The Birthday Story(land)

Quinn turned 3 on a Tuesday a couple weeks ago. He liked his birthday so much, he has decided to celebrate every week. Just ask him. He’ll tell you, “Tuesday is my birthday.” He celebrated at school with Mom’s (famous) orange muffins for his buddies (Mom made a double batch so we could have them at home, too). I don’t know how we managed, but after soccer, cross country, Clay’s day at work, etc., we all found our way to the table for a proper birthday dinner, with presents afterwards. We were lucky to have Sandy visiting, so the evening festivities at home even included a family friend.

But wait, you ask, where does Humpty Dumpty come into the picture? Well, the Sunday before Q’s big day, we went up to Storyland in N.H. for the day. We had a really good time! It’s not Disneyland, but it’s a really well kept little amusement park. All the rides were good for the littles– Quinn went on his first roller coaster and his first water ride!– and the bigs were really good sports about riding the attractions and generally showing Q a good time. We met Heidi’s grandfather (not my sister, but the mountain Heidi!), and we met the little old woman who lived in the shoe (for whom Claire had lots of questions about her choices in life– but thankfully she held back on the inquisition. Can you imagine– ‘why do you live in a shoe? well, why do you have so many children? can’t you make a plan?’). Quinn and Claire toured Peter Punkin’ Eaters’ house, were baked into a pie, and went to jail. Really, it was a fun day for all. And when the day was over and we climbed into the car for the 3-hr drive home, it took Quinn all of 3 minutes to go to sleep. Nice memories, and what an achievement to find time to get away. Plus, driving by the Brooks exit I once again had the opportunity to give thanks that Will had not only spent the day with us, but that he is spending most every day with us.

Will and Chloe are busy with their high school lives. Will is so self-sufficient about getting himself to school and soccer and wherever he needs to be, I’m amazed at how little effort his schedule is requiring of me. Chloe’s takes a little more doing, with orchestra and cello lessons and such, but I don’t mind. Sandy Sage took some great photos while she was visiting– I’ll ask her to send some of her soccer shots so I can show you Will in action. I do have one photo of cross country, but my time at sporting events is usually spent chasing down one or both littles to make sure they are not lying on the finish line or running into midfield. Not conducive to great photography! Far below is a note I wrote a week or two ago, with a link to a photo that was in the town paper… I hope the link still works.

Tonight we have both bigs in action at home, followed by a high school open house Clay and I are going to try to attend. Thursday is Yom Kippur, so no school. We’re going on our annual apple-picking trip with our friends the O’Callaghans and the Celentanos. Everyone is looking forward to it. Then, this weekend, Will has a soccer game on Martha’s Vineyard. I think Clay will attend, while I manage things here (whatever CC meet Chloe has, and a possible babysitting gig for her), although the littles would love the Vineyard ferry ride (for a while). Sunday night Chloe is having a big fondue bash/slumber party for her birthday. Will has made arrangements to stay somewhere else!

That brings you up to date, and just in the nick of time. I have to run to the JCC to pick up the little guys. Claire was on a pumpkin-picking field trip today! I hope the fall is passing peacefully for you all– despite ugly politics and uglier financial messes. With all this bad news and stress coming at us from all sides, let’s remember to keep our faith on straight. Love to all of you.

P.S., I wrote a little note Fri. Sept 26 and inadvertently published it before. Here it is again, with more: I didn’t plan to take time for a whole blog today, but I just found Chloe’s picture in the local paper and I had to share it! She’s just to the left of the team captain, facing the camera. Yaay, Chloe! Plus, her name is in the article, having taken 6th place in the meet. At right is a snapshot from the season’s first meet– Chloe is just crossing the line (in fifth place, I think). She is having a great time on the team. They are a close-knit group, enjoying team dinners on the night before meets, early morning workouts on Saturdays and holidays, and treat bags full of totally unhealthy snacks for after meets. Last week she ran an all-freshman race in Boston and came in 9th (out of 124 girls).

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