Decisions, decisions…

Overnight, a riot of little sprouts popped up in all the garden containers the littles and I started a week ago. This is thrilling, both for them and for me! But some of the pots are crowded already, and with I don’t know what. You see, what was obvious to my grown up mind– tomato seeds here, pepper seeds here, moss rose there– was not so obvious to Quinn. His planting scheme involved a liberal sprinkling of each type of seed all over the entire plastic greenhouse flat. Soon, I will have to quietly pull out some of those little sprouts so the others can flourish. Hmmm, kind of a good metaphor for our modern lives, isn’t it? We take on so many things, try so many activities, meet so many people… so many things start to sprout that if we don’t clear things out a bit, nothing can take root. Everything grows a little and then withers for lack of proper nourishment. But how do you decide which sprouts to leave and which to pull out?

Granted, some of these decisions are pretty minor: should I go ahead and start Quinn on skating lessons already (Claire’s instructors say “yes!”; but I want to avoid grooming a little hockey player– can you say ‘5am practices!’)? Should I stop skating and start swim lessons next session? Or should I do what I’ve always done and just give them more park time?
It’s not like they don’t learn things during park time, especially from one another. The other day I overheard Claire giving Quinn some sisterly advice: “Quinn, if you want the world to be yours, you have to eat lots of vegetables so you can be God (and have lots of children).” With pearls of wisdom such as these, who needs chess club??

But there have been bigger decisions to make lately, more of the transplanting type. NO, we’re NOT moving. But Will has decided, along with the rest of family, that he is not going to return to Brooks School next year. Of course there are lots of factors in that decision, but the primary one is that we all want our family back together full time– Will wants to be home, and we want him home. Next year he and Chloe will both go to Marblehead High, just down the street (and they’ll go back to fighting for morning shower times).

So there’s the big news for this week. I hope you don’t mind my sharing it, Will.

Other decisions? Well, colors for the walls we’re finally going to finish painting. I went into the paint store to check out color samples and someone came over and asked if I needed any help. I hesitated… “Well, yes. I could use an opinion on a color palette.” I explained what we have already painted, and what we’re leaning toward for the hallway and our bedroom which, as you know, are adjacent to and somewhat visible from the already-finished areas. In less than 30 seconds, I had THE definitive choice (the only one, apparently) for bringing everything together harmoniously. Apparently the red in our dining room is a little too blue, so I also have a paint chip for whenever we’re ready to repaint in there. And I guess we also used the wrong brand of paint– Benjamin Moore tends to look washed out (because they use black as a darkening pigment, the dolts). And since our fernwood green is Ben Moore, I have a paint chip for when we’re ready to repaint in there, too. The guy has been an interior designer for 22 years. Obviously he’s never been in our house– surfaces that have been painted at least once have a long wait before they get any attention again! Can’t imagine how I somehow “forgot” to mention to him that the littles’ bedroom is bright yellow…

Chloe goes to Quebec next week with her 8th grade French class. She is lucky to have all her best pals in the class, so they’ll have a great time, I’m sure. They’ve been warned that it is still full-on winter there, with ice and snow on the stairs connecting the upper and lower portions of the city. Should be interesting, as the UGGs (boots), which EVERY 8th grade girl in Marblehead wears, have absolutely smooth bottoms– no treads whatsoever. Do you think we should send helmets and other protective gear for negotiating the streets and stairs? Actually, Chloe is thinking her trusty tennis shoes will be her best bet for the week.

It will be strange with just me and Claire and Quinn around here. A glimpse of what life would have been like if Chloe had gone off to school (and Will had stayed there). Lonely, I think. No offense to the littles, who are great company themselves. Even though I sometimes long for peace and quiet… we are at our best when we are a large, noisy family! Anyway, that’s what I think– Grandma Cathy and Grandpa Ken will be here week after next, so they can give their opinion on that particular subject after their visit.

Update on the sprout issue…because several days have elapsed since I started this blog. We are green, green, green! Tomatoes, peppers, basil, parsley, dill, cosmos, moss roses, shamrocks like crazy, and one floating zinnia (Claire REALLY likes to water the zinnia she planted in a cup at school– I think it’s a new hydroponic hybrid)! I haven’t thinned out anything yet, darn it. But I’m doing better on thinning the activities: Claire is not taking “cooking with Kerri” class at school, but she is taking “cooking with Mommy” on Wednesdays instead. We are not doing another skating round this winter. We’re not doing daycamp for Claire and/or Quinn this summer. I’m going to march them out the door for a walk on the beach or on the path every single morning it is nice outside (really, no really, I am!). In short I’m going with my old-fashioned theory that less is more as far as structured activities for young kids. We’ll see if I can provide enough structure myself. And rest assured, Will and Chloe, you will be called upon to help! (Unless you get some big, fancy job outside the house.)

Speaking of which, I’ve got a big, fancy date with a roomful of preschoolers, to whom I am scheduled to read “Move Over, Rover” and other stories in half an hour. So I’ll sign off now, with my very best to everyone. Hope this finds your world greening and new ideas and dreams sprouting.

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