Thursday, June 19, 2008

Porch Love

I spent about an hour on the front porch this evening, from dusk until dark, embroidering by the light of a little halogen lamp. At IKEA on Tuesday, we bought two little tealight lanterns for outside, and, while they give off a pretty glow, I can't exactly do anything complicated with the light they produce. Elliot and I listened to a Cubs game on the radio--but when the Cubs self-destructed in the 7th inning, Elliot got discouraged. He went down to the sidewalk and started "ghost pitching"--pitching imaginary balls to invisible hitters--and chatting with fireflies. (When he was younger, he also used to play "ghost Scrabble" and "ghost chess"--two games in which he'd play [very ineptly] for his invisible opponent, who would inevitably lose. We enjoyed watching his ghost games, though we could never tell how self-conscious he was about the uneven distribution of skills between himself and his ghost friend.)

Earlier today, in an attempt to give my husband the quiet house that is enabling him to write an article due in less than two weeks, the kids and I went shopping for tap shoes (Astrid starts a new jazz, tap, and hip hop dance class next week). After that we went (on Elliot's recommendation) to a paleteria/neveria in Berwyn called "Flamingo's". Oh, my goodness....the place has about 120 different flavors of Mexican ice cream (actually, kind of a cross between Mexican and Italian ice cream, according to this article from one of Chicago's Spanish-language dailies). The proprietor makes everything herself....flavors like horchata [based on the Mexican rice drink], mango diablo [mango with hot chiles], and even parmesan cheese [!!!]. Astrid stuck with the familiar--bubble gum and chocolate--though I suppose the combination isn't exactly traditional. Elliot had a scoop of caramel and one of Mexican hot chocolate (which the owner calls "Chocolate Mis Recuerdos" [My Memories Chocolate] because of the tearful memories it elicited from a man who associated the taste with his late mother). I had camote [sweet potato pie] and Kahlua. Both were out of this world. By the time Astrid was done, both hands, her face, and her dress were completely sticky. I got her into the car, where she fell asleep....that was five o'clock, and it's now 10:30, and she is still asleep and completely sticky.

Yesterday I had one of those startling mothering moments, akin to the "eve of kindergarten" sensation I experienced on graduation day last week. At the public library, we were checking out a tall stack of novels for Elliot, when the librarian asked if E. was signed up for the summer reading program. We said no, because we have our own incentive system at home (OK...yes...we started *paying* Elliot to read last summer, using the point system from those icky Accelerated Reading lists on the web...once he reached 100 points, he got $10 dollars. No, we're not proud--but we now have a kid who happily devours novels). The librarian then asked what grade Elliot was going into. When he told the librarian he would soon be in sixth grade, the librarian pulled out a sheet of paper describing the TEEN Summer Reading Program--which has much better prizes than the elementary one. Elliot stood a bit taller when he found out that, as far as the library is concerned, he's now a teenager. I must have looked concerned as I told the librarian that Elliot is still 10. He shrugged his shoulders and said, "if he's going into sixth grade, and he's planning to read 1000 or so pages over the next week [which, we found out, is all a, teen....needs to read *for the whole summer* to be eligible for the IPhone drawing], he might as well be in the running for the good loot....."

Look's like Astrid's trying to wake up, so I'm going to post this now.

No comments: