Friday, June 29

Good-bye to Marius

Marius left this Tuesday, June 26, to return to Germany. Very sad. I didn't say half the things I wanted to say because it always seemed to soon to be giving any kind of closing remarks, and then at the airport it was clear that both of us needed to keep it light if we were going to get through it. I'm just glad it doesn't have to be good-bye forever, and that we have e-mail and Flickr and cheap long distance. Our "generation" of host parents has it good.

Tuesday, June 19

Sock Watch Retrospective

Marius found out I was keeping a sock watch and was rather indignant. "I don't care" that socks don't match. Tried to explain that I don't care either, just find it completely charming.

At the Ultimate (Frisbee) game and banquet, I saw a veritable plethora of unmatched socks. Stripes with polka dots was my favorite -- I think it was blue stripes and the other foot had red dots. Or were they butterflies?

At any rate, apparently this is either 1) COMPLETELY acceptable 2) ordinary, as in, why would anyone bother to match socks? there's so much more to life, or 3) kinda cool.

I'm awed. I did have some spectacularly bright and fuzzy aqua-lime-yellow socks, very caterpillar-esque, when I was in 9th grade, but since then I've pretty much been a sock conformist.

It's been weeks since I posted, and sock variety has ebbed and flowed in that time. Most memorable pairing was one black and one orange. I was also impressed with a pairing of one tan ankle-high sock with a brown pattern and a crew-length blue stripe. It was a quiet mismatch, and I almost overlooked the genius of this sock watch trifecta: different length socks, different color socks, and different pattern socks.

Only a week until the day which shall not be named. Only seven short days left for sock watch. Just one example of how dull life will be without Marius.

Feel the pain of Jarrett and Evan. I will try not to, but no doubt will look to them to make my life interesting again. And they've had a whole year off, able to fly under the Mom radar. Now I will be Paying Attention, looking for interaction. For a whole year they've been able to get by with a lot more grunts and silence, because I've had such a good conversational partner. Now comes the Mom pester again. "How was your day? Did anything interesting happen? Did anything funny happen? How's (litany of friends whose names I know)? What's s/he been up to lately?"

Oh, they haven't missed that one damn bit!

P. S. I couldn't help myself. How many times do you get a chance to use the phrase "veritable plethora." Never mind that it's not good ritin'.

big-hearted, tough, challenging, and fun.

I wouldn't mind at all if my kids thought of me this way:
-- big-hearted, tough, challenging, and fun.

I think this is an aspiration that mothers of boys would have, more than mothers of girls. At lease I don't know if I would have had this aspiration if I had two girls. One of each? Who knows. That's when you have to admit that not all boys are alike and not all girls are alike.

Having boys has made me value a big heart, shrugging off the small stuff, hanging tough, rising to challenge. My pre-kid fantasies of girl children were more about emotional bonding and domestic sweetness.

Having boys has also kept me big-hearted toward men. I understand them more than I used to. So I believe, at any rate. Perhaps I just sweat the small stuff less in those relationships too.

"the teacher every kid should have -- big-hearted, tough, challenging, and fun."
Scott, describing his wife, in Old Bulb Gardens' "Friends of Old Bulbs Gazette"