Saturday, November 26, 2011

Slow Down, Please

Egad! We did this yesterday!

Mister noted that the tree just gets smaller and smaller each year. No doubt. This is my tree's 12th Christmas and now Mister is taller than it is! Mister was a little bummed about a football game we were watching and didn't feel like putting up his share of decorations. He even told his sister to put his up. Oh well. Only later did he say he actually did want to put them up. Darn. I asked repeatedly. But if he was too old for this formerly fun event, I didn't want to force him. Lord knows how teenagers think. As time goes on, he puts away things of his childhood. This was one more, it seemed. How, I asked him, can I read his mind if he tells me he doesn't want to hang decorations? I apologized, but did insist that if he is thinking something he wants me to know, he can tell met what he is thinking. One benefit of divorce is that he'll have another shot at it with his mom.

I always put the Christmas decorations up the day after Christmas. It's my tradition. But I'm stunned. It seems like just a week or so ago that I returned from vacation and was getting ready for the new school year for my children.

I mean, I went on a field trip with Lamb to an actual field (well, a nature reserve):

That was interesting. The Leslie Nature Center, I think. Or something like that. For me, the biggest attraction was the naturalist who took us on the tour. Boy did she remind me of someone I once dated. Which led me to think that if only I was a decade younger--I'd still be a decade too old to even think about her. No picture. I'd have felt like a weird creep snapping her picture. So I'll stick with the beauty of nature.

I took Lamb to a movie night at school where the kids spread out blankets on the floor and munch on fund-raising snacks. It was Rio. I movie she liked enough to then ask to get it for her birthday.

I took Mister and Lamb on a Michigan Stadium tour, along with their aunt. This was Mister's second trip and Lamb's first. It was much fun all the way around, and the luxury seating areas were pretty awesome, I must say.

For Mister, with a much better season on the field, it was all the better:

Our seats are in the background.

I also went to a water park to celebrate Lamb's (and mine) birthday, with Mister and their mom. Lamb was pretty pleased that I came along. The night we arrived at Kalahari during the week, I took Lamb down to the park and we just about had the run of the place to ourselves. No lines at all. It was eerily quiet but great. The next day it was more crowded but still not too bad. It's a pretty good water park.

I took Lamb to a birthday party at a theater, which was a new venue. We saw Puss in Boots. They have a small room to hold a party in before seeing the movie in a reserved spot.

Halloween was a big hit, too. It's candy related so obviously a top tier event. The weather held and Lamb continued her string of winged entity costumes:

Snow princess this year. That's her pet lion. Calvin and Hobbes inspired her to elevate him to pet status. I carried him in his costume (which was originally Mister's and later something for Lamb to play with). The weather was barely good enough not to be an ordeal. One dad complimented me on my toddler's costume--until he realized it was a stuffed animal. He laughed. And was probably relieved that I wasn't holding an actual child that way.

Mister is long past enjoying this, of course. Going trick or treating is something that will fade away in a few years. Sigh. Maybe, after this ends, when I have grandchildren, I'll return to the dark streets.

We had another field trip to Hill Auditorium to see a New Orleans jazz band play. Not my cup of tea, but it is nice to go on the field trips and Lamb really likes me to go along.

Mister had an orchestra concert this year, too. I took him to the practice but missed the actual performance so Lamb didn't have to go (still a bit sick) and so his mom could go. She usually has to work during these things so it was nice she could make it.

I suppose a highlight of the football season was the Nebraska game last week. It was a tense affair for a while, but we gradually pulled away and won in a convincing manner. I can't believe we have won 9 games this year, when experts thought it would be tough to reach 7. I'd have been quite content at 8, all things considered. We should probably get 10--and end that most unfortunate streak against that school in Ohio. Should.

And Lamb wrapped up her Girls on the Run class this year with a 5K run (well, mostly walk) that her aunt went on with her. I almost went, too, even though the cold weather has ended my running season (only the force of the UCMJ could get me running in the cold). But running 5K would have been a stretch for me. I was running almost that much before I stopped, so I assume I could have pushed it. But it is such a girl empowerment thing that I also felt that I would have been a bit out of place. So I welcomed her across the finish line:

One must run at the end no matter how much you walked! This ended at Eastern Michigan University's stadium, so it was the first year that both Lamb and I have been on the field in two stadiums.

And yes, she's wearing a pink cape as part of her team uniform.

So there you go. Those are the highlights of a fall that has flown by. I know I've left out a lot of good but ordinary stuff of life. That's OK. Even if the specifics don't get recorded, they contribute to the background noise of contentment and satisfaction over life. Quantity has a quality all its own, no?

But good grief, it is all going by so fast!