Friday, April 26, 2013

The Joys of Childhood (and Parenthood)

A little while back we took the family to the zoo.  We bought a membership last summer but hadn't gone more than a couple of times before the winter set in.  George was asking about going to the zoo and I realized that as much as we took the older kids when they were little, we really hadn't taken the little ones much (if ever).  So we went to the zoo.  It was a little chilly, but I suppose the cold kept the other zoo patrons away.  
 George was enchanted by the whole experience.  He reminded me of Clark as a little guy.  For Clark, going to the zoo was like returning to his mothership.

George was terribly saddened when they closed the zoo carousel for lunch and he missed his chance to ride on the giraffe, but we needed to get home and I told him we'd ride it next time.

But he just couldn't get over his disappointment.  This is what George said to me several times a day, every day of the past week:  "Sad...ride...closed...giraffe".  Then I would translate it into the whole thought: "You're sad because the ride was closed and you wanted to ride the giraffe?"
Actually his trip to the zoo turned him into quite the little chatterbox this week.  All week long he told me about all the animals he'd seen-- monkeys, rhinoceros, elephants, polar bears, tigers, eagles, seals.  The conversations always involved him saying the animal, me repeating what he said, and him confirming that that was indeed what he said.  It was thrilling for him to be so understood!
Today George's universe was made right again.  The kids were off (I'll explain where in another post) and I took George by himself to the zoo to ride the giraffe on the carousel at the zoo.  It was so sweet to spend that time with just George.  In a family our size it is a treat for both parent and child to have one on one time.
If I had a really nice camera (as opposed to the camera on my phone) and was a really good photographer (as opposed to point-and-shooter that I am) I would want my subjects to be children flying kites.  They are working so hard, and are so focused, and so triumphant when they are successful.  Their cheeks are so rosy and their eyes are so bright from running around.  Elinor and Faith were borrowing cousins' kites at family dinner this past Sunday.
Faith was a super helper to Abe last weekend building a new shelf for our school supplies.  Apparently all that practice building Legos translated into real life application.  She was looking at the IKEA picture-instructions and telling Abe what to do next.
Oh, I wish this was a clearer picture.  Oh, well.
Elinor is loving her softball team this year.  And they are winning a lot.  Not that it matters, but it is fun!  Elinor loves to sing songs in the dugout with the other girls.  I don't think they do too much of that in boys' baseball, but I think it's darling with the girls.  A wee bit obnoxious, but darling at the same time. 
Cannon and George love going to the games because there is a play set right near the fields and their daddy buys them Cheetos from the snack shack.  A play set and Cheetos.  What more can you ask for?
There is Faith in the pink helmet making a beeline for first base.  Sadly, she got out at first, but she has consistently hit at every game.

It's good that softball doesn't last all year because admittedly, it does wreak havoc on our evening schedule with dinner.  But man, it is so fun.

Now for a little confession.  We forget about Cannon at church.  He's only actually been left one time.  But every week we get out to the car and realize, "Oh, Cannon's not here... let's go find him".  This happened again this Sunday and I went in to retrieve him.  I found him wandering the halls with his saint of a primary teacher looking for us.  She told me that he had said to her, "Can you just give me a ride home?"
Sheesh.  Maybe we're not doing so well after all.

One more little memory from church I want recorded.  George doesn't like bread.  He will eat cinnamon/sugar toast, but no sandwiches.  When the sacrament is being passed and the bread is a row or two in front of us he quite audibly declares, "No thanks! No thanks!" and puts his hand up to block the bread tray.  I suppose this won't be cute forever, but such are the benefits of being the youngest.

1 comment:

Amy F. said...

It's fun to see all these ball game pictures! I was seriously laughing that Cannon asked his teacher for a ride home from church. Gathering kids after church is like herding cats sometimes. :) I also have a couple of no sandwich/sacrament kids. Especially since they switched our sacrament to gluten free bread.