Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pursuer of Peace

On Sunday afternoon, The Wife played a part in Rodef Shalom's "Pursuer of Peace" ceremony. It's a big fund-raiser celebration event, where they honor a member of the Pittsburgh community for their contributions. This year, it was Fred Rogers (obviously posthumously awarded). They had some members of his family and a whole bunch of the Rodef community. The Wife has been going to hours and hours of meetings, not to mention dozens and dozens of emails. I was copied on all of the emails for informational purposes, but - because I knew I couldn't realistically attend any of the meetings and was overbooked regardless - I was more of a spectator until the day of the event. The video is absolutely priceless. The Boy, Little Bear, and three friends gathered around the microphone to sing while The Wife played piano. I was off-camera, kneeling in front of them for guidance and moral support. The Baby was very disappointed (read: crying hysterically) that he wasn't allowed to stand directly in front of the microphone, so at the last minute, he took his spot, practically swallowing the mic. The funny bits of the video: 1) The Baby pushing Little Bear away from the microphone, as if Little Bear was going to take it from him. 2) The Boy's nearly flawless conducting, starting and ending the group of children. 3) The Baby's audible sigh at the end of the performance. 4) The reasonably synchronized bow by the kids, followed by the bow-with-a-flourish by The Baby. 5) Musical Daddy herding the cats (children) offstage immediately following. As you would expect, it was a strong reaction from the crowd and something that Mr. Rogers would have absolutely appreciated. ------- The summer has started and been, to date, remarkably uneventful. The kids don't start camp for another couple of weeks - because of a lack of funds, we aren't keeping them in various camps all summer long, restricting it to a few weeks of J&R camp at the JCC and a couple weeks at Rodef Shalom for #3. They're spending lots of time at the various parks and playgrounds, some time around the house, some time around Grandma's house, and time swimming at Sandcastle or the Family Park. It's a lazy pace to day, as evidenced by the fact that, 4 mornings out of 5, only The Boy is awake enough to say goodbye when I leave for work. He still comes downstairs with me in the mornings, although he's been playing Lego Batman instead of watching TV. Not sure if that's a lateral move or an improvement, but at least he's using his brain a bit. The positive for that is that I only need to worry about breakfast for me & The Boy, so I have a little more breathing time in the morning. The negative is that everybody is awake until 9 or 10PM; which stinks because I want to go to bed around 9:30, 9:45 because of the earliness of my day. Still, 1 & 2 are pretty easy at bedtime: bath, read a story, talk a bit, snuggle, then on to the next kid, then you're done. The Baby is becoming a problem, as per The Boy four years or so ago: it's been sitting with him for 45 minutes or more to get him to go to sleep. We're discussing solutions, but it might wind up waiting until we get back from our trip in July. ------ Last week, The Boy and Little Bear went with The Wife to an education protest in Harrisburg. The Baby went with me, to the drop-in day care that work offers. My mistake? I got there at 7:20 when they don't open until 7:30. Sigh. He was happy until he saw the place - he's been there a few times before - and burst into hysterical crying. He even started running away from me, which was really, really odd and unlike him. I brought him inside and he did not calm down for a while. I showed him some really cool marble pathway toys, and his curiousity over-rode his fear. I said, "Good-bye, The Baby," and he said, "Good-bye, Daddy," without even paying attention. When I picked him up in the afternoon, he was fine until he saw me; then he burst into tears and ran for me. He had a bit of a rough morning, the teacher said, because he kept asking for me. Once lunchtime passed, he calmed down and was having fun and helping out. He really liked the ribbon dancing thing that they did. I left work a little bit early so I could get him before the big traffic rush. We went to the comic book store and to get pizza at a little hole-in-the-wall shop that I like. The others in the restaurant were shocked that he liked the mushroom pizza so much - enough that he had two slices, all on his own!!! We went home for a little while, then he came with me to a chorus committee meeting. He was very, very good at the meeting, even if he was terrified of the two little dogs that my friend has. The others? They had a fun, even if they were cooped up in a bus for six hours or so during the day.

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