Christmas Culture Corner

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November 15th, 2013

In the grand scheme of things learning to ride a two-wheeler isn’t that big of a deal.  There’s learning to drive, graduating from high school, getting married, or having your first baby.  Twenty years from now Rowan is barely going to remember this day, or the moments littered throughout it.  He won’t remember that for two hours he struggled up and down the hill in the parking lot, dirt and tears of frustration streaming down his face, but never once quitting.  He’s not going to remember how he felt when he screamed, “LET GO!” only to realize that I already had, and he had soared down that hill on his own.  He’s not going to remember how he fell, and scraped his knee.  He won’t recall how he sulked off to the side of the road, stomped his foot in indignation-sure that it was his bike that was at fault.  He won’t recall how his mom stifled a laugh when he beamed, “I did it!  I perseveranced and I did it!!  He won’t understand how his mom’s chest nearly burst with the amount of pride she felt at literally letting her son go and watching him hold himself up, all by himself.  He won’t know how tiny and how big she thought he looked at the same time.   He probably won’t remember any of these things…but I will.

Culture Corner

Recently Rowan has begun memorizing, authoring, and reciting poetry. For as long as he allows me to, I will post them on this blog.

Here is tonight’s entry (unfortunately the beginning was cut off, and considering that he’s currently running a moderately high fever, I didn’t think it was fair to ask him to repeat himself.) :

“One day….”

A few days ago me and my little boy (who is becoming a man right before my eyes) had one of those days where you collapse into bed physically exhausted, but so mentally stimulated it’s impossible to let the day go and sleep.  We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, or spectacular.  In fact, it was rather normal, really.  At 8:30 that night I allowed my son to crawl into my big bed, where he curled his lanky body around mine, and started talking about every single thing.  I let him go on like that for forty-five minutes.  Forty-five minutes of precious time I could have used for sleep.  Or homework. Or folding laundry.  Forty-five minutes of precious time he could have had for an extra chapter of “The Secret Garden”, or an extra episode of “How it’s Made.”  I asked him to tell me the story of his day, and it went something like this:

(I’m grateful for my obsession with documenting his life.  It may drive people batty at times, but I don’t regret it…not for one second.)

(This is all dictated by Rowan, so don’t get after me for bad grammar!!)

“Once upon a time, there was a boy who didn’t want to do school, but he had to do it anyway, because Mommy said so.  She says Rowan has to have a good attitude. (He’s usually pretty good about school, but lately he has perfected the exasperated sigh, and the annoyed eye roll.  Heck no, boy.  You don’t get to use those moves on me until you’re at least 10!  We’re working on a little character training, so hopefully I can help him think of less rude way to deal with his displeasure.  When he DOES have a peaceful heart, he can churn out papers like these:)

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After Rowan is done with school, he likes to play cowboy.  The holster rubs on my hips, so I wear it without pants.  Cowboys could run so much faster without pants on.  Why didn’t they think of that?

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Then Mom says that we’re going to the doctor’s, so I have to wear clothes.  She said if I went to the doctor’s naked, my buns would get chilly.  So Rowan got dressed.

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Mom said Rowan could wear his cowboy gear when we went out, but he thought people might be scared that the cowboy would yell, “YEE-HAW!!!” really loudly, and I don’t think they all would bring headphones to block it out.  Rowan thought he should leave his cowboy stuff at home, so he did.

Then they went to the doctors.  Rowan wore his doctor shirt so he could fool people.  They all thought he was a doctor and let him play with their equipment.  He also took all the candy and suckers they give to the good kids.  Doctors are allowed to do that, you know.

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So the doctors didn’t take as long as Mommy thought they would so she said we had time to go through the car wash.  Did you know the car wash is really a secret cave filled with pink and yellow jewels?  It really is!

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Okay, after the mom and the boy get their car clean, they go have lunch with Rowan’s best friend.  His name is Avery, and he’s a little baby.  I can hold his hand while he walks, and I can make him laugh really hard.  I really love him.

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Then Avery and Rowan got in the car together and drove to the park.  Avery had never been to a park before, so Rowan had to teach him all about slides and swings.

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Avery got soooo tired from all his laughing, so he had to go home and take a nap.  I was upset that he had to go home, but Mommy told me that we could play together again soon.  I wasn’t so sad after I heard that.

Me and mommy went to do some Christmas shopping, and we had a snack.  Then we went for a bike ride with my other best friend, Beth.  Mommy and Beth can be friends too.  We had to wait for Beth to come to the trail, so while we waited, Rowan showed his Mommy the trail map.  She’s bad with directions (I really, really am), but I’m not.

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Beth finally came to the trail, and I rode on the bumpy trail for like, TEN MILES! (okay, it was probably a little over one, but for being such a sandy and rocky trail, I’m sure it felt like 10 miles to him.)

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At the very end the little boy got tired of pedaling, so his friend helped him push his bike to the car.

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The mom and the boy went home after that and ate a huge dinner.  The mom was exhausted, but the boy wanted to play some more!

The End.”

The Man with the Yellow Hat

Last night, of course, was trick-or-treating.  I think Rowan is at the perfect age for this type of event.  As Mike says, “Everything is so magical for him, and new and exciting.”  He’s right too.  The amount of energy that kid exudes is incredible.  It’s impossible not to catch some of his excitement.

This was Rowan’s 6th Halloween, so let’s take a walk through the past, shall we?

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This was Rowan’s first Halloween at 2 months old.  We didn’t really go trick-or-treating this year, but we totally rocked the whole handing out of candy thing.  (We even gave away the good stuff!)

Dumbo

This is Rowan’s second Halloween costume at 14 months.  I limited the trick-or-treating to my dad’s office and the nursing home, where he was a HUGE hit!  Seriously, you want to make the elderly happy? Stick a baby in a costume in the middle of the room, and let him go nuts.  They will be tickled pink!

Construction Worker

This was the year of the construction worker.  Rowan had just turned two, and really had the concept of asking for candy down.  He even said, “Please?”  I think this was the costume that kept on giving too….he still uses that tool belt and all the tools.  I knew investing in real tools instead of plastic ones was the way to go!

Fireman

For a brief time Rowan wanted to be “the guy that drove the fire truck.”  Shortly after this Halloween when he was three, he abandoned that idea to cultivate his dream of being the ice cream man.  Wise choice, my boy.  Wise choice.

Chef

This was last year’s costume, when he was four.  He’s always loved to cook (he is going to make an awesome husband some day), and wanted to express that side of him through costume.  He pulled it off beautifully, and still throws the jacket and hat on from time to time to subtly tell me that he wants to bake cupcakes.

Without further ado, I present to you, the 2013 homemade costume of awesomeness……..THE MAN WITH THE YELLOW HAT!!!!

Man with the yellow hat OH….EM….GEE you guys…I know I’m biased, but holy cow did he look cute.  Curious George has been his favorite series of books for a long time.  Years even!  Like three years!  That’s a long time when you’re only five.  We dyed the shirt and pants, cut the tie out of felt, and glued the black polka-dots onto it.  The hat is an old straw hat we found at a thrift store, that we covered in yellow felt, with a wad of stuffing to shape the top of it.  The boots are his rubber barn boots that he’s had for a year or so.  The black belt we had, and the stuffed Curious George came from my Aunt Dorothy.  The whole ensemble was a hit.  Here a few photos from trick-or-treating in town:

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mike

Good ol’ Mike, who so graciously pulled the wagon up and down all the hills and through the crowds of people in the dark.  He’s a good guy. 🙂

Anyway, a good time was had by all.  It was a lovely time of socializing with the neighbors and getting to know them better.  I think everyone needs to take advantage of the opportunity trick-or-treating gives us to reach out to the people we share our town with.  I’m always shocked at how many wonderful people live near me that I never see or talk to.  I have no one to blame for that except myself either.  I’ve got my foot in the door now, and I hope that I don’t let another year go by without getting to know them better.