids wear to church: ripped jeans, sports pants, shorts, flip flops, and/or T-shirts and hoodies. And hats, not fancy Southern, church-lady hats but knit caps, beanies, snapbacks. “We gotta find you something to wear,” I said.

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B spent no small amount of time in the freezing cold getting the outside of our house Ho-Ho ready. He took a cue from one of his Christmas heroes, Clark Griswold, and strung lights on the eve and along the ground by the front porch. He placed wreaths on the windows and candy cane lights under the windows. He directed red and green spotlights to the two large evergreen trees in the front yard. He light-wrapped two of the front trees, the small ones, in white and blue lights. He also lined driveway on either side with 12” candy-cane solar lights that sparkle red at night. After he lined the driveway, he warned us all to be very careful with the lights after last year’s candy-cane light trampling debacle perpetrated by a negligent Monkey Boy. (READ TO END…THERE’S A FREE GIVEAWAY!)

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Last spring Monkey Boy bounced into the kitchen wearing brown and white shorts, a too-small greyish brown tee with a dinosaur crossing Abbey Road on it, a brightly colored green sock and a blue striped sock, and his new-ish sneakers. I did a double take. He then put on his yellow Monster stocking cap with purple ear covers. His outfit surprised me. Not one bit of it matched. And just as I was about to comment on his outfit, as non-judgy as possible, he did dress himself for school, after all, Monkey Boy said, “Hey guys, I want to show you some dance steps.”

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B loves tomato soup, but I wasn’t so sure that the Girl and Monkey Boy would. I was formulating a backup meal plan for them when they wandered into the kitchen inquiring as to the “oh-my-goodness-we’re-starving” what and when of dinner. I braced myself for, “That’s what we’re having for dinner? That’s child abuse. I would rather eat vomit.” Instead, I got, “I love tomato soup!” shouted loudly and in unison. They even high-fived each other followed by a yay and a fist bump and a little jig right there in the middle of the kitchen.

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There are a few of those extraordinarily ordinary things that I really love, like the laughter of the Girl and Monkey Boy when they are playing or reading and getting along, the softly falling snow in early winter, and freshly laundered and pressed bed linens. Today is the trifecta, and it’s just about perfect.

B went back to work this morning after taking several days off after Christmas, both to rest and refresh. We spent our days in pajamas, huddled together playing games, watching movies, reading books, and doing little else.

Right after B left for the office and knowing that this house had endured quite enough holidaying, I stripped the beds, gathered all the wash, and ventured to the laundry room to start the mountain that had accumulated during our respite.

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It was nearly bedtime when Monkey Boy announced that he was hungry. B was in the kitchen and asked him, “Do you want a piece of bread?

“Yes, please,” Monkey Boy replies. So B cuts a thick piece of bread, and then Monkey Boy said, “How about a piece of cheese, too?”

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