Sep 3, 2014

Back To School

9/03/2014 — cori

Gavin - 10th Grade

It doesn't seem right.  Time can't really go that fast.  Can it?  I swear, I still feel this age every single day.   This must be some cruel joke time is playing on me.  My baby becoming a giant.  This year involves 2 AP classes, a trip to Germany and a possible summer internship at a company in downtown Minneapolis.  This adult who has inhabited my son's body is hyper interested in programming and learning all he can as fast as he can.  He checks out books called, "Hacking for Dummies" and "The Linux Bible".  I have to ask him to dumb things down for me once in a while so I can understand parts of our conversations.  He's in the process of creating for me a databank of all the popular texting and teenage acronyms so I can better follow along and look less confused.  He's ever so kind.  Don't even get me started on his love affair with the Science Channel.  We have half of that channel on our DVR so he can learn more and more science.  He is my chauffeur and my friend.  We have deep, wonderful conversations.  Then there are periods where we don't say more than 3 words to each other most of the day.  We are both processing this thing called Growing Up. 

Bennett - 7th Grade

Ever the happy, smiling, optimist.  Everything he does (excluding reading a book - unless that book is Calvin and Hobbes) is done with a huge grin on his face.  He radiates joy.  He is a loyal friend.  He's comfortable enough in his own skin to not worry about fitting in with the popular kids.  He has a strong moral compass but isn't self righteous or condescending to others who don't see things the same way.  He still has a heart for the underdog.  We even joked together at the beginning of this school year wondering which bully he was going to befriend this time.  The last three years he has ended up 'the friend of the bully' and I'm sure this year will be no exception.  Befriend as in: love him anyways, be patient with, stand up to, earn the respect of and help whenever possible.  Basketball is still his life and every lesson in life can be related back to basketball in some form or fashion.  He even wrote on an "About Me" back to school paper that his favorite quote is: "I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." - Michael Jordan

Chloe - 5th Grade

My baby is now at the highest ranks of the Elementary ladder.  It doesn't seem possible.  She was attached to my hip for years and now all the sudden this.  It just can't be.  I'm in denial.  Happy for her, sad for me.  Life is so exciting at this age.  She chose to go to a new charter school that opened up this year in our community.  It is small, project based and housed in one of the oldest school buildings in our city (which is a good thing since she loves all things old).  It is a perfect complement to her personality.  She is continuing horseback riding this year instead of gymnastics.  She realized that being with horses was in her blood and she has to spend her time at the barn with them each week.    Gymnastics was too competitive for her.  I love that she is learning this about her self and able to make decisions to stay true to her self.  She inhales books.  She reads faster than me!  She's become quite the fashionista but prefers the 'a la natural' look with her hair.  She's got friends all over the place and not enough time to play with them all.  Best of all, this is her very first year to ride the bus and to her ultimate joy she gets to ride the same bus as Bennett, her best friend. 

On A Wing And A Prayer

9/03/2014 — cori
We tried desperately to squeeze every last drop out of summer break this past weekend.   In order to do so that means you must oftentimes come up with plans on the fly.  Especially if you live in Minnesota during this, The Summer That Wasn't.  I think we've had maybe 2 days that hit 80 degrees. So when the sun comes out, rain stays at bay and there is a tinge of heat in the air, you drop all plans and invent one that involves outdoor activity.  This is just how we roll up here.  We make the most of our outdoor time.  That is how this came to be our Fun Family Activity for Sunday.   We decided to load all our bikes up and drive into the City to ride around the Chain of Lakes and over to our favorite pizza joint, Punch.  Life just doesn't get much better than this for us.  

This is the back of Chuck's car.  I gave him that bike rack for Father's Day a year ago.  At around the same time, his trunk broke and has never opened since.  He felt he would not be able to use the bike rack with a broken trunk.  However, I was (rather surprisingly) able to attach the bike rack on all by myself (okay...with help from Gavin) without ever attempting to open the 'broken trunk'.  Being that I so economically purchased this little amazing piece of equipment off of Craigslist, it did not come equipped with installation instructions.  But it seemed rather straight forward to me.  I can't imagine how else it could have hooked on to the back of his car - with or without a functional trunk. Nonetheless, I was holding my breath the entire drive as I followed Chuck watching to make sure the 4 (way too) small hooks stayed attached.  The last thing we want is for me to run over the boys' bikes after they catapult off the rear end of Chuck's car sitting on a structure that I so securely attached to it. I had a lot riding on my pride.  I felt like the bikes were tied on with paperclips, some shoe string, gum and a few straws.  That's how much confidence I had in this contraption.

But miracles never cease.  We made it all the way into the City with all our bikes in one piece.  I am the slowest bike rider ever.  Part of the reason is safety (I fall off more than I stay on, so if I go slow reason dictates the fall won't be as severe).  The other reason is that you never know when you come upon a beautiful photo op.  Seriously, I stop all the time while I'm driving (bikes or cars) to take pictures.

We made it around Lake Calhoun and found our way over to Punch Pizza.  We were at the top of our game here.  Laughter, good food and warm weather abounded.  We discussed where we were going to zip off to on our bikes next.  Minneapolis is such a bike friendly city that there are bike trails going absolutely everywhere and bike racks all over the place.  We weren't the only ones who rode our bikes here and stopped in for a bite to eat on this sunny, warm day.  

As I was taking this picture of all of us getting ready to get back on the trail Chuck is saying, "Where is my bike?"  It didn't really dawn on me until I went over to him and he actually said, "Someone stole my bike."  Collective Gasp!  Noooo!  As high as we were earlier, we all came crashing down when the harsh finality set in that Daddy's bike was truly gone.  And there wasn't a thing we could do about it.  I know I instantly felt sick to my stomach.  So much for our Fun Family Activity.  Granted, none of us have bike locks.  We never felt the need to lock them up.  We've left them on public bike racks before with no problem.  But not today.  It was devastating.  That was a very special bike all of us (including all the extended family) went in on together to buy for Chuck for his birthday a few years back.  

Sigh.  Huge highs.  Deep lows.   As the four of us rode our bikes back to where we parked (probably a mile or two away), Chuck jogged along side us.  Always fun after ingesting a whole pizza.   

Summer sure went out with a bang for us. 

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