Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And the Winner Goes to....

* Note, before reading this decide whether or not you want to read some gibberish that is slightly pity-party-ish. It really is, but I will try to make a decent point by the end. *

So, Joe and I overhear a lot of comments about our kids when we are out. For instance: "Look at that gimpy baby!" or "Now, that's just pitiful," (also about Ingrid). We mainly just have stares regarding Jack's odd behavior. Sometimes the brave child will ask us what's wrong with him or why he doesn't talk. (Which I think are honest and appropriate questions.) Today I heard a 12 year-old girl (approximately 12, at least) explain Jack's odd behavior at Petco to her younger brother (Jack was excitedly flapping his arms because he found a toy, well a dog toy, that he was getting) by saying, "He's a retarded fag." It was almost too much, and I just laughed. That is how someone is explaining my four-year-old's behavior? I am frustrated because some people never accept differences in others. What is a solution to this frustration? I am not sure.

But my winner for the oddest insult we have ever heard about our kids was from an older gentleman walking into a French bakery while Jack and I were leaving. (Picture is from approximate time period.) "Look at that hair," he spat, "he looks like a little German!" Well, I guess stereotypes, labels, and cut-downs have been around for quite awhile. I just want to help my children build up enough callous to protect themselves while still being thin-skinned enough to feel other people's pain.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Botanic Gardens

We love to go to the Botanic Gardens to have a picnic. Then:

Jack runs until he gets to the Japanese Garden. At that point, Jack and Ingrid get completely freaked out by the koi.

Jack gets in the stroller. Ingrid pushes him. He crosses his legs. She doggedly pushes on.

Why I Love My Street, Part Two

For instance,

Fast forward to Easter afternoon. We have returned from grandmother's house, stuffed and sleepy. Joe volunteers to take the kiddos on a walk around the block while I get my lesson plans done. Joe returns quickly. He yells for me to come outside. I run out to the porch, and Joe, Jack and Ingrid are hanging out with a white goat and a black dog. (We later discovered the two are best buddies.) The goat and the dog had followed them home from the walk. Neighbors came out to discuss our options for finding the goat's owner. We laughed and took pictures. The goat trampled flowers and tries to eat things. Finally, a neighbor came out who knew the owner of the dog and goat. Joe and the neighbor walked the pair back home. It was quite an Easter and a great reminder of why I love my street.

Why I Love My Street, Part One

When I was little, I believe my favorite book was The Big Orange Splot by Pinkwater. The narrator vividly tells the story of a plain, boring old street where all the houses look the same and everyone says, "This is a neat street..." Well, one day a bird flies over one of the houses with a can of orange paint in its beak, and drops it on Mr. Plumbean's house. (I know, kickin' names.) Anywho, so he decides to leave the splot, and people on the street get annoyed because it is no longer a neat street. Well, Mr. Plumbean does paint one night, but he adds to the splot--he adds tons of colors and drawings to make his house his. He slowly talks his neighbors into making their house a home one at a time as they attempt to talk sense into him on warm summer nights under his tropical tree, holding glasses of lemonade. At the end of the story, all of the houses are different: a pyramid, castle, hot-air balloon, etc. When people pass they would say, "This is not a neat street." But the people would say, "This is us and we are it. These are all of our dreams... (or some type of seventies propaganda like that--and I do say this in jest.)"

So, back to my street. I believe the street where the Busbys reside is my own perfect street where all of our dreams reside.

First for instance:

Easter, three years ago

My grandparents and parents were coming over for brunch, and Joe and I were working on preparing the feast. Jack was crawling around, unaware that an Easter Bunny should have arrived. (We had no time for this type of foolishness.) Joe walks to the door--probably to take a trash bag out--and yells, "Sally! The Easter Bunny came!"

I thought he was joking until I saw the front yard and porch. Multi-colored eggs, at least 36, were all over our porch and yard. What the heck!? We didn't put them out there. It was absolutely magical. Jack went out and had his first egg hunt ever. The Easter Bunnies were the women who live in a house down the street. They stayed up late on Easter Eve, ringing in Easter with a few, and filling plastic eggs with candy and a dollar for every kid on the block. Then, about 3 in the morning, the 2 EBs made their rounds, apparently with lots of loud, SHHHH!sss and laughter.

This tradition has continued every year. We put out posters thanking the "Easter Bunnies" on our porches and leave "bunny" food and drink for them on their porch. What fun!