Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pirates, baseball, collections, and spring

It's hard to get a sense of time when reading a slice-of-life blog. One picture could represent an afternoon's worth of activity or a few minutes. In the case of the above, we spent about forty-five minutes this afternoon playing pirate. The boys were inspired by my having pushed the couch askew in order to sweep under it. Instantaneously, it was transformed into a pirate ship. The scowls and bandannas came out, as well as a couple of eyeliner mustaches, but they didn't wish to be photographed. I only know two pirate songs: "A Pirate's Life for Me," and one verse of "Blow the Man Down." So, quickly--so as not to lose momentum or hijack the play--I searched for a few sea shanties to have on as we pretended. I came across this fun site (fair warning--a song begins automatically when you click on it), and we went from song to song relishing in the catchy rhythms and lyrics about dead men's chests, bottles of rum, coasts, gold, murder, devils, sails, mateys, and marlin spikes. A few sword fights and a lot of posturing later, they moved on to something else. But it was a colorful time while it lasted, and in poking around the website, Woody was pretty excited to confirm what we'd read in other places, that Blackbeard and Jack Rackham and other pirates were real, and there were records to prove it.

Woody got two hits last night at his first baseball game! They were two foul tips, but only two other kids even made contact with the ball (an adjustment to the new-this-year pitching machine for 7 years olds), so Woody was ecstatic. 

That was big for us. He  had a really great time. But it was dicey leading up to game time. Just before it was time to go, Woody started getting goofy about catching the ball, making faces and jumping away from the ball and flailing around. Daddy Honey, who had come home early to be able to toss the ball with him a bit ahead of the 5:30 start time, started to get rather tense about Woody's reactions. You know how all of us have unhelpful voices in our heads telling us terrible untruths about the world and our place in it? Daddy Honey's tell him that not living up to one's potential is a terrible sin. When he felt himself getting upset far out of proportion to Woody's behavior, he turned the pre-game prep over to me (a distinct advantage of having more than one adult in a household, the ability to make a lateral pass). He hung out with Fox at the ballpark playground until the game started, then came over--relaxed and feeling better--to cheer Woody on.

At the game,Woody he was happy, and focused, and delighted to get Oreos as the post-game snack.

Cleaning off a shelf today, I found this tray, which used to hold little plastic horses. (Most of the horses have been lost, broken, or absorbed into other sets of toys such as Lincoln Logs.) We moved collections that had been housed in various other containers into this one, and sat for a while picking up pieces and talking about them. It occurred to me that this big collection contains additions from each of us in the family, from both states we've lived in together and several other places we've visited. 

Our neighbor Gabrielle gifted us with a few big morels from her yard again this year. I admit I staged this picture, propping them back up again in front of a line of dandelions that I like to look at out the kitchen window. We sauteed them and ate them in omelets for breakfast. We've yet to find any in our own yard, but the sheer fact that they are now a regular part of our experience of spring is still pretty magical.

The day came with Woody when he didn't really want to do collaborative drawings with me anymore, pictures that evolved with stories that we shared in telling. Fox, however, still thinks this is quite a good time. So this is our newest one.