July 2013


I’m lucky that I have the type of job where I can bring my kids to work.

Not every day.  Just every once in a while.

Some nights, it’s just me and Howie.

We have about a half hour between open gym sessions here.  We open for younger kids first, close for a bit, then reopen for older kids.

During that half hour it’s just us.

I clean.

And I let him go.

He runs.

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He bends a few rules.  Shhhh…

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We play drive-thru.

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He can just…be.

These summer days have been so hard.

So damn hard.

The routine changes.  The heat.  The everyone-is-home-and-talking-at-once-and-needing-everything-at-the-same-time-and-will-you-please-stop-yelling-at-each-other moments.

But here…in those thirty minutes…

Just free.

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“There’s a land that I see where the children are free
And I say it ain’t far to this land from where we are
Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free
Come with me, take my hand, and we’ll live

In a land where the river runs free
In a land through the green country
In a land to a shining sea
And you and me are free to be you and me” – Free To Be You And Me by Marlo Thomas

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I’ll admit that I know nothing about Minecraft.  I used to pride myself on being involved in what my kids were doing and watching, but somewhere along the way I stopped being as attentive as I’d like.  Probably around the time when my youngest turned one.

I’ve gone on a little bit of a leap of faith that Minecraft was safe and okay.  Luckily I’ve had friends like Stimey and Patty and Bec write about it and tell me it’s fine. Read their posts.  They know what they’re doing.  And then Minecraft server AutCraft…well, that was the clincher for me.

So this afternoon, when a ridiculous head cold had me grumpy and the 90 degree heat 90% humidity had me down, I was grateful for a little quiet.  I posted this on my personal Facebook page:

H and G are sitting across from each other with iPads, communicating through Minecraft and building a house together.
I suppose this is the equivalent of Tim and I texting each other from across the room discussing which one of us is charge of dinner.

They’ve been doing this for over an hour now.  Together.

After three weeks of summer break and the fighting and the tattling and the inability to find something they could do together without “He hit me!” and “I’m telling!”…they found a common ground.

“Watch out for those pigs!”

“Come with me through the waterfall!”

“How about some pork chops!” (This one was for Tim)

Just a moment ago, Gerry looked over at Howie. “Are you happy that I came into your world?”

“Kind of,” came the response from Howie, without him looking up.

“Kind of?” said Gerry?  “Aren’t you having fun with me?”

“Yes.  I am.” Howie replied.  And he looked up and smiled.

And with that, I have the promise of the potential for harmony for the next several weeks of vacation.  Spending time together in each others’ worlds.

Maybe I will even get a shower this summer.

Yes I know they are still in pajamas at 3pm.  Don't judge. It's summer.

Yes I know they are still in pajamas at 3pm. Don’t judge. It’s summer.

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming

A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I’m way up here
It’s crystal clear
that now I’m in a whole new world with you” – A Whole New World from Aladdin