Out with the Old

The day began as all Saturdays do: a conversation with Babcia via Skype. The Boy took to showing Babcia several cars, explaining their significance in halting Polish. Babcia speaks no English, and the Boy speaks no Russian, so he has to use Polish if he’s going to speak with Babcia, which he is really motivated to do. It’s a good way, then, to get him using the language.

I spent the morning working on class materials. I’ve decided to use Quizet to hit vocabulary really hard in the second semester to make up for negligence in the first quarter. I’ve always struggled teaching vocabulary, but I’ve discovered a few online tools sure to make my students’ life more interesting.

In the afternoon, we finally got to work on the new trampoline. The first step was to take the old one down. The plan was originally to try to pass it on to someone else via Craigslist: “Free trampoline! All you have to do is come and disassemble it and get it out of your yard!” But I saw how that would end up: it would sit there forever, looking stupid — two trampolines in the backyard = a decidedly redneck feel. So I borrowed our neighbors’ truck, and the Boy and I ripped the thing apart and hauled it to the dump. He was terribly excited at the prospect of throwing so many pieces of metal into the huge dumpsters at the local dump station, and he was just as frustrated to realize that we wouldn’t be tossing them down into the dumpster below us but up into the dumpster. Still, he tossed a few pieces out of the truck with loud clattering, attention-grabbing style.

Once it was gone, the backyard looked so huge. The fence we had installed for Clover closed everything in quite a bit, and there was a moment when I thought about the time years from now when we’ll finally get rid of the trampoline because the kids are too big for it or not interested in it or — gulp — gone, and I smiled at the thought, but only briefly. Who wants to wish away one’s life for such a silly thing?

The kids came down to help out with the assembly of the new trampoline, which took a lot longer than I really anticipated. We all pulled together, though, and got it done more or less as a family. K was in the house, cleaning and cooking most of the the time, but she came down from time to time to check on our progress, help us out with getting the net up, and take some pictures.

And play with the dog a bit. Which, truth be told, was its own form of help: Clover can be really needy when we’re outside but not playing with her. She wants attention. She craves attention. And when the Girl and I were fighting with the springs and canvas, figuring out how exactly the next support system worked, and keeping the Boy from wondering off with pieces and parts, a worrisome dog was just that.

We finaly got it all together and the expected happened: it began raining.

Still, a great day overall.

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