Out of the Silence

After more or less two years or so of daily-posting (nearly daily — fell off these last few months, but the 20+ before that make up for the slack), it was time for a beak. A week without is not the same as a week without writing: I’ve returned to my journal, finding the privacy freeing. I can harp about kids in my class by name; I can write put details about our home adventures that would never make it here. But of course that doesn’t mean that the pictures haven’t accumulated, that the list of things to include in our online scrapbook hasn’t been filling up mental list after mental list.

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Grading papers with the Girl: she works on multiple choice while I take the short-answer questions

Without the daily writing after examining the pictures snapped through the afternoon, though the evening, the lists add up to nothing: I can’t remember the thoughts this situation prompted, the connections with this or that.

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A proper Polish Sunday lunch

Writing daily for something available to more eyes than my own turns every instant into a potential paragraph, and I think I’d just had enough of that for a while.

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Riding near Nana’s and Papa’s house

And so last Sunday when we went to Nana’s and Papa’s to help decorate their tree, it was relaxing just to be, not to think about what I might write about this or that.

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Moving to the big bike

I was still a shutterfly, though. When I asked L if she’d like to have our older DSLR when she geets a little bigger, she replied tellingly: “No, Daddy, I’m not going to be a shutter bug like you.”

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Christmas trees and football — the American south at its best

On the one hand, I see that as highly likely. She’s too hyper, too busy, too up to take the time to take photo after photo.

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Independence

But on the other hand, she is terribly creative, always excited about what’s she’s doing in art class or looking to create something new at home. Perhaps the idea of making photo collages might — well, we’ll see.

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Paying attention to the details

The rest of the week went by in a fairly typical fashion: hectic mornings, long days at school that drag because we’re all – all — looking to the coming Christmas break with such longing that it’s difficult for anyone to focus, evenings that slip by before we know it.

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Afternoon in the park with Mama

But with K home now, the overall pace of life seems to have slowed just enough for everyone to catch their breaths before the chaos of the holiday season turns it all upside down again.

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Assembly line

December is just a rush, no matter who’s where. With a birthday, Christmas concerts, a major holiday, the near-end of a semester, parties, and surprise drop-ins from Santa, it’s just a never-ending sprint from the first to the twenty-fifth.

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Santa’s 2014 visit

But as in most families, it’s become something like a yardstick to measure the growth of the year. The Boy, for example, has begun looking beneath the surface of things, to question what he sees. When Mr. F and Mrs. P come over as they do every year dressed as the Clauses, there’s no fooling the Boy. He recognizes the voice, the face, and declares, “That’s Mr. F!”

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“That’s Mr. F!”

But it’s not all surprises and new adventures. Every weekday night still winds down similarly, with someone up in the Boy’s room as he plays with this or that, playing with him, doing one’s own thing, shifting between the two.

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One’s on thing: read, “Take pictures.”

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Station master

Soon the Boy will start complaining about the shutterflies in the house, but for now, he’s able mostly to ignore it if it has nothing to do with what he’s playing at the moment.

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“Daddy, can you make it Emil size?”

Yet with it Advent, there are a few differences during the week. Ladders come out, lights go up,

carols play on repeat.

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“My new car!”

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