Sunday, November 30, 2008

Keeping up with the boys

Today I went biking with Lucas and his friend and his mom, Becky.

Mind you, back in the day I was a decent mountain biker with a real mountain bike. Then the bike got stolen, I got pregnant and bought a more sensible street cruiser instead.

My cruiser has been good for all the biking Lucas and I do around town. But today, we took the boys to Tilden to go down some trails. But knowing that we would be going down easy trails, I had no reason to worry that my bike would not be able to rise to the challenge.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. The boys went screaming down the first big hill, I couldn't keep up. Going uphill was easier for me to keep up, since both boys struggled a bit with their little dirt bikes that don't have gears.
But they pushed hard and made it up all the little uphills, while going no holds barred down the little hills.

At one point, Lucas turned around and said, "Why are you going so slow?"

Time for a new bike for mom!

Mini what?

The other morning, in anticipation for the afternoon play date, I asked Lucas what he and his friend usually play at school. I was expecting him to name some obscure Star Wars character, but I didn't hear those words. He said something that started with "mini" but I couldn't make out the rest of it, "Mini what?" I asked? He said it a couple more times, I still didn't get it.

Lucas: Mom, we play mini duuude! (WTF??)
Me: Wait, it's called mini dude? I haven't heard of that before, how do you play?
Lucas: You squat down and pull your shirt over your knees and walk around like this (demonstrating).
Me: Oh, interesting. I haven't ever seen that game before (trying hard not to laugh).
Lucas: Then we try and push each other over or pretend we're playing with light sabers.
Me: Like Star Wars?
Lucas: No mom, it's mini dude? Didn't I just tell you that?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten

Some sage advice that Lucas has passed on to me in recent days. Maybe he'll look back on this blog entry when he's older and appreciate the things he learned in kindergarten.
  • Lucas and I were drawing pictures. I was in the middle of drawing a tree. I had the trunk and the big green blobby thing that makes up the tree top. I started drawing in branches and a few leaves here and there. Lucas looks over at my drawing and says, "I see you're adding in some details, you're doing a good job adding in those details."
  • I was just about done with my drawing, so I sat back and said, "I think I'm done." Lucas looks at me and says, "When you say you're done, you've just begun."
  • I told Lucas that I had some things to do and would play with him when I was done. He asked if he could help and I told him that I would just finish it up really quickly and then we could play. He said, "You shouldn't exclude other people. If someone wants to do something with you, you should always let them in."
He's said some other things to me that I know he's learned at school, but I can't seem to remember the others now.

Okay, so this doesn't really have to do with this entry, but here's Lucas standing next to the kolam that he made on the school chalk day. According to Lucas a kolam is "making and coloring your own dot-to-dots, but in India". That's pretty close. Wikipedia defines it as "a form of sandpainting that is drawn using rice powder by female members of the family in front of their home. It is widely practised by Hindus in South India. A Kolam is a sort of painted prayer — a line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Email from Lucas

Lucas sent this email to me back in October, but I just found it in my monstrous inbox...

i hav a pet dog she haz a small head girl dog her nam is maggie ilikethrowing the ball for her i love my mom and my dad and my self and mydog i like flying in a airplane its fun you git treats

Friday, November 07, 2008

A little late, but "Yes we did"

After months and months of losing sleep being on media watch online, discussing politics with friends and co-workers, canvassing for Obama over a weekend in Reno, and general hand-wringing...Obama won the election. I know, this is old old news at this point.

But here's my recap of election night anyway. I took Lucas voting with me around 7pm on Election Day. Afterward we went to gelato, they had the tv on at the chocolate stand next door. We were watching it along with about 20 other folks. People were going nuts because at this point, it was pretty clear that Obama was going to win this thing.

I looked around and thought how cool this is to be standing with all these people I don't know, but everyone cheering and realizing together that this was happening for real. The chocolate shop owner who is French was walking around, patting us all on the back saying, "This is such a great day for America. A great day for the world." It was such a nice feeling, we were all so connected, the other folks were probably like me, no tv at home, or maybe just hungry for gelato and fancy chocolates, standing there watching history in the making. It was so cool. We were all feeling the same things, amazement, relief, and joy at the good news that kept pouring out of the tv.

By the time we got home, McCain's concession speech had just started. Then Obama's acceptance speech, I felt like running through the streets, banging pots and pans. I started crying during Obama's speech. I couldn't help it, I felt so hopeful and inspired by that man and his words.

Later that night after Lucas was in bed, I was emailing with friends other cynical folks like me. We were saying how proud we are to be Americans now, and how America now feels like a place for hopes and dreams to come true. Showing our country and the world that we're not as stupid and closed-minded as we have been in the past.

The next day I wished I had an American flag t-shirt or something that just said USA on it and I would have worn it. I wore my Obama shirt instead. If someone had knocked on our door selling big American flags, I would have bought one on the spot and hung it in front of our house.

Even when I called my sister that morning on the way in to work, she said, "You know I woke up and it just feels different." I felt the same way, things just felt good.

And it was great to go online and read what people around the world were saying about Obama as the new US President:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation's website: "Americans have elected Democrat Barack Obama as their first black president in a transformational election, which will reshape U.S. politics and reposition the United States on the world stage."

One man in the Kenyan village of Kogelo told a reporter: "Because Obama has won, we will have a change in the whole world." A school teacher in Kogelo remarked: "Obama and America have shown the world what true democracy is all about...."

Executive news editor in Dubai: “This is a historic moment not only for the United States, but so we can all get away from perceptions about religion and race and instead consider the quality of the person."

TV writer in Argentina: “The biggest economy in the world has a leader that the world can talk to. There is the feeling that for the first time since Kennedy, America has a different type of leader.”

Student in Moscow: “The U.S., that is country that is really majestic. I feel it is a country where everything is possible.”

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Happy Halloween x 2

Lucas' school celebrated Halloween on the 30th this year, since they had parent conferences on the 31st.

Lucas decided that morning to wear his Spidey costume from last year. Here he is as Spiderman, with his buddy Spencer.

Spencer had an awesome costume...Wall E. The classes marched down to the main yard. There were some very elaborate costumes. The communication sent home by the head of school last week included this line:

Five of Lucas' classmates and their families came over tonight for pizza and then for some good old trick or treating in our neighborhood.

The 5 Star Wars characters (one may have been a Power Ranger, not sure) and one vampire shark were all brandishing light sabers, even the vampire shark.Luckily we escaped the house and started trick-or-treating before anyone got hurt. We came back and the boys counted and sorted their candy, and then everyone went home and went to bed with sugar coursing through their veins.