monday Wrap

Dear J-

We had a busy weekend, not that you could necessarily tell by looking at the kids now, but at one point yesterday both of them had spilled sno-cones on themselves (it really isn’t summer until you’ve had a sno-cone) and were pining for home. A bit later we were ready to regroup and head out for a meal and then tackle the long-ish drive back from Gilroy. When it’s hot I appreciate the wonders of an air-conditioned car, to say nothing of the breeze off the Bay in the evenings at home. Most of the activities didn’t get pulled off in a salutary fashion, as we kept thinking we could plan on the fly, so I understand how theVet must have felt when planning our weekends, between snacks and bathroom breaks, some structure does help.

I found there were only a relative handful of pictures this weekend — in total, less than two hundred, and for going to a major tourist attraction (the Monterey Bay Aquarium), very few inside the Aquarium itself, which may be indicative of the time we spent inside or the exhibits we saw (the ocean tank, three times; sea otters; the splashy bits, where a wave comes over the glass; the gift shop, where the polite clerks asked us if we needed help every single time of the four times we went in). Still, though: it’s dark inside and I just wasn’t up to the task of running after the kids and jostling with the crowds. Eventually we’ll get back to the wonder of seeing new things but for now the boy thinks everything is a playground, so we should probably just go there instead.

The kids are confident kids; they’re confident they won’t be left behind (this is a well-grounded sort of confidence, no matter how many times we threaten to the contrary) and that any consequences will be short-lived and fleeting. Discipline, right? I dunno. I wish I had a way to talk about the stress and anxiety of when I was a kid, too: they are genuinely eager to please like me but even the coldest, most disappointing tones doesn’t seem to elicit the slightest bit of remorse, only invigorating their renewed opposition. What is that? I’m not a firm believer in self-help books as I like to think we are all unique snowflakes, but I’m sure this isn’t unprecedented, either. We will find the right combination of words and techniques to help them and us.

Mike

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