Saturday, April 30, 2011

Joy Unconfined

I heard a clip on NPR the other day interviewing the author of Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids. It has really resonated with me, not because he said anything that I didn't already believe to be true, but it has just helped me to understand exactly why Matilda and I are so content just to spend the day with our children. And the next day, and the day after that one. They are just so much fun, it is almost indescribable.  

Take today, for instance.  We woke up shortly after the sun came peeking up over the edge of the earth and immediately began watching highlights of the Royal Wedding per the request of His Royal Highness Jackson, who adamantly wanted to see "the horsies and soldiers" again. (Matilda: "At least he wasn't interested in the dress..").  We counted out Cheerios that were split equally amongest ourselves and the dog, then dressed and headed over to Country Park for the NF Charity Walk.  Met up with friends, played on the playground, walked the 5K, and ate our very first snowcone, which was a huge (and not too terribly messy) hit.  Lunch with Matilda and a family nap and then playtime in the back yard watering flowers and swinging in the hammock. Phrases of week seem to be primarily "Hi there, I missed you today"  "Momma, what cha doing?" "Momma, no talk to Jack." "No, no poop. Just gas" and my favorite one to date, "Bye bye, I love you."  There were no schizophrenic meltdowns or pooptastrophies today and both children were generally communicative and adorable.

After naptime, we decided to take the kids over to Bicentennial Park to get some photos in the beautiful afternoon sun. We weren't the only ones with that idea, though. Apparently it's Prom Day in Greensboro, so hundreds of gowned, perfumed, corsaged teenaged couples were swarming the park, many with their own professional photographers following them with large reflectors and cameras the size of small satellites. While I am appalled that Prom has become akin to wedding status with the extended cab humvees and for-hire personal paparazzi, I am pleased to see that the dress style has returned to a more appropriate length from just a few years past (yes, I recognize I am becoming an old lady prude).  

As we played in the dirt with our dumptruck and ate enough mulch to constipate a buffalo, I couldn't help but sneak peeks at the high school hubbabaloo going on just a few flower gardens away.  As entertaning as the dresses were to watch, it's the parents that I really was drawn to. Every once in awhile, I would catch eyes with one that was no doubt wondering how they had gotten from my position to theirs in such a blink of an eye.  

I know the next 18 years are going to fly by even faster than the last 27 months have.  I wonder if other mothers feel the same overwhelming and sometimes crippling need to fine Father Time and beg him to slow down.   I can't help but wonder what those mothers at the park this afternoon were thinking.  I pray it was a happy nostalgia for a wonderful past but an excited anticipation and hope for what continues to lie ahead.  So far, it has only gotten more and more fun to watch these littles ones come into their own. 

“On with the dance! Let Joy be unconfined.” 
The Eve of Waterloo, Lord Byron

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jack Meets Baxter

This video is from Shaw's birthday at the beginning of April. Fortunately, the Duncan's cat Baxter is very patient with inquisitive little children who want him to go outside during a thunderstorm.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Easter Bunny Strikes Again

Well, despite the very best intentions of our sugar-pushing Bud and Nana, we had an amazingly fun and uneventful Easter weekend in Spartanburg. The kids were funny, slept well, and good food and company abounded. If only Kim had not been bed-ridden sick for 36 hours, it would have been perfect, but it was pretty darn close. 

Caroline in particular came into her own, enjoying the occasion for girly-dress-up time and charming everyone with her pleasant non-smiling gazes of affection. She is a sweetheart, and I think Bud is hooked.


'course, Nana looks pretty good when she dresses up in her Sunday finest, so Sissy may yet have some competition for who gets to share the easy chair on Easters to come.

72 hours of running, laughing, screaming Happy Jack are more than the normal animal can stand without repeatedly breaking into a grin. Even if it was induced by continual application of chocolate bunnies and plastic eggs full of jelly bellies, he was a blast to be with. 


I got the first real extended taste of a boy with an energy level and vocabulary that are both about to explode to the next level - if he wasn't sleeping, he was on the go, exploring, pretending, running, sliding, and talking like mad trying to describe and relate everything that was happening around him. I told Nana that Jack was adorable, and he turned around and said "Adorable Jack" - he doesn't miss a beat. Not only did he feed some goats and deer at the ad hoc petting zoo on the lawn of the Piedmont Club on Sunday morning, but tonight as he was crawling into bed, he was still telling me about the Zebra That Fell Down And Rolled On His Back In The Grass and Whinnied Daddy. Yeah.


I sit down to blog tonight (which of course is much delayed) and I think back to all the things he must have experienced, and I sympathize with his occasional bouts of frustration at his still feeble attempt to express his emotions. The experiences and the memories are coming a mile a minute for both of us, and shame on me for having the adept but very adult ability to remember and push aside these memories both at the same time, in the name of getting on with life. Sometimes I wish I could force myself to appreciate each moment as fully as he does, with such import and wonder that I am compelled to repeat it back to myself hours and days later, still marveling at what was done, and that I have the words to describe the memory.

Jack Sleep Big Boy Bed. Night Night.
Open Eggs. Eat. Candy!
See Fire Truck Goes Eee-oh.
Hug Izzy Bye Bye.
Bud Nana Gigi Mama Daddy Sissy Deandog Home. Taylor?
Zebra That Fell Down And Rolled On His Back In The Grass and Whinnied Daddy. Yeah.

Keep going little guy. This is fantastic.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I have no teeth. I have no hair.

But I can crawl from here to there!

(and I'm thrilled about it)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wando Shrimp Company

Down behind old Mount Pleasant village, where Shem Creek dumps out into the harbor, is an old ramshackle warehouse with a battered loading dock and wide open bay doors. Walk up into that dark cavernous space, and inside, out of the bright sun sparkling off the crushed oyster driveway, sun wrinkled old men discuss tides and moving bars.

We picked up six pounds of shrimp that just hours earlier had been popping out in these Carolina waters. Lowcountry boil tonight with good friends - man, it doesn't get much better than this.

Location : 438 Shipwatch Villas, Isle of Palms, SC 29451,
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