It’s been a pretty intense week here. The kids are off school for Passover and moments alone are hard to come by and extremely precious. Yesterday I spent some quality time with Bennett in the form of a bike ride to Seward Park, around the loop a few times, and then home again. When we had ridden down the hill into the park I said to him, “I don’t know how I am going to get back up that hill on the way home,” which was quite true. I run up that hill almost daily, but I am a bit of a disaster on the bike, mostly because I barely ride (and partly because I have always been something of a disaster on a bike).
“Don’t worry,” he says. “You can walk it up. That’s what the women do.”
The women? What women? Certainly not any women who live in this town. Most of them would ride it up on the highest gear and then skin a moose for dinner on the way home. (Of course they’d put the moose in the special moose pouch in their Patagonia fleece vest.) Still, I wasn’t too happy with his comment. Or with the chuckling that came after it. There was no way in hell I was walking that bike up now.
While we were riding some women stopped to point out that there was a heron perched on the dock in the lake. There were also 7-10 turtles sunning themselves on the dock (it’s been miraculously and marvelously warm here, we are giddy with disbelief). I wondered if these turtles were the ones that used to belong to us, but who mysteriously “escaped” into the lake one morning while the kids were at school. They looked like Gellers. “Wow,” said Bennett. “It’s a good thing those old ladies pointed out that bird, or we’d have missed all of this.”
The “old ladies” were no more than fifty.
He managed to redeem himself today at the Family Fun Center. FFC is one of those indoor game places for kids with an outdoor section for mini golf and bumper boats. No matter what precautions I take, I leave FFC with a headache that could easily fell an ox. But I’d made a bargain with the boys, and I had to pay up, so FFC it was. (And because of the glorious weather we’re enjoying, I’d refused to let them do anything indoors for days, so they sort of had it coming.) The boys cashed in a garbage bag full of tickets they’d won on all sorts of shitty games. Usually you take 10,000 tickets and trade them in for a squirt gun, which is always something of a disappointment. Today they seemed to do alright, and even brought back some little things for Fiona and Francie.
“Look Francie,” said Bennett. “Yours even came unwrapped.”
Brilliant. Knowing how Francie hates to unwrap and use things, he took the angst away from her. She saw that Fi’s toy was wrapped in plastic and that hers wasn’t. She said nothing, probably happy to be relieved of the pressure of unwrapping it herself. Ten points to Bennett.
I have seconds before I have to start prepping dinner. As a friend said to me, Passover food is remarkably like Chinese food: You eat a huge meal, don’t know how you’ll ever manage to eat another bite ever again, but less than an hour later you are ravenous and don’t think you can wait another moment to eat. All this makes for a lot of time in the kitchen, but it’s a holiday that also brings us all around the table together many times a day, which is messy but wonderful. I better run. I want to stand outside before I have to start cooking. The sun is still out and who knows when we’ll see it again…