“Don’t climb the tree, birdie!”

Sitting upside down on a deck chair– his feet up the backrest, and his back on the seat– Quinn called up to the tree above him. “Hi, birdie! Hi, birdie! Don’t climb the tree, birdie! Don’t climb the tree.” Then I walked out on the deck to check the chicken on the grill. “Mommy, the birdie climbed the tree.”
“Yes, Quinny. Is he singing?”
“He singing! Hi, birdie!” this with a wave that almost sends him off the chair and onto his head. Then, recovering his position, he warns, “Don’t climb the tree, birdie.”
The small people in my house– one in particular– are constantly in escape mode these days. The weather is nice, doors are open, and the great outdoors beckons. That’s why it was particularly nice last night to have Quinn decide to hang out on the deck while I came and went with grilling duties. Instead of chasing him around the house and down the street, I got to listen to him talk to the birdies on the deck.
Sooner or later I will have to switch off the mentality that they should be allowed to be outside every minute the weather is nice enough to be. We are, after all, fully into spring now, and it’s reasonable to expect that there will be more outdoor weather than not in the days ahead. Meanwhile, I feel like I’m getting nothing done except for hanging out at the park with Quinn and Claire. Everyday I pack a little picnic and take it with me to preschool pickup so they can stay in the park for a while. They think going to the park afterschool is an inalienable right… you know, “life, liberty and the pursuit of playtime.”
In a forty-minute monologue on the way home from skating this week, Claire told me she is going to be a doctor. She wants to “give little babies shots, because that will help them not to get sick.” This is a marked improvement from her previously stated goal, which was to be a princess and marry a kingdom. Actually, I think she still wants to be a princess– but a doctor princess. I was probably fortunate to tune into that part of her conversation because, like Lady Catherine DeBoergh in Pride and Prejudice, she “…does talk a great deal, but seldom requires a response.” Claire honey, if you’re reading this someday, I just want to say that I find your chattiness charming.
Chloe has been enjoying track, especially now that they’re well into meets. She is doing really well at the hurdles and the 200– so far always in the top three places, I think. Triple-jump was going well, too, but she has just bowed out of that because it really aggravates that ankle problem she has. Her other event is the 800m relay, which she runs with good friends. In fact, her track friends are a really good bunch– silly, fun, but serious about their running. I’m so pleased she has found this niche.
Apart from that, she is finishing up her school year without much ado. I do remember that winding up 8th grade was pretty easy for Will, too. Just not a demanding academic time, for some reason. Coco has a couple of concerts coming up, and then the end-of-year festivities: the moving on ceremony and a harbor cruise.
Will is so, so, so ready to be done. We are hoping that the next three weeks will hold more positives for him to remember about his year at Brooks, because the last three weeks have been really hard. Crew has been a big disappointment, but he battles on to finish the season. Classes are more demanding than ever as the year comes to a close. He is juggling projects and papers and tests like he has never had to before. We are all ready for it to end. On the up side, campus is beautiful again. When he gets the chance, he gets into a pickup soccer or basketball game outside the dorm; and I suspect that these are the things he will miss about Brooks.
As I write this, Clay is in Spain for an LEK partner/manager meeting. He won’t have a ton of time to relax, but hopefully he will get a little fun in. He has to be there Saturday, and then fly to London Sunday, so he should get a little relaxation in there somewhere. I’ve instructed him to study the “Cafe Cortado” closely, so that we can reconstruct it when he gets home. This is the coffee we drank on the terrace over the mediterranean when the four elder Hesketts were there some years back. Even if we manage to duplicate the drink, it will probably never be the same…
And that, dear ones, is the update. I hate to end abruptly, but it is past dinner time and I’m the only one who can take care of that (despite Claire’s growing culinary prowess). Have a wonderful week, and don’t forget to notice the birds singing!

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