Thursday, January 21, 2010

letter from Sandy Point

We go every year up to Sandy Point Beach up in Schroon Lake NY. Its a gorgeous place, and the kids really love it. Unfortunately, it is run by this group of people that have odd ideas about how to make people feel welcome. Check out this letter, written a full six months after our stay. I really have no idea what they are talking about. I asked the kids if they remembered breaking anyone's inflatable raft six months ago, and they didn't. Oh well. Some people are just miserable.

letter from sandy point

Thursday, January 14, 2010

waking up the children on a schoolday

Kath has been substitute teaching, so these mornings are hectic. We
all need to get out the door by seven. First we wake up the boys.
Its dark in their room, until the light flickers on. PJ is lying in
his bed in the fetal position, a checkered green blanket covering him
from head to toe. I tell him to wake up. No response. I start to
pull the covers off of his head. He fights me, holding the sheets
down. His grip is surprisingly strong. I say "PJ!" annd he starts
laughing at the game of it now, although he still really doesn't want
to get out of bed. Once his head has been revealed, I move on to
Sam. It is the same story again.

I yell "feet on the floor, guys!" and move on to Anna's room.
"Morning sunshine! -- Its time to wake up!"

"I know!" Anna yells, in a voice twisted with a tired, wretched,
eleven year old anger. she does not move.

"You need to get out of bed." I offer.

"I," big pause "know!"

"I'll give you a five minutes to get dressed and come back and see how
you are doing." I might as well have told her to get started on some
impressionist painting, it was about as likely.

The boys go downstairs before they get dressed downstairs, so they are
first to arrive, sort of tumbling down the stairs. PJ makes a run for
the coveted heater vent, and curls up on top of it, his blanket making
a tent over him. Its difficult to get the boys to get dressed, but
not because they don't want to get dressed. More so like they have
the attention span of gnats, and they just sort of fumble around in a
sleepy haze.

"Two minutes, Anna" I yell up the stairs. I really don't know if its
been three minutes since her first warning or not, but what they hey.

PJ has his pants and shirt on, but can't find his shoes. Nor can he
remember ever wearing any. Ever. Its as though he has never even
seen a shoe.

I have to go upstairs to check on Anna.

"Are you all dressed yet? You need to get ready for school." I say
while I walk up the stairs to her room.

"I know!" She yells, more angry then ever.

"Anna! Now you're going to be late. You need to wash your hair. Get
out of bed."

As I come around the bend to her the doorway to her room I see her
perched like a griffin on top of her bed, her blanket draped over her.
"I know!" She says, repeating her mantra.

"All right two minutes, dressed and down stairs or you lose privileges today.

"I know."

I go back downstairs.

The boys are playing a game that involves getting the other person to
follow your fingers through the air and then clapping your hands at
the last minute, surprising them. But their clothes are on. Kathleen
is making them breakfast. PJ gets waffles, Sam gets the generic
cinnamon squares, having never known there real name. I look at the
clock. It is 6:40, time to leave for my bus. Strangely, the last
twenty minutes have seemed like an hour. But I have to go. I say
goodbye to everyone and head out to my car, waves of relief spreading
over me as I drive for my bus.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Fanaticism, and Bears

A conversation I had with PJ tonight:

"Dad, what's a fan - attic?"

"Do you mean a fanatic? "f - a - n - a - t- i - c?"

"Yes."

"Well, a fanatic is a person who can't get enough of something. Like
you might say that I am a poker fanatic."

"And I am video game fanatic?"

"Well, yes."

"But I guess you are hoping for me to stop being a video game fanatic,
aren't you?"

"Well, not necessarily, you see there are good addictions and bad
addictions. Like some people are addicted to running."

"And that is a good addiction?"

"Yes, as long as you don't go overboard, running is really healthy.
And some people can't get enough of the outdoors, and camping."

"Except then you can get eaten by a bear. That would be a downside,
to that, wouldn't it?"

"A bear?"

"Yes."

"Yes, PJ, that's right. Getting eaten by a bear would be a downside.

Sunday, January 03, 2010