This was our first summer together in many years. Alex has been going to full time care during the summer, hopping between summer camps or simply sticking with daycare. He’d loved those camps, but with me not working it was obvious that we would spend the summer together. Our first time spending all day nearly every day with one another has been pretty great, and I can’t believe that we are in the last two weeks of freedom. We are officially very close to the start of second grade.
Alex has definitely enjoyed doing absolutely nothing most days. He’s enjoyed being able to tell me that he doesn’t want to go anywhere. Every morning, I ask him what he wants to do, and nearly every day he responds, “I don’t know. Just hang out here?”
So, we do that. He has lots of screen time, jumping between video games, Minecraft, and movies, all of his very favorite activities, and I plan our upcoming trip to Europe, anxiously thinking about how to pack and what activities we will do and where we will get cash and how we will get around and and and…
We’ve also gone to the amusement park a few times, the zoo, swimming, out with friends and family, and recently spent a long weekend in The Poconos with my best friend.
There was fishing, and swimming, and, of course, lots of junk food and marshmallows over the fire.
He went to a few day camps, had an overnight at a far away camp where he slept in a cabin and went zip lining and was without family supervision. So, that was A Thing. (A Thing for his parents, not for him. He loved it and very nearly decided to go for an entire week by himself!)
This summer has flown by. It’s flown by in beautiful colors and I’m hopeful that it won’t be our last together. But even if it is? I’m glad we had it.
And now we have to work on getting back on schedule, back to the School Stuff, back to the really hard reality that is Alex hating school and barely being able to talk about it. If it were up to him, he’d have summer break forever (but only if I could bring his friends with us on most of our adventures. “You’re fun, Mom, but…I just like my friends, too!”).
Fourteen days left. Let’s make the most of it, Kiddo.
Nearly every year for the last three (four?) years, I have spent some time downtown during Anthrocon, the annual convention for furries held right here in Pittsburgh!
This year? It seemed like a good year to take Alex.
Unfortunately, our schedule was a little tight that day so we were only able to stay and Furry Hunt for about 45 minutes. We were there during the parade, this year marking the first year that the parade has been outside. (Typically, I’ve gone down with friends during the evening and basically just hung out around the main hotel chatting and taking tons of pictures.)
It was busy. SO busy. I have never seen it like this before, and while it’s a good thing for the Furries, it was a bit of a bummer for us. As nice as it was to see a huge crowd gather for the parade, I missed being able to easily see everything and everyone I wanted.
Overall, even during the short time I was there, it was so fun. I adore the Furries and I love taking their pictures.
And who doesn’t love spending time with flurries and friends?
Can’t wait to do it again next year!
Well, I officially have a second grader living in my house.
Who let that happen?
First grade ended up being an “okay” year for Alex, if you ask him. It wasn’t as fun as Kindergarten, but he thinks it is going to have been a lot better than the dreaded second grade.
He learned to read. He learned to add and subtract and some basic multiplication. He learned to swing really high, run really fast, and climb farther than ever before. He made friends, a few that he will be seeing regularly this summer. He adored his first grade teacher.
He also learned that kids are mean, that they are judgmental, and that they will hurt your feelings again and again if you let them. He learned some ways to cope with that, and the importance of recognizing when to tell a teacher. He learned to say “screw them”, only in his head!, because honestly, that’s the best I could usually come up with and it often made him laugh. He learned that his parents, his family, and his friends, love and respect him, and that anyone who does not is not worth his time.
I know I’m biased, but I think he nailed first grade. He came, he saw, he conquered, and now we have an amazing summer to spend together. We have ten weeks of camps, traveling, activities, and days with nothing at all to do. Ten weeks of pools, amusement parks, playgrounds, and sitting around the house finding entertainment in the most unexpected places.
And also, maybe, growing another eight bajillion inches? (First day versus last day of first grade is crazy!)
It’s been about two months since we were in beautiful, magical, Disney World.
When I got the e-mail that our Disney Photopass pictures were going to expire, I scoffed. Why would I pay money for pictures when I took a million and mine are probably way better anyway?
But I’m a curious person, so I went through the pictures. And, I have to admit, there are some really hilarious pictures from the rides. I didn’t quite realize that they were taking pictures on all of these rides, which is evident in how awful I look in all of them. But they are awesome all the same.
Did Alex enjoy the Tower of Terror? If you had any doubt, this pictures proves that he wasn’t lying: he hated it.
Seeing how happy Zach was in all of the pictures was another question answered. Did he really love it? Well, yeah. The pictures prove it.
So, I broke down and bought some. I even purchased a family shot because it was so cute. (I had the photo guy take one with my own camera, but he didn’t have us do the silly face, so, good job, Disney! Smart move.)
I seriously can’t wait to go back.
Until two weeks ago, Alex has never had a scraped knee.
I don’t remember a time when Alex wasn’t cautious. He’s always been extremely curious about things, but his worry of what might happen should he do them kept him away. His caution on playground equipment, climbing walls, large rocks, you name it!, has kept him pretty safe.
Leave it to this kid, though, to fall while walking and get his first scraped knee.
Because of this fear of hurting himself, he still doesn’t know how to ride a bike. He can’t let himself go fast enough to actually balance, so…he doesn’t. And now? Well, now he knows what happens if you fall on your knee and, “Mooom! I’m not doing that because falling hurts!”
So, the bike sits in the garage and every once in a while I take him out and try to get him to learn and basically I just end up frustrated and he ends up frustrated and we go home angry with each other.
But I wanted him to have some way to get around the neighborhood a little faster, some activity that would be kind of fun if we decide to walk to the ice cream shop this summer, but a bike is no guarantee. Enter: scooter!
He loves this thing.
The knee pads and elbow pads meant that he wasn’t scared, and I’ll make him wear a helmet once he goes faster than my very-slow-leisurely-stroll of a walking pace. So far he just putters along, very proud of himself.
Ever circumspect. Never careless.