My husband didn’t need to be back at work until noon today, but went in early to see a superior whose last day was this morning, a man my husband likes very much, but who has stage 4 cancer. After he left, I was on the phone for an hour with my one of my friends who is having a very difficult time. So both my husband and I felt a little, I don’t know, subdued for the rest of the day.
Honestly I wasn’t up for much, either by way of housework or spending time with the kids, but I wasn’t entirely out of commission. Just subdued. The kids occupied themselves like champs.
Boy went out back with the dog for a while. I could see them running, playing fetch, racing to the tree swing and Boy jumping on. Boy just talking to the dog about stuff. Girl worked on some projects with tape and scissors, and worked on her Lego Friends Ranch.
And both kids got their Lego Club magazines yesterday, Lego Club Junior for Girl. This morning, early, Boy was reading. Then Girl asked him to put PBS Kids on, but Boy was also reading his Lego comics, and Girl looked at her magazine. She was really excited by the different puzzles, and asked me to help her do a few of them.
I told Girl what letters to write and showed her examples, and she copied them. Any chance to write letters with Girl is a good thing, and I figure we’ll be doing a lot more of that this year.
Then Girl found a contest, a challenge to make a new vehicle for the ‘Swamp Police.’ Five winners get a new Lego set. Both kids got excited about this and started working on swamp police boats (pictures to be added tomorrow), but the idea of ‘winning’ something is a new idea, and difficult. They can’t have any idea of the number of people who might also be submitting, and how unlikely it is that they would win. And so what does it mean to them to NOT win? How will it make them feel? Boy told me he was sure to win with his swamp boat, and Girl disappeared; I heard her jagged little sobs from my bed a moment later. When I went to snuggle her, she managed to get out that she couldn’t build good things like Boy could, and he was sure to win, and she would never win anything. I told her that she is a great builder, and that honestly, everything she does is pretty awesome. She told me that she knows that, but that whenever she does something that has a winner, she is never it. And then cried more. I told her that they might not win, but that wasn’t really the point. The point was more to do something cool and fun with a whole bunch of other kids, and show it to the Lego people. Then Girl said, I know the most important thing isn’t winning. I know the most important thing is love. I agreed with her enthusiastically. It would feel good to win a contest, I said, but nothing could feel as good as snuggling like we were at that moment. Yes, she said. But I still want to send a picture of my boat. And I assured her that we would.