When the kids are babies you play the game with their features: Whose nose is that? That is definitely your elbow.
When they get a little older, you start to do it more with personality. Her piano tantrums must come from your side of the gene pool! Her dance moves definitely favor the Donohues.
One trait we have little doubt over is Cecilia’s ability to be alone. That definitely comes from me and is something that often confounds my more socially-adept wife. She sometimes worries about it. I just remember many happy hours playing computer games or reading alone in the basement.
I don’t think Cecilia’s lonely. Being alone and lonely are not the same. She is quite happy to play with other kids. She has friends. She just doesn’t mind being alone. I can relate. Society can often make the act of being alone feel like a stigma or a negative. As if it’s imposed rather than a choice.
So much of parenting today revolves around being involved all the time that kids are rarely left without an organized activity, never mind actually being left by themselves. I think learning to be alone was a critical skill for me to acquire as a kid. It allowed me to listen to and trust my own instincts without outside influence.
She may still be working on her math facts and trombone scales, but I think Cecilia is well on her way to confidently knowing herself.
Once a year, when I was a boy, a small, traveling carnival would appear in town and setup at the abandoned naval base in the middle of town. From afar, especially at night, the lights of the rides, the smell of popcorn and sugar and the peripatetic palaver of the barkers was an irresistible allure to us kids.
Of course, as I wrote that first sentence it occurred to me it also sounds like the synopsis of a Stephen King novel.
It was a cold, gray, damp blanket of a Saturday. We have packed agendas with First Communions and dance recitals the next two weekends, but this weekend was low key. One birthday party today, but nothing else on the docket.
Michelle had a surprise baby shower in the city yesterday, so I was flying solo most of the day. Any time this happens my main goal is to exhaust the kids so much that bedtime by 7 pm is not only logical, but an absolute necessity as the kids melt into a puddle of incoherent insanity.
I started planning potential events and activities on Thursday to be sure I could sap the little monsters of their life force and have the wine opened by 7:15. Here’s how it all went down.