Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day

Who needs a play structure when you have a huge pile of dirt to play in with your friends?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

She's off!

This weekend we had one of those small-thing moments that feel really big, or maybe it's the other way around. We pulled out the big, two-wheel bike for Sydney that I'd found for free outside the Colfax Grandma shop on one of my morning walks and Nick took her for a few laps around the car in the driveway in her pajamas to start the fun. Her face lit up in that proud state of glee that I love so much on her face. That moment alone was so grand after a week of scrapes and bruises, physical and emotional for our little girl.
We got up on Saturday morning and I thought we'd spend the day up at the pre-school parking lot practicing her skills. I figured this would take some time, some scrapes, some patience. She was outfitted in all of her scooter protective gear, ready for battle. So, I held onto the bike and gave Sydney some general tips: swing your leg over the back. get one peddle up in front to get going on and use your other foot to push off... I got her going once and her steering was all crazy, so I told her to look farther ahead. We did that one more time, with her looking up eager for her next instructions. The third time I got her going, let go and she had it.(This is a testament to the powers of a scoot bike, not so much her mad athletetic skills.) She was off in big circles of little girl happiness, her hair flying from under the helmet, her smile so big it almost didn't fit on her little face.
It's hard to describe the joy I felt then. She was riding in big lazy circles, adding in some singing and tricks and I felt her joy fill me up and overflow. I was actually blinking back tears as I watched her ride looking so free and happy, so filled up with pride that she could do something cool all on her own. Plus, the sun was out, birds were chirping...oh and Elias was whining behind me because I wouldn't push him on his bike.
That afternoon Sydney really wanted to show Nick her skills, but he was tired and rundown and I could tell he kind of wanted to curl up with the clicker and be done for the day. I kind of forced the issue and we all trekked up to the pre-school again. This time, instead of watching Sydney's face, I watched her daddy's. In an instant all the stress and exhaustion was gone and replaced by a huge smile; I suppose it was the same look I had on my face that morning. He kept saying, "This is amazing! Did you get pictures? Did you get a video?" Ah the markers, of a proud parent.
With the end of pre-school almost here and kindergarten just a few months off, this moment with the bike took on a little more meaning. It felt symbolic to let go of that bike seat and stand back, grinning with tears in our eyes to watch her tackle something big and new and succeed. It was one of those moments in childhood and parenthood that mark out territory, a before and after. I don't know if it's a real memory or not, but I remember the feeling of my dad letting go of my bike seat, the rush of independence and glee, and it's a beautiful thing to be on the other side of the seat, glowing, with that memory alongside me.
It's a wonderful thing to be a parent in moments like these and I'm officially looking forward to our early, long summer leading up to kindergarten. I am sure we will be found most mornings down on the path around the playfields if you ever want to find us. I'm really hoping that her glow doesn't fade as she gets used to the feeling of riding off on her own.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 10 on 10

morning walk with my walking buddies
our maiden voyage to the nursery
this guy does not travel without legos these days
feeding the animals at Sunnyside Park with friends
somebody took a serious tumble on the bumpy blacktop at the park after falling on her face yesterday, so hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles was in order
future carrots
first seed starts
for our daffodil hunting this season, we need only look in our backyard
(but, we'll go out looking anyway)look what I found hiding in the garden?!
gyros night!
dinner prep is more fun in a pretty apron
It was a marvelous spring day here on the palouse. The kind I was wishing for, oh, last week when it was snowing. Lots of people hate spring on the palouse because of the erratic behavior of the weather, but I'm trying to see it as an exercise in thankfulness. When those sunny days come, I try to soak in every ounce of goodness, to save up for the 37, windy and rainy days (my least favorite). Today was near perfection!