Sunday, March 15, 2009

Syncopated

The other day, Child One and I were having a conversation in the car (where many of our best conversations take place) about whether the Beatles’ song “Come Together” would be a good song for his band. I said that I thought their singer would like singing it—I was thinking this because it would fit in with his abundance of front-man attitude (unpolished though it is at his young age of 12). But before I could say this, Child One said, “Yeah, he would like it; he likes syncopated songs.”

Syncopated?

Now, Child One has used big words before. He’s been known to drone on and on about topics that I don’t fully understand, like certain video games. And when my kids talk about scales and flats and chords, it does sometimes feel to me (who can’t even yodel) like they’re speaking Etruscan or some other language I know very little about. But—as far as I know (I have to admit that I’m not always fully listening)—this was the first time that he’d used a word completely outside my experience, whose meaning I couldn’t even guess. So casual, so confident, as if he were saying any old word.

Just like when I realized that Child One’s clothes were closer to man sized than little-boy sized, I was jolted by the reminder that he’s growing up. As a mom, I’m used to my kids asking me the meanings of words; I’m not used to having to ask them. While he’s still so young in some ways, Child One is moving beyond me in others.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Unexpected

We've had a few snow flurries over the past few days, and yesterday a couple of inches of snow fell very quickly, over the course of an hour or so. And more fell overnight.

In parts of our neighborhood, we've had snow on the ground continuously since December. This is not the norm here--I don't know if it's ever happened before--and I, for one, was not happy to see several inches of snow on our deck rail this morning.

But, trying to make the best of it, I eschewed an umbrella in favor of my camera for the walk to school and took pictures on the way home--over 100 of them--until my fingers were numb and my hair was full of ice crystals. One thing I like about taking pictures on snowy days is how colors that you might not notice on a sunny day stand out more, like the green moss on this tree:

The playground was empty this morning, but the park will probably be full of sledders after school.

When I got home, I took some more photos.

I was given some tulips last week. Because I live with a plant-eating monster, any flowers I get are put outside the kitchen window, where I can see them but they are safe from being ripped apart. Today the tulips stood out against their background of huge, snowy trees.

This is my garlic, busy growing despite the weather:

This rope swing hangs in the clearing in our forest:

And this ball, which belonged to my mother-in-law, hangs in our kitchen window.

Finally, like me, a little bird on a set of outdoor shelves waits for the flowers of spring.