Asher’s 10!

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Well. This post is almost six months late. In late January, my baby son turned 10! We had a lovely celebration at home and then we took some of his best buddies to the movies. He chose to see Moana.

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After the movie we went to Leatherby’s for food and ice cream. It was a lively meal. Some of these guys have known each other since preschool.

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In January, we started Asher with viola lessons with Ms. S. She is such a wonderful music teacher. In just a couple of weeks she turned Asher’s experience of viola around from tears of frustration and embarrassment to accomplished playing. He stopped asking if he could stay home from school on orchestra days.

There are only a hundred million things I should have been writing about these last few months. I can only say that I guess I didn’t have it in me. Life is full and joyful and sometimes hard. This little boy is a delight almost every moment. Ten has been pretty great so far!

Asher’s Ninth Birthday

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My beautiful sunbeam, my little pirate king, my wizard, my imp, my healer, the song of my heart and laughter embodied—my Asher Donovan is 9! My sweet boy had a birthday on the last day of January. He asked for a Labyrinth party.k2-_03b88201-873f-45f8-9f40-e8682d75aab3.v3

Asher and Ian had watched Labyrinth together the day after David Bowie died, and the film captivated our son. And so, for the first time, he had friends over to watch a movie with us—a 30-year-old movie starring a beloved 69-year-old rock star who just passed away. (Farewell, Starman!)

Our invitation to his Waldorf school friends included a link to the Common Sense Media website’s rating and review, so families could decide whether their kids were ready for this 1986 PG film. To my great surprise, every child we invited was allowed to come.

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With many demands on my time and a determination to take this one easy, we spent just a little time the day of the party decorating with items we already had. We were trying to suggest a labyrinth with symbols from the movie in this table centerpiece.

Centerpiece for Labyrinth birthday party

Weirdly, we only borrowed two glass globes from grandma, which used to be curtain rod finials, I think. All of this other weird stuff was already in our home! CitiBlocs served for labyrinth walls nicely!

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Asher enjoyed setting up more labyrinth decor on top of our cubbies, and we found assorted gargoyles and knights in armor and chess pieces to be labyrinth denizens. The kiddos arrived and we set them down to watch the adventure of Sarah, baby Toby, Jareth the Goblin King, Hoggle, Ludo, Sir Didymus and loads of lovely Jim Hensen Creature Shop puppets.

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What’s funny is that nearly all of our nine guests had previewed the movie with their parents, and so they simply could NOT stop talking throughout. “Watch this! Watch this! They fall into the bog of eternal stench!” “Don’t worry! She gets her baby brother back.”

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After the movie, Asher’s friends gave him loads of wonderful presents. Art supplies, books to read, sketch books, games, Legos. Just what an enterprising and artistic 9-year-old needs. Thank you cards are still forthcoming—please, nobody hold your breath.

Labyrinth birthday dessert. He didn't want a cake this year.

Asher didn’t want a cake this year. He asked for ice cream instead. We served it with graham cracker labyrinth walls, sprinkles of the children’s choice, and gummy “goblins.”

Muppet Goblin Lollipops

We thanked our guests and sent them home with goblin lollies I made with stuff on hand. They’re more like muppets than goblins, but whatever.

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The next day was Asher’s actual birthday. This is the very picture of a modern 9-year-old full of vim and vigor, silly jokes, giggles, bounces, mad skills, mercurial moods, and dimples. I can’t possibly explain how much I adore this child.

He got even MORE pressies from Mom and Dad: a beautiful book called Tolkien’s World: A Guide to the Peoples and Places of Middle-Earth, exactly the type of magical book that Asher creates in his many sketchbooks, with maps, monsters, battles, runes, weapons, etc. We gave him the much anticipated sequel to Nnewts by Doug TenNapel, and the first two Secret Agent Jack Stalwart books. Plus Legos. Chima, naturally.

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We had a lovely birthday breakfast—Asher’s choice was pancakes and strawberries, with eggs. (They all suffer my camera with much patience, see?)

Asher's first viewing of A New Hope 1/31/16 A privilege of 9-year-olds
Finally, that afternoon, we gathered with friends for another party: Asher’s first viewing of Star Wars: A New Hope. Turning 9 is a little coming-of-age moment in our family, you see. We made Lucas wait until he was 9 to see Star Wars. A few years back, we threw a surprise party and watched the movie with him and a bunch of friends. Well, we couldn’t quite make this gathering for Asher a surprise because he’d heard all his life about Lucas’s 9-year-old Star Wars party.

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To our great delight, Thomas and Jami hosted a viewing party in their comfy home and we all enjoyed the film anew on a big beautiful screen. (Gosh, it’s beautiful!) Asher laid on a Tauntaun sleeping bag, naturally, and we had three Storm Troopers in attendance. I’m so grateful for this moment.

I’m probably going to sound like a crazy woman here, but this film means something to me. This first Star Wars film was a seminal cultural moment, a point when the world shifted. It’s the hero’s journey, it’s loyalty, friendship, good versus crystal-clear unambiguous evil, spaceships and hyperdrive, our first (and only, for a long time) badass princess, robots, cowboys with laser guns. What’s not to love? But it was also the FIRST exposure we had to this kind of mythic storytelling on the big screen. It fueled our imaginations, our games, even our career choices. It inspired our generation’s favorite brand of entertainment. Our children may not love it the same way we do, or connect with it the same, and that’s OK. They have sooooooo much to choose from; theirs is a world where any story ever made is available at any time. They’ll have their own myths. But for us, as children, watching Luke, Han, and Leia face down Vader and his terrifying goons was important. Somehow, for me, it still is important. And we just had to share it with Asher, hopefully at the moment he can best appreciate it (nine year change and all). OK. Enough of that.

Custom-made resin blaster. A hade-made birthday gift to Asher from Sandy. It's his first toy gun.

Jami bought Asher a huge Storm Trooper figure as a present. Jaleen brought him a Darth Vader bionicle. There were other gifts that passed by before I could even take note (sorry). And Sandy, dear Sandy, handmade this custom blaster for Asher. She cast it out of resin, I think, and hand-painted it. It’s beautiful and he’s over the moon about it. (My rules about no gunplay in the house still apply.)

There you have it. An unforgettable birthday for a one-of-kind precious boy, who might just be the luckiest boy in the world.

And He’s 8

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This is my beamish boy. He turned 8 at the end of January. In the past I’ve tried to write letters to my children on their birthdays, but this year I’m struggling to keep up with all of my responsibilities. So, I’m just getting to this now.

This is my Asher. My sunbeam. My giggle. My fresh breeze.

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Asher is all I could ever want in a son. (And I can absolutely say that about both of my sons.) Asher is brave and honest, mischievous and fun-loving. He is kind and giving, and willing to pitch in. He’s a fierce warrior for justice. He is strong and righteous, but also sensitive and easily embarrassed. He is well-loved by everyone he meets. He is precious beyond all things.

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Lately Asher has had a series of brief illnesses. Several colds and a stomach bug. Nothing serious. His asthma is being well maintained, so that’s a relief. But he’s had illness after illness and it’s resulted in quite a bit of time at home with me. And while I hate when my child is sick, I do kind of love those quiet moment of cuddling and reading, working on my laptop beside him while he rests on the couch. I guess he really likes that kind of at-home time, too, because he’s been having a hard time coping on the days he’s been well enough to be at school. We seem to keep starting over. Just when he kind of gets his feet under him again and starts feeling comfortable with the school rhythm, he comes down with something new. Then he must reintegrate again. This means tears, feeling sad and lonely at school, missing mommy. He’s being supported by teachers and staff, and I couldn’t hope for a more loving environment for him. Little by little we’re bolstering him, helping him through his anxiety.

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He was in a pretty good place recently—just in time for a two week spring vacation. He was delighted to have his free time at home, with his favorite playmate Lucas and the neighborhood boys to knock around with during vacation. He likes his days easy, and prefers not to be told what to do with his time. (I can relate.)

Loves #8yearold #birthday #celebrations #family #love #boys

Anyway, I’m jumping back to January now: Asher’s 8th birthday was wonderful, full of friends and family and a visiting Bacon dog. We had his party at the indoor swimming pool like last year. Swimming in a heated pool at the end of January is a treat!

My friend Criss helped me fulfill Asher’s birthday wish: He wanted a cake depicting the Hungarian Horntail and the arena from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. No small order there! But Criss is a baking genius, and when I told her his wish she amazed me by saying, “Sure. We can do that.”

And we did.

Hungarian Horntail dragon in a rocky arena with golden egg, inspired by Harry Potter IV (vanilla cupcakes). Criss was the genius who sculpted the dragon body. I got to make the wings.  #friends #community #learning #gratitude #birthday #celebrations #8yea

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And he loved it. He even ate a bit of the gum paste dragon later on.

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He dodged the camera all day #8yearold #secondgrader #birthday #celebrations #beauty

I think the party was a big success. And I think this boy is the bees knees.

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He teaches me something new every day. This week, since spring break ended and he went back to school, has gone better than I expected. Monday was a bit rough, but he seems to be more quickly getting back into the school rhythms. There’s nothing in the world like a happy Asher.

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I love him so!

 

Happy 12th Birthday!

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May 1

Dear Lucas,

I love you, my happy Beltane Boy. Happy birthday! I asked  you on the morning of your birthday last week if you feel any different and you said no, but I can see a kind of relief in your face. You’ve finally made it here. All but one of  your classmates are older than you and you’ve finally caught up.

Ready for his 12th birthday! #12yearold #birthday #spring #waldorf #home #family #traditions

We celebrated in our usual way, with a special breakfast, flowers, your old birthday crown, which you gamely wore for a few moments. We gave you a few gifts in the morning and then sent you off to school.

Magic card protective sleeves.

Birthday/Beltane roses

By your report, it was a great day!

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And in the evening, we had a special dinner: you requested fettuccine Alfredo, Brussels sprouts, Caesar salad, and a very chocolatey birthday cake.

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There were a few more gifts, including this Magic The Gathering set. In fact, it was pretty much all Magic this year. It’s what you’re most interested in, most fascinated by.

Birthday party #waldorf #birthday #spring #friends #12yearold #sixthgrade

On Saturday, we had a bunch of your buddies over for a party. You rode bikes and Daddy fixed burgers for everyone, and we watched a superhero movie. You wanted ice cream sundaes for dessert. Magic, Magic, and more Magic. Your friends were very generous and I believe you said it was “the best birthday party ever.”

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There is so much I could say about the person you are now, yet I find whenever I try that my words come so short. You are a delicious mixture of competence and forgetfulness. You are physically strong and possess great endurance, yet you need more and more fuel and rest to support your growing body. You are wise and witty, sarcastic, and sometimes worldly, yet you dance into fantasy almost as easily as ever before. You are challenged every day—don’t think I don’t see it. Each day more and more is expected of you, and most of the time you square your shoulders and step forward bravely. There is more pressure in life and school this year; you are game to take on new things and often embrace a certain stoicism when it comes to things you don’t want to do. But at the end of the week, I can see that you are tired and really need to relax, rest, and play. Your possessions matter to you, except when you completely forget about them. You are working hard in school, and your work shows it. You are helpful and kind, and a good big brother, when you aren’t being provoked. You are still artistic and sensitive. You possess so many delightful contradictions. You exhibit such striving, beauty, and grace. You are the very picture of 12.

And I couldn’t possibly love you more.

 

Imperfection and Joy

There’s a lot of that going on around me and inside me. I have had so many great posts brewing in my mind lately, but have managed to get exactly none of them onto this blog, for lots of reasons. I wanted to write about Earth Day, and about our first trip to the SCA, and so many other things. I have been otherwise occupied with important things, though beyond work and family and service to others, I’m not sure I could tell you what they were.

At the moment, I’m sick, although I feel a bit better than I did yesterday afternoon, when I was feverish and achy.

Yesterday was my sweet son’s eleventh birthday, and I can tell you it did not fall neatly into “perfect” like I had hoped.

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He, too, was sick and stayed home from school for two days, including his birthday. This was disappointing because one always gets special attention on one’s birthday. I felt so bad for him, missing that opportunity. So, yeah. Imperfect. We managed to give him his gifts in the morning, and before I got ill I cooked him a special breakfast.

Ian came home from work for a while to stay with him when I went out. They finished watching “The Two Towers,” which is something they can do only when Asher is not at home, so there were a few perks to the day. But no cake and ice cream. No dinner out at the restaurant of his choice. We improvised the best we could. Ian went out for take-out Chinese food and brought home ice-cream sandwiches for the boys.

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He woke up to this—a cool new mountain bike with 24-inch tires and, like, a 100 gears or something. 21? And his collection of dragon books grew considerably.

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Grandpa gave him a nifty LEGO Darth Vader headlamp. You know, for reading under the covers late at night.

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So while this birthday didn’t meet my expectations, it was OK. It was imperfect and still joyful. Eleven is rather mature, I’ve decided. Although Lucas was sad when we took his temp and told him he couldn’t go to school, he adapted to the new plan of staying home relatively quickly. He understood when I worked a bit during the day. He understood when I napped. He understood when I collapsed on the couch at 5 p.m. and started mumbling with fever. He took it in stride. There were plenty of snuggles.

And as the day wore on, I was well mothered by my sweet children, who told me they were worried about me, and wished I was feeling well. It’s so wonderful to see how they express care and concern and empathy for me at times like this. It makes me feel like we’re doing a great job in raising them. (Thank you, Ian, for doing all the heavy lifting of the evening.)

I’m glad that Lucas is well again. He trooped off to school today, with his violin and a big box of homemade chocolate chip cookies to share with his class in celebration of his birthday. (I’m grateful that I made those on Tuesday night so they were ready to go this morning.) And I am home today, recuperating, with some opportunity to reflect.

I’m sure all of this “perfect” silliness is all in my head. I’m the one with the major expectations. I wanted to post yesterday about May Day. The fact that Lucas’s birthday is on Beltane has elevated this holiday to one of my very favorites. This is a busy, beautiful time of year. The flowers, the celebrations, the handsome, growing boy—to me they are all so life-affirming and glorious. I feel alive and in love with everything at this time of year. Normally.

But things don’t go perfectly, and the trouble with expectations as we all know is that they lead directly to disappointment. I’m learning to live with imperfection. It’s not easy for me because I. Want. Things. Just. So.  But I am learning to take pleasure in little things, year by year. It seems to be one of my great lessons in this life. And so I look. And I listen. And I learn a little more. And I find all the joy I can in all these many imperfect moments.

Happy May, my friends. I’ll be back here again soon. Until then, enjoy.

 

Sixth Birthday Gift: Lord of the Rings Peg Dolls

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My little guy turns 6 in a few days. I’ve been making gifts and planning his party. Here’s a sneak-peek of one gift I’ve made. Shhh! Don’t tell him.

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Guess

Fellowship

Do you recognize the characters? I’ve painted a set of nine peg dolls to look like the Fellowship of the Ring characters. Gandalf’s hat is made out of sculpey clay. He just didn’t look like Gandalf to me without a hat. I’m pretty happy with these. I need to do a bit of touch up work and then varnish them. Think I should make Gollum, too? I think I might, if I have time.

Another day this week, I’ll share the another gift I’ve been working on.

Nomination and Other News

I was recently nominated for an award of sorts at Circle of Moms. Some kind soul (I don’t know who) nominated my blog for the Top 25 Creative Moms list there and folks can vote for their favorite blogs. The voting continues until the end of January and you can vote for more than one blog, once each 24 hours. I’d be honored if you’d vote for me, and keep voting for me. It would be very nifty to get into that Top 25 list.

This button takes you to the voting site. Vote for me!

I’ve never been involved in one of these things before, but there’s always a (typically awkward) first time, right? It’s neat because I’m planning to ramp up and improve my attention, involvement, and content here. So please check back often for new, more useful material. A girl with a writer’s soul just has to write. And a girl with an artist’s eye just has to share her visions.

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In other news, my little guy turns six years old in two weeks. I’ve finally figured out the outline of his birthday party and sent invitations. Usually I’m more on top of things like this, but I’ve been working quite a lot lately. Well, we’re getting RSVPs back now, so that’s great. Crisis averted!

I’ve got a few homemade gifts in mind for him, and must carve away some time to work on them. I am making Asher an Earthbending costume, inspired by Avatar the Last Airbender, which is a show that my whole family adores. Great story-telling, good characters, plenty of heart, and featuring themes of friendship, commitment, duty, forgiveness, family, courage, peace, and finding one’s own way, Avatar is good TV. Asher has always liked the Earth Kingdom in the show the best. He has started dressing up for play in recent months, finally using the King’s costume I made for him two years ago. I think this Earthbending outfit idea is a winner.

Yesterday we scouted the location of his “Fantasy Wizards in a Forest” party.

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This place will fit the bill nicely, I think! This is a is 17 acre undeveloped park right here in Fair Oaks, just five minutes from our home. It features tall, beautiful eucalyptus trees, a tiny creek with mossy banks, green meadows, fallen logs, wild mushrooms, and plenty of crisscrossing paths that you might call “trails.” Our plan for the party is to allow the children as much space to roam and explore as is safe. The park is big enough that it feels wild, but not really big enough to get lost in, and I expect a small gaggle of 6- and 7-year-olds to make plenty of noise.

Wishing you a bright and happy day!

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Poppies

A lot is going on right now and I’ve not had much time to write. I had a birthday this week and it got me ruminating. Here’s some of what I’ve learned in my 40 years. (Some of these say “you,” but they all mean “me.”)

1. clean something every day, even if it’s only your hands

2. read to your kids; it is food for life

3. mothering well is largely a matter of knowing what things to get excited about, and what not to

4. wine is wonderful

5. smiling makes you feel good and it’s free (sometimes I forget this one)

6. make a place for butterflies and birds in your world; you won’t be sorry

7. stuff is only stuff; it all wears out eventually

8. beware of modeling beeswax in the laundry

9. tell your story, but don’t get so caught up in telling it that you forget to live the next chapter

10. children are resilient; however, test this only with careful discrimination

11. make your own meaning, don’t swallow anyone else’s

12. read poetry; read everything

13. when you fuck up, breathe, and then start over

14. being married to your best friend is ideal

15. try new things every day

16. exercise is good for me even if I don’t like it

17. fashion is stupid—occasionally fun, but stupid

18. it feels good to help people

19. somehow, time can both fly and drag—at the same time

20. words can indeed hurt

21. onions and Brussels sprouts are actually delicious

22. sing more, dance more

23. be your own beautiful freaky self out loud; if you don’t you’re cheating everyone

24. avoid the pink aisle and boys need dolls

25. sometimes the best course of action is to set it on fire

26. vote

27. gardening is cheaper than therapy

28. feminism benefits everyone

29. art is important, and more important to make than to consume

30. boys are actually sweeter than they want you to think they are

31. love and kindness is all the religion I need

32. equality for only some is no equality at all

33. find your cause; better yet, find a dozen of them and get to work

34. miracles are everywhere and often go by the names of “humanity” and “nature,” “life” and “science”; as such, they are no less miraculous

35. making it often feels better than buying it

36. I cannot “do all the things”; nor should I try to

37. a whole lot of things that bother me today won’t matter a bit tomorrow, so I should just chill

38. I am still learning

39. friendship is as necessary to me as air

40. my ultimate career goal is still philanthropist

May Day 2012

Woven Ribbons

Good Morning, Mistress and Master,

I wish you a happy day;

Please to smell my garland

‘Cause it’s the First of May.

 

A branch of May I have brought you,

And at your door I stand;

It is but a sprout, but it’s well budded out,

The work of Nature’s hand.

—from A Child’s Seasonal Treasury

Maypole Ribbons

Happy May Day! Today is one of my favorite days of the year because May Day celebrations are so beautiful and full of flowers and because it is my older son’s birthday. This year feels extra special because Lucas is turning 10. A decade of our lives has been spent loving and raising this beautiful boy.

Beltane Birthday Boy: 10

He is magnificent and I love him so!

Dear Asher: Fifth Birthday Letter

{This letter was started on January 31, worked on again February 24, and finished today, February 28.}

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Dear Asher,

Happy birthday, my love! You are 5-years-old! You are so very excited to be 5 now. Every day for the last week I had to tell you how many sleeps until your birthday.

So let me paint a little picture about you and your life right now. You are the most precocious child, always chatting and singing through nearly every moment. You tell wonderful and hair-raising stories to anyone who will listen, especially about Earthland and your adventures there, your pet dragons of various breeds, the battles you engage in to save the world, and your wife Jennifer, who is having a baby with you. (This development is very recent.) The baby is a boy and his name is Morlassus. I hope to hear more about Jennifer and Morlassus.

You are very much at home in the Red Rose Kindergarten at our Waldorf school. Your teachers both adore you and you seem rather popular. Yesterday you told me that there are two girls who are in love with you, but since you were being discreet, you only told me the first sound of their names. What a gentleman you are. Lucas promptly guessed the girls’ names, and you eagerly confirmed he was right.  It seems that you have many friends that you run around with on the playground. I hear a lot about Elijah, Lilly, Enzo, Landon, and of course, Noah, and many others. It’s fun to watch your world expanding to include new people. When I’ve had the privilege of watching your class during circle time, I’ve been delighted to see that you enjoy the songs and movements so much. You pay attention and participate with joy. You love to clown with your buddies.

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I hear more about battling from you than I remember hearing from your brother when he was your age. I don’t know if that’s part of being a younger sibling, for your interests tend toward the more mature things your brother likes.

At home, you and Lucas spend a lot of your free time together. Usually you get along pretty well, although now that you are older, the two of you fight more often. When you do, there’s all kind of shouting and often tears. I think you work very hard to get your point across and, in the long run, I think this is good for you. You stick up for yourself well; you push back when he’s trying to control or manipulate you. You are possessive of your things and sometimes don’t like being told how to play with them, which Lucas often does. At other times, you are happy to let him lead your games and imagination play. When the two of you work together, and allow each other space to create, you can be so agreeable and amazing—magical things happen in your minds. That part is fun to watch quietly, out of the corner of my eye so you don’t catch me. Together you are making up your own language, which as far as I can tell involves both of you making up words and Lucas correcting yours. You both enjoy hatching and training creatures and playing with your pet dragons.

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February 24

Mama-made Dragon Hat

Asher, I can’t believe how much time has passed since your birthday. Here it is almost a month later and I still haven’t finished this letter. I’ll continue to try to paint a picture of who you are now.

Face Paint Crayons: Dragon Boy

At 5, you are formidable. You are confident and brave. You seem to know what you want and what you’re about most of the time. Although you often happily follow in your brother’s footsteps, you also sometimes pursue your own path with a kind of determination and certainty that I deeply admire.

You talk constantly. When you’re not talking, you are singing or jibber-jabbering in a steady stream-of-consciousness narrative.  I love to hear you singing, and I think you have a beautiful voice. Sometimes you and Lucas will sing together; he takes the low parts and you take the high and you weave your music together in a spontaneous and exciting way. You seem to have an instinct for it. I confess I sometimes find it hard to think in the midst of all your music-making. But I know you are processing your world, changing it through the power of your words, figuring out how things work, and joyfully plucking from it all the wacky humor and opportunities for fun as possible.

You also tell lots of stories. You enjoy tricking people, so you now tell stories that aren’t true in the hopes that people will believe you and you can have a giggle. And sometimes, I think you believe your stories yourself. The line between reality and fantasy is, well, rarely observed and certainly never hard and fast. You have been known to doorbell ditch, both from the outside and the inside of the house, by which I mean that you will knock on a hard surface until an adult goes to answer the door, only to find no one there.

Light Saber Battle

For fun, you love to play with LEGOs and building spaceships is your specialty. You also enjoy blocks, but choose them less frequently nowadays. Once in a while you pick up a stuffed animal or your little Waldorf house elf Miko and play and play. When Lucas is home, you two enjoy “fighting” or “training” in martial arts. Lucas has convinced you that he is in fact a martial arts ninja master, and you are his willing and obedient student. He’s even got you calling him Master within the context of your game. Sometimes this play is relaxed and groovy, and you both enjoy it a lot. Other times, the sparring can lead to hurts. You were both given lightsabers for Christmas, and you love to battle each other in the evening, when the lightsabers glow beautifully in the darkness. Basically, you and Lucas are best friends and brothers, which is something special, I think—you compete, fight, and play with each other; you stick up for and cover for each other; and you learn from each other constantly. I often watch with wonder at how you interact, knowing that you’re both learning so much and gaining so much by being brothers. It’s marvelous.

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We’re at the cabin in Tahoe for a family vacation now. Today, I watched you playing in the snow with great vigor and enthusiasm—never mind that it’s been two years since we came to play in the snow. You rambled through the woods near the cabin, enjoying your freedom and time to explore. You threw snowballs at your brother and didn’t mind when you got hit yourself. You never got too cold or out of sorts. I love to let you and your brother roam. Opportunities to do so safely are fewer than I would wish. To see you tromping through the woods, following your nose or the fairies or whatever it is that pulls you onward is a wonderful thing.

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February 28

Blade and Shortbow

Your latest obsession is Dungeons and Dragons. You now talk about it constantly. We probably should have held off on this for a few years, but as your brother is the perfect age for this kind of role playing and you absolutely will not be left out, we have compromised. Daddy is a wonderful DM. He has painted miniatures for your characters according to your descriptions of them and he is creating quests for you and Lucas that are good for you, requiring that your characters work together as friends and companions. I like this, for it’s a way of exercising your imaginations in cooperative ways instead of competitive ones. Once, many years ago, a friend told me how to raise brothers, for he himself was raising two boys in a way quite opposite how his own parents raised him and his brother. He said, “You must find ways to make your boys work together, even if that means they strive against you, the parent, as a team. Avoid all situations where your boys are striving against each other. That is how to foster brotherhood and closeness in your sons.” I’ll never forget that, and my heart tells me he is right.

Anyway, you are currently playing D&D as a “dorf” named Shortbow, which may be the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. You are beardless, because you don’t care for beards, and you are an adult. Not a child. Not a teenager. You like to inject all sorts of things into the story Daddy is telling during a game.

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You have great new skills now. You can snap your fingers. You can throw a mean snowball. You recently braved the two-wheel bike (with training wheels) and Lucas gave you his old bike for your birthday. You ride it often on our street now, while Lucas rides his bike or his scooter. You seem to like the speed you can achieve now. You also can hop on one foot quite a distance and you can count pretty well up to 30, missing a few numbers along the way. Same with your alphabet, but we’re not worrying about that. I think it is rather funny that your interest in letters has come mainly from the kids on the playground. (Take that, Doubters. Waldorf kids not pushed will learn their letters and numbers in their own time, probably in Kindergarten.) And of course, you pay attention to your brother writing and practicing his spelling words. One of my favorite sights is seeing you both absorbed in a book or writing away in your own blank notebooks. A few days ago you wrote an entire page of “spells” in crisp, neat, blocky, made-up scribble letters. I love them.

I can go on and on, of course, for you are endlessly fascinating to me. I love you completely and I’m so proud of you.

Love,

Mama

 

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    "Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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