five things, may 24 edition


1. I think, as you've seen, it's been a pretty okay week for the folks around here at least. Miss Violet has perked up a bit. Although we can tell that she's starting to diminish, she's doing better than she was over the weekend, which makes us all feel easier since Neel's out of town. Callum had a banner week, yes? It's funny how we all remember the moment of getting our braces off so well. His social studies teacher made him smile for everyone, and he said that even though it made him feel self conscious, he quite liked it! We went to his favorite restaurant with a friend of his on Wednesday night for Wing Night. My boy was in heaven. His friend's mom, who is a new friend to me (isn't that always nice?) and I kept joking that we were going to get the salad. As if a wing and beer joint has salads. Cole slaw is as close as it comes and nobody orders that!

2. I think we're lucky that neither of us travels so much that it's a burden on our family. When Neel is out of town, Cal and I treat ourselves to the food he doesn't like, like artichokes. It's a treat my boy and I love, and we rarely get to indulge in. Super bonus on a weeknight. Papa's not gone too long this time, but we're already ready to have him home. Plus, he does the dishes.

3. I think I really could use suggestions for cute walking shoes. Any thoughts? It's much easier for me to do this in the winter, but I need walkable, not totally flat, and of course super cute.

4. I thinkAnnie had an interesting observation on yesterday's post. Americans (I'm paraphrasing) have a lot of flags. She's right. She joked that we needed reminded of where we lived, and I always figured it was a bit of chest-thumpery. Whomp, whomp. We're Americans. See the flag? We had our own flag for ages, a 1776 flag with 13 stars in a circle, because Virginia is one of the 13 original colonies, and I always thought that was cool. Still, we're not real flag wavers here. Besides, it's too tattered to hang now. I get Annie's point. And then, as I was headed to school to pick up Callum yesterday, I listened to President Obama on the radio give a speech about terrorism. He got heckled big time during the speech by a woman who wants him to close Guantanamo. Well, duh. (And, side note, he was way more patient with her than I would have been. I felt like I learned some about parenting in the moments that he let that impassioned woman just have her say. But that's a story for another day.) As he spoke to her and continued the speech, he referred to this man, the Shoe Bomber. Remember him? President Obama recounted on Thursday, "In sentencing Reid, Judge William Young told him, 'the way we treat you…is the measure of our own liberties.' He went on to point to the American flag that flew in the courtroom – “That flag,” he said, “will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom.”

His overall speech seemed particularly poignant in the wake of London's most recent and especially brutal terrorist attack this past week. My heart ached to hear this story, and I felt for my friends to have this horrific attack happen in their city. Freedom shows itself in all sorts of ways, some flag waving and some not so. Freedom means taking our kids to ballgames and wandering busy streets and Boston Marathoners coming back en masse in 2014 to run again. I guess for some people it means putting a flag at the end of their dock and for others it means draping a flag over the remains of their tornado-ravaged home.

5. I think it's Memorial Day weekend! In my house that will mean some exam prep, some jet lag recovery, and if Neel and Callum get lucky, lots of World War II movies. Hello, Normandy. Cal and I are working tomorrow to clean the house and get some homework done and get ready for Neel's return, and after that it's all play. Summer's just around the corner. Are you guys feeling it? What fun are you up to? In my book, summer can't come soon enough.