the best

December 8, 2016

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It may have been the negroni talking. But as Chris and I sat at the bar last Friday night, waiting for our pasta (because we hadn’t made reservations and meals at bars, watching the food prep, can be the best meals anyway), I found myself talking about the kids.

This is what parents do when we go out, right? Talk about our kids? I am here to tell you that it doesn’t stop, even if your kids are 24, 21 and 15.

“They’re my favorite people,” I was saying. Actually, my negroni glass had been whisked away, and I was on to a glass of wine at this point. Throwing around words like smart, interesting, intellectual, hilarious.

It makes sense, I suppose. Kids grow up in the same house as we do, so they’re bound to share some of our interests. And inside jokes. Add the fact that they’re younger than we are, which means they’re smarter (when they aren’t occasionally being dumb.) And less predictable. More fun.

They grow up and become like the best friends you could ever dream up.

We get a lot of Mr. T, last kid at home, siblings off in New York. Dinner after dinner he’s stuck with us two bores, but he always tries to keep things interesting. The other night he wondered aloud which state would win if they all battled against each other. (I guessed Texas. Big. Guns.) And which state is the most patriotic. (Ohio?)

He makes dinner fun even when negronis aren’t involved.

huckleberry_hike

Lulu was home for a few days at Thanksgiving–such a treat. She and I text a lot, and she calls reliably every Wednesday and Saturday as she walks home from yoga. It’s become a thing between us. (She does yoga and calls her mama. Give the girl a star!) We chat about her classes, what she’s reading and cooking, her plans. Manhattan street sounds buzz in the background and sometimes I accompany her into a cafe and hear her order an almond milk latte. And imagine being there with her.

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I never get quite as much of H as I’d like when he’s not home. He’s not the sort to pick up the phone just to chat, but always seems happy to talk when we text and tell him we miss him. Chris and I put him on speaker phone and hear what he’s been working on (wanna see his latest reel of work?) We talk about what movies and shows he’s liking and I mentally load up the Netflix queue. Just hearing his voice makes us happy. We hang up the phone and sigh his name, wistful and satisfied.

And now it’s almost Christmas and all three kids will be here. In less than two weeks! Around the kitchen table–our best place. The boys will tilt their chairs back and everyone will talk at once, and it will get loud, though Mr. T probably won’t have to climb on his chair to be heard, like he used to back in the day. (He’s the tallest of us now. What?) We’ll talk art and politics and Richard Scarry computer games from 1995 and I’ll catch Chris’ eye and we’ll be as happy as we were when we first started dating. Happier. Hanging out with the best friends we ever could have dreamed up.

I can’t wait.

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figuring it out

November 1, 2016
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I tell the librarian I have a few Link+ books on hold. I give him my name. “Oh, that’s you,” he says. “You order a lot of books. I like to have a face for the name.” Link+ is the system my library uses to get books not in its collection, from libraries and universities […]

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reinventing myself

September 19, 2016
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It’s time for the obligatory “end of homeschooling” post. I have to write it, right? After twenty years of homeschooling, my youngest has walked down the road to the high school bus stop, and I’m no longer a homeschooler. I’m no longer a homeschooler, after eight years of writing a blog with a homeschooling bent. […]

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new york, new york

August 3, 2016
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We spent nine days in New York City, visiting the two older kids. Up until now, we’ve always visited for long weekends, moving the kids into their dorms, checking in at spring break, attending H’s graduation. But this was a treat, nine days of just hanging out, being part of their everyday lives. We spent […]

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off the grid

June 30, 2016
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I took a trip to the River Teeth Nonfiction Conference again this June. I thought about writing up a complete rundown, like I did last year, but I don’t know that I could bring back the magic of the original. This year’s conference was wonderful, all the same. If you’re a writer, don’t miss Steve Harvey […]

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a history of history fairs

May 12, 2016
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A few weeks back I organized A Trip through Time for my homeschooling support group. The tenth annual history fair I’ve organized, and the last. I’m feeling a little sappy in the face of all that history. I have my own history of convincing my homeschooling group to adopt wild ideas. (Let’s form a Destination Imagination […]

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it all came back

March 30, 2016
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That’s a photo of my oldest two on our very first day of homeschooling. September 9, 1997. Look at my H with his gappy smile–he knocked out that tooth at three–all proud of his clay head creation. Look at my Lulu with that sweet fat cheek, cutting clay competent as anything though she isn’t yet two. The […]

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