We Are Real People

A Day in the Life

We are real people

with actual things to do.

We are not merely waiting

For you.


Governed by the pull of stars

And hurtling our magnitude down invisible tracks,

Yet we ourselves drag moons.

Our moons, like yours, luminesce

And wrack our shores with aching tides.

Don’t break our wills

For without an ellipse our course is apocalypse.

Dark and cataclysm for wandering spheres

But if we stay the route of our own gravities

We can become pins of light,

Complete systems,

Perhaps a Seat of life.

Children’s Museum of Rory

A Day in the Life

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A highlight of every week is our field trip to the Museum: Rory goes with the Toddlers each Wednesday, and Edie goes with preschool on Thursday. We have the run of the place for the hour before it opens to the public.

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Of course I am always there with Edie and my class, and I love seeing her run around with her besties. But when I can, I run up and meet Rory for Museum time during my break. He never sees me coming so I get to sneak up and watch him with his friends in their natural habitat.

Today I crawled up behind him. He had a wooden truck to drive over to the slide. It’s been weeks since I saw him without a vehicle in his hands, day or night. When he spotted me, he offered up a quick pucker and showed me his “La,” which is the closest we get to truck. But he was kind of in the middle of some thing… He hauled off up the stairs, thumping the truck on every riser, and a moment later it whizzed out our the slide and bounced off the rubber landing pad. I peered up the slide and there he was, face first and ready to launch. In a flash he barreled out and uncrumpled, chattering and bubbling. He tore off after another little guy and waved, calling out “Bye bye!” over his shoulder.

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A big group of the kids from his class are moving up to the big toddlers room, replacing a group heading over for preschool. For a while he will be the big kid in the little room, but a few more months and he’ll join them and become the littlest big kid.

I still wonder sometimes about some of the kids I worked with in Seattle, now so long ago they are probably looking down the barrel of middle school. I walked them from the one year room to two, walked them all up and down the block, and then walked them up to the three year room. They would definitely not recognize me now, or remember my name. Soon enough I’ll be taking Rory over to his second big transition, then third, then fourth, and then who knows? But here we are today. Right here.

Midsummer’s Eve

A Day in the Life, Art Book

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The weary mile from bed
To breakfast
Brings one’s blood a faster flow.
Then all the snaggled hair and jammies
Somehow fall out via friction
And we stand in the doorway of a bright basement
Blue and green with playfulness.
Our mouths fill with bananas.
Our hands fill with little cars.
We tumble outside for sunscreen and sand castles.
We poke and are poked
With real sticks
By real friends.
The Sun teases shadows across the red bricks
For as many minutes as possible.
The years are short,
But this one day;
It’s the longest day of all.

Building a Garden

A Day in the Life, Farm Book, How

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A couple weekends ago, we joined a team of volunteers at the Muse to put in the boxes for our vegetable garden and clear out an area that had been fenced off and grown over. I knew there weren’t a lot of kids coming but I think it’s healthy for the Huckleberries to feel a little ownership and responsibility. More importantly, gardening is our favorite!

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Daddy brought the truck to help bring in fresh dirt. Rory brought the wheelbarrow.

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Edie brought get shovel and she knows how to use it.

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We had to rent a trailer to move a ton of dirt to school and then wheel it up to the garden site on the other side of the yard.

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But there’s nothing wrong with wheel barrows.

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It took a long time to get the garden boxes put together and moved up to the right place.

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Now we have a beautiful garden spot and a play forest as well. As soon as the little kids get bored of digging in the dirt, it will be safe to plant seeds!

Building a Garden

A Day in the Life, Farm Book, How

image

A couple weekends ago, we joined a team of volunteers at the Muse to put in the boxes for our vegetable garden and clear out an area that had been fenced off and grown over. I knew there weren’t a lot of kids coming but I think it’s healthy for the Huckleberries to feel a little ownership and responsibility. More importantly, gardening is our favorite!

image

Daddy brought the truck to help bring in fresh dirt. Rory brought the wheelbarrow.

image

Edie brought get shovel and she knows how to use it.

image

We had to rent a trailer to move a ton of dirt to school and then wheel it up to the garden site on the other side of the yard.

image

But there’s nothing wetting with wheel barrows.

image

It took a long time to get the garden boxes put together and moved up to the right place.

image

Now we have a beautiful garden spot and a play forest as well. As soon as the little kids get bored of digging in the dirt, it will be safe to plant seeds!

Building a Garden

A Day in the Life

image

A couple weekends ago, we joined a team of volunteers at the Muse to put in the boxes for our vegetable garden and clear out an area that had been fenced off and grown over. I knew there weren’t a lot of kids coming but I think it’s healthy for the Huckleberries to feel a little ownership and responsibility. More importantly, gardening is our favorite!

image

Daddy brought the truck to help bring in fresh dirt. Rory brought the wheelbarrow.

image

Edie brought get shovel and she knows how to use it.

image

We had to rent a trailer to move a ton of dirt to school and then wheel it up to the garden site on the other side of the yard.

image

But there’s nothing wetting with wheel barrows.

image

It took a long time to get the garden boxes put together and moved up to the right place.

image

Now we have a beautiful garden spot and a play forest as well. As soon as the little kids get bored of digging in the dirt, it will be safe to plant seeds!

School Bus

A Day in the Life

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If we leave a little early, we can catch the bus from our corner to downtown. I got a bus pass through work, and since we arealways looking for new ways to enjoy our great city, we decided to try it out.

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Edie used to ride the bus worth me quite a bit when it was just the two of us. Rory had never taken the bus before. He liked the bus stop pretty well and watching the cars go by was just fascinating. As the bus pulled up, we were sure he would love it.

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But he didn’t.

He looked concerned when it stopped in front of us. When the doors opened and the hydrolic hissed, he entered a state of panic and hysteria. It could only get worse if we were inside that spooky monster….

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Once in our seats, he was able to breathe it out and settle down, though keeping alert and vigilant for the six minute ride. Edie held him reassuringly and patted his shoulder.

Getting off was easier. Getting on the next time wasn’t so bad. A few bus rides later, we are all pretty well adjusted. Rory will probably be concerned about stepping up into the belly of the beast for a while, but don’t you know, anyone can get used to something new. We all have a part to do, finding ways of getting around that will work for everyone.

Worst Easter Ever

A Day in the Life

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There is a viral one-two punch going around right now and it’s pretty horrific. After a long day of sanitizing and keeping the remnant children and teachers outside all Friday, we came home and started sinking into our own mini-apocalypse. Rory started out with some serious adventure diapers, and over the night I lost my battle against a sinus catastrophe. Kevin held it together, cleaned up bodily fluids, and ran out for illness supplies all weekend while we trailed Rory with wipes and Clorox. Edie occupied herself with a preschool workbook, just asking for help with reading directions, for hours at a time.

We rescheduled Easter. Next week hopefully we can hit Fort Warden with the troupe after all. During a window of higher energy, we popped over to Snake Lake and breathed half a mile of woods air, sliming as we went. Rory briefly fell asleep in my arms, rolled together in a picnic blanket.

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As evening settled in, both kids returned their dinners to sender. For the third night in a row, we played musical beds(and couches).

These Huckleberries are so tough. We are taking our remedies, drinking smoothies, and reading stories for the third day in a row. My head has begun to clear and a cough stirred up instead. We hope to get back to school on Tuesday, but in the mean time we’ll settle in for another day of snuggles and nasty laundry.

Self Portrait, Grown up Lady

Art Book, How

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I’m a judge. I’m a princess judge and I have a never stop glowing rose in my hair and I have curly hair, very curly hair, and my best fruit hat. I’m carrying a grocery bag and it has two loafs of bread and two cherry pies and two cakes and I have blueberries and strawberries in my basket and candy and watermelon and guess what I have? Everything in the whole wide world that you could possibly eat. It’s a huge bag.
-Edie, 4

Edie has been drawing a lot of picture sets lately, four princesses in a row, or five similar garden scenes. As four year olds usually do, she developed a quirky shorthand for human figures. One evening this week she showed me her work and I asked if I could have a turn. She watched intently as I drew. I made a big point of feeling and noticing the elements of my face, adding them carefully to my amateurish drawing, from the top and working down.

When I handed the pen back to her, she paused. She felt her own face. She counted out eight curls, drew the face outline, and added two big eyes. Trying my best not to giggle at the big spider, I transcribed most of what she said. She continued to feel her own face and add details, many of which she had never depicted before. For the first time, she illustrated teeth, the shape of lips, ears, eyelashes, and fingers.

I don’t know what is a princess judge or why she needs a fruit hat.

Huckleberries don’t take federal tests.

A Day in the Life, Why
Although I was home-schooled for a bulk of my k-12 education, I took the full battery of Washington State standardized tests and I pretty much crushed them because my personality and outside experiences were a good match for test taking. I got a sense of personal satisfaction and identity from being in the top 90-95% just about every time.
 
I wish I could take every test back. For several years now, I have been increasingly convinced that standardized testing is unwise and unhealthy, even for those children who do the best at it. I know I spent at least 90 total hours on testing and test prep, and I wish I had just taken another 5 college credits, or written another awkward juvenile fantasy novel, or read fifteen more classics, or basically anything else that I could have done with 90 hours. It is absurd to me that so many collective hours are blown on standardized testing by children, who never get anything back but a false personal ranking.
 
And now for a truly disturbing development: