Put your imagination away and eat your dinner!

That’s a direct quote from dinner the other night. Claire was captivated by a little grape tomato she found on the floor (it having somehow escaped the salad). She was calling it her imagination (why?) and keeping it in the little treasure box she painted at the last birthday party she attended. She fiddled and fiddled, and opened and closed, and made everyone look repeatedly at her imagination until Clay finally told her “Claire, put your imagination away and eat your dinner!” Then we all– the big people– looked at each other and laughed.

I think imagination grows in the summer, just like everything else. Looking down the bike path next to our house is a tunnel of green with a swath of gravel snaking through it– almost like an underground stream in a cave (not that I’ve been to many recently, but that’s how I IMAGINE they look). That’s in contrast to the barren road it is in winter. In fact, all of New England is transformed in summer. Quite frankly, it’s easy to hate this place in January when the landscape and the people are so relentlessly hard and gray. But it’s hard not to love it when the green creeps in and softens the hard edges, and the flowers burst out everywhere and break down the blasted New England reserve. This, it seems to me, makes it easier to dream, to see possibilities around you, to imagine…

The ultimate flight of imagination… I took Will and his friend Andrew to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix last night at 12:01. What fun to be totally absorbed into Hogwart’s world again. Some folks dressed for the occasion, but I wore street clothes so as not to embarrass the boys (bad enough to be seen with a mom, but one in costume???) Besides, I’m not that far gone. We had a great time– got home about 3:30. Of course, the boys are still sleeping in the basement, while I’ve been (mostly) up since 6:30. I just brewed the second pot of coffee. My movie review? I was not disappointed!

Unfortunately, Chloe had to miss the midnight movie because she is immersed in music right now. Her days at New England Conservatory youth orchestra run about 7am to 5pm (with the commute). Yesterday she received a pile of sheet music that looks like something a centipede tracked across the page (as in, lots of notes and really challenging!). As I recall from last year, these first days are the most intense. As she tries to get a grip on the music, she’s home practicing a couple hours each night even after a full day with the cello. But there’s the fun, too. Today they have a lunch field trip to the Prudential Center. The freedom and fun of being in the city with friends is also part of the experience.

Our Marblehead fireworks were postponed to last Friday night because of a stormy 4th; so while Clay stayed home with the littles and his laptop, the bigs and I went out to Crocker Park (you know, the rocky one overlooking the harbor?) to watch. Good show, though I think I preferred it when they did it just off of Devereux Beach. [Now that I’m wisened to MHD ways, I understand that one simply can’t see the show properly from the yacht clubs if they do it by the beach. So the harbor it is.] Still I can’t be that critical. It was fun when all the people watching from their boat moorings started blowing their boats’ airhorns for the displays they particularly liked. It wasn’t the Pops exactly, but it was a little musical accompaniment. Claire had been really excited about seeing the “fireworkers”– but was just too tired that day to stay up late. We picked out some light toys, those little fiber-optics wands, for the littles. Claire thinks the fireworkers gave them to her. (These fireworkers would be the people who make the fireworks go?)

Backing up even farther, we did have a successful sleepover at the Carere house in Belmont July 3-4. Four kids and one adult (the Canadian outdoorsman) slept in tents, while the other three adults and five kids slept inside. Everyone had fun. It’s amazing to us to see the older two Carere kids hit the ages Will and Chloe were when the first Careres were born. In fact, Camilla is the age Chloe was when we went to Paris, and being around her brings back memories of our own little Coco. Meanwhile, two of the littlest– Quinn and Cecilia– are emerging as sometime best-buddies, sometime arch-rivals. Apparently Ceci is used to having her way with all four of her siblings, so she is shocked and puzzled to see Quinn resisting her dominance. As we’ve all seen around here, Quinn just amiably (most of the time) goes about his business. So it’s shaping up as a very entertaining power struggle.

One of the fun things about starting this blog has been watching the family jump on board. I love hearing Clay or the kids say, “that’s blog-worthy” when something funny happens. So while I can’t yet get them to guest-blog, they are contributing. Chloe and Will and I are having fun coming up with profiles (another reason this is a password-accessed site!)– they are partially completed on the “about us” link, or you can wait a week and we’ll finish them. Till then, hope your summer is warm and free and your imagination is growing!

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