Friday, April 16, 2010

Over the Fence

Yesterday, I got home from work after the kids had finished dinner. I walked inside to an empty house, but realized instantly that Londo was outside with the kiddos. I changed into a pair of flip flops and hurried outside. I took the Pookie and pretended to have a picnic with the Pumpkin, while she ran around collecting "special treats" and flowers and things for the picnic. It was a lovely evening, and we were all enjoying our backyard.

Just before Easter, I found out that a girl in the Pumpkin's pre-school class lives diagonally behind us. As in, the corners of our backyard fences touch. We have tall fences in our neighborhood, but they live up the hill and even have a lovely deck overlooking their backyard.

I had known for a while that they lived in our neighborhood and that their younger daughter was a month older than the Pookie. I have been meaning to set up a playdate with them, especially since realizing how close they live, but things have busy lately for everyone. But with the weather so nice, I definitely would love to have people in the neighborhood to do things with, especially people with kids our kids' ages.

So yesterday while we were outside in our backyard, we suddenly hear a little girl's voice calling out our daughter's name. I look up, and sure enough it's C on her deck calling down to my girl. I explain to the Pumpkin that that is C's house and point out where she is on her deck. The Pumpkin immediatly and happily calls back a greeting while waving.

C's mom came out on the deck, and we greeted each other and asked after the families. I said that we really should do a playdate soon, and she agreed. Meanwhile, the girls are still calling to each other. The Pumpkin asked C if she wanted a cucumber, and she replied yes. So the Pumpkin ran to the corner of the yard and pretended to hand up a pretend cucumber, though she was no where near C. C pretended to take it and thanked her. That happened another time or two, until C's parents finally got her back inside to finish dinner and the Pumpkin moved on to other things.

It was just so adorable. It reminded me of my best friend growing up who lived in the house behind my house. We were always climbing over the relatively low fence to go play with each other. In fact, our parents put a big stone on one side of where we climbed over to help us get over more easily. We used to shine flashlights into each other's rooms at night. We would leave each other notes in certain trees when the other wasn't home. We treated each others' yards as extensions of our own. Until they moved away, I was as close to her as I was my own sister.*

The Pumpkin and C are both very outgoing and friendly girls, with baby siblings the same age. They seem to get along pretty well at school. I am on the same schedule as the dad, so I see him all the time at school and we chat about the kids. The parents seem very nice, and I am planning to see if they are available on Sunday to come over and play. I am not at all going to force a friendship, but I want my kids to have the opportunity to become friends with kids in the neighborhood, to have buddies to go outside and play with, to have friends to go to the pool with, to have the experience of growing up in a nice, kid-friendly neighborhood. At this age, I know it's up to me to show her the possibilities.

*We've been in and out of contact over the years. Recently, I found her sister on Facebook and got her phone number, but I haven't yet called her. Maybe I will this weekend.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Becoming, Age Three

Now that she is
outside my womb
my arms
my house
she is becoming
her own person.

She is picking up
toys
words
ideas
from other people
places
environments.

Now that she is
older
wiser
bigger
taller
stronger
she is more capable
more sure of herself.

She is developing
her own humor
phrases
games
skills
interests
that in some ways
mimic my own
my husband's
but also others'
but also no one's.

Now that she is
three,
she is becoming
a little kid
a big sister
a little person
a big girl
her own self
doing things
by herself
on her own;
as she says:
by her own.

DC Area May Meet Up

It's been too long, my friends, since we got together. I feel very bad that I haven't organized anything since... I can't even remember when... last fall?

But it's spring now, the snow is gone, the sun is out and the weather has generally been nice. So let's all get together in early May.

-I'm going to put up a poll on the right side of my blog for you all to select which day of the first 3 weekends in May is good for you.
-I'm thinking we should go to the Playseum in Bethesda. I've heard great things but not gotten there myself yet. What do you guys think?
-Have any other suggestions?

We still haven't done an adult get together in a long, long time. Maybe we can in June? I'm going to try to have more regular get togethers this spring and summer, and hopefully it will carry over into the fall and winter. I would love help with the ideas, organizing and email group. Any volunteers?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Question of the Week - Favorite Poet/Poem

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? I didn't realize that until this weekend. Had I realized early and been less busy this month, I would have been writing more poems! I have about three that are currently in process, but are not ready yet. For the ones I've already posted, I created a page that list them with links to them, and you can go to the page titled Poems: My Life as Mother at any time from the link at the top of the screen under the header.

In honor of National Poetry Month, this week's question of the week is really two questions, and you can answer either or both:

Who is your favorite poet/a poet you like? What poem would you like to share (it doesn't have to be by your favorite poet)?

I have two favorite poets, and I am unapologetic about it. One is e.e. cummings, who I first discovered and became fascinated with in 6th grade. I especially love his style (check out She being Brand, and do note that the poem is a total metaphor). My other favorite is Robert Frost. I love the way he writes and what he writes about (I can't even pick one to link to, since so many of them speak to me).

Besides my own poetry and poems by cummings and Frost, I would like to share a poem that has, with irony, been on my mind a lot since having kids: This Be The Verse, by Philip Larkin. (Please note that there is the eff bomb a couple times in that poem, so don't click that link if that will offend you.)

How about you? Do you have a favorite poet? Any poems you love? Something you vaguely remember from 10th grade english class but can't recall what it is? Share it with us! After all, I think perhaps there may be at least some poems as lovely as a tree...