Sunday, April 3, 2005

Another weekend update

Honestly, the weekdays are plain boring these days. The boys and I go to the bookstore and the library. When it's nice out we go to the playground. It's the weekends where we get out and about. I guess that's normal?

Friday morning my mom came over and the boys borrowed about a thousand books from the library after listening to storytime. The afternoon the boys had undisturbed grandma time, packed with game and game. Grandma even had them create their own matching game with stickers on construction paper. How clever is that?
Where was I, you might ask. I spirited myself over to FSI to have lunch with Ian (and Brad Bell) before sitting in on his afternoon French class. His teacher is wonderful, very patient, very clear, very repetitive. I held my own well enough, just don't ask me to conjugate verbs under a microscope. I know that I would have done really well if I'd taken the class from day 1, but as it is I struggle along as Ian does his homework and when I squeeze in time with the Rosetta Stone program. I will say that it felt good to sit there and understand practically everything she said. Ian is doing very well. His brain has always been a sponge for this sort of thing and he readily recalls information necessary for whatever task is at hand. Listening to, speaking, reading and even writing French for 5+ hours a day does force it to sink in. He'll be ready.
Saturday was a drenched blustery day. I'd wanted to go to the kite festival downtown but it was rescheduled to Sunday and today we already had plans. Oh well. Maybe next ye.... oh never mind. Instead we went to IKEA. Katherine is finally too big to go to Smaland, so the younger three went to play while we ooohed and aaahed over bunkbeds, kitchens and stuff we have absolutely no need for. It was still loads of fun. We poked around Potomac Mills and looked through the Build-A-Bear store before heading back to Arlington. The kids played with the twins in the game room, then the 10 of us shared pizza at Joe's on Lee Hwy. I do believe this makes the third "failed" Saturday in a row.
Today we had church at Saint Michael's. The first Mass without my dad at the organ. Jonathon scrunched up his face and said "THAT is not grandpa" while Nicholas asked "Who is that playing the organ? Where's grandpa?" Honestly, we did tell them that grandpa was taking a break but they just didn't get it. Not until today. It's simply not church for them unless grandpa is playing. But the pastor has already found someone new, someone from his old parish, and the choir was there making a great effort. How difficult it is to pick up in the middle of a season, but they can make it work with patience. We wish them well.
But today, the first day after the passing of our Church's Pope, the Mass deserved so much more. More than just making do. It deserved music with emotion to both raise our spirits and convey our collective mourning. I know it may sound selfish to say, but it is simply true. It deserved my dad.
When we'd had some lunch, the boys spent the afternoon with grandma and grandpa, while the rest of us made our way downtown for a family performance at the concert hall at the Kennedy Center. I would have loved to bring the boys as well, but the program guide said the performace was for 6 yeard and up. Of course once we arrived the place was filled with children of all ages including babies. Part of me thought we should have brought the boys too, but the bigger part really wished that others had just left the youngsters back. Does that make me snobby? I don't mean it to. I think you know what I'm getting at. If there are guidelines for performances, it would be nice if everyone followed them. I thought it again and again as one baby or another cried.
Anyhow, we attended "A Family for Baby Grand", an introduction to the instruments in the orchestra. Rebecca is learning about all the instruments in her music class so it fit right in. I'll write more about it tomorrow, promise.

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