Friday, November 16, 2007

Wonderful Boys

Yesterday was a long day for us and I'm really proud of my boys. I worked a little while in the morning and then we left the house at 10:30 to catch the 10:36 bus. The creek was swollen again but we made it across by Z going first and then I carried Carmac and handed him to Z and then we all scrambled up the bank. We ran to the bus-stop and made it with a minute to spare.

Since Carmac turned 5, he now pays the "student" price for bus fare rather than being free. It now costs us $.70 more each bus that we ride (usually, 4 a week).

Wednesday we took the 10:36 bus downtown and there was only one person on it when we got on; yesterday, the same bus was over half full. I have no idea why the same bus, going to a residential neighborhood, would have that much discrepancy in the number of riders from day to day. I'm glad when it's crowded, though, because that means MTA won't cancel our route!

Anyway, back to the boys: We got on the bus and had an uneventful ride. To get to the back of the bus, where we usually sit, you have to go up 3 steps, and the seats are higher so someone who is small can see out. Yesterday, Carmac and I sat in the middle where he can't see out of the windows. He leaned his head on the seat in front and sat still, watching everything that happened on the bus, completely quiet and polite. Many children his age would have been bored and disruptive but his behavior is so good (most of the time) in situations that call for waiting.

Our morning destination, yesterday, was the library, where we attended the annual volunteer recognition brunch. My boys had never been to an awards banquet before and they did their share of yawning during the commendations and speeches but perked up again when they saw the pastries on the buffet. They, of course, had a lot of people come up and ask them where they volunteered and what they did. Carmac, particularly, enjoyed telling them about working "crowd control" for the marionette shows (keeping the throngs of wild toddlers from approaching the stage).

After the brunch, we hung out for an hour in the Children's Library and read books for a while. Then, we walked to the Frist.

There is an exhibit at the Frist, "Societe Anonyme" which is a collection of work put together by Katherine Dreier, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray to introduce Americans to "modern" art (this was back in the early part of last century). I was excited to go because I've been reading a lot of books about artists and Wassily Kandinsky comes up all the time as an artist who's work heavily influenced many other artists and I'd never had the opportunity to study any of his work in person and he was a major component of the Societe.

Both my boys were barely resigned to being dragged around an art exhibit but in the third room, there was a film being shown. The filmmaker was Lotte Reiniger, a German woman who began making shadow-puppets as a child. She made the film The Adventures of Prince Achmed in 1926- the earliest surviving animated film. The details in the puppets were amazing. It's a silent film with a symphonic score by Wolfgang Zeller. The boys watched for 20 or 30 minutes and were reluctant to leave when it was time to move on.

We went into ArtQuest to do some painting, drawing, listening, and reading for a while, then went to the cafe to have a snack and some hot cider.

Then we walked to aikido where Zed got thrown around and Carmac made silly putty snow people.

Hammy picked us up and we came home to play a game of Mouse Trap and get ready for bed.

Declan, too, had a long day. I rode with Hammy to pick him up at a few minutes after 10:00 pm. He'd been at school since 7:15 am. The musical he's been staying late to prepare for opened last night, Footloose. He said it went well. He's doing general backstage stuff. He's helped build sets and do set design. He's really learning a lot and enjoying it. He's not getting much in the way of academics from school but he's still learning a tremendous amount that he will use the rest of his life.

When I can step back from the day-to-day irritants of my life to see the big picture, I see just how wonderful each of my boys is. Yeah, they're noisy and smelly and never put the seat up when they pee nor the lid down when they're done, but they're the best gift I could ever imagine, anyway!

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