This is the first of a three page letter from Maya that was waiting for me as I entered Maya’s classroom. My favorite line: I sit with a table of all boys, they’re still learning who’s boss! This child is going to go far.
Today Jeanine and I had to split up to cover back to school activities. I met with Maya’s teacher, Ms. Lyons, and toured the new Willard school which is state of the art in every way. Classrooms have CO2 monitors and adjust the HVAC system to increase oxygen levels as needed to keep students and staff maximally alert. Need a say more. Meanwhile, Jeanine attended a meeting at the high school to learn about everything we need to do in preparation for the college selection process.
I was thrilled to receive this fire pit as a birthday present from the kids and spent a relaxing hour on the patio with Jeanine enjoying the warmth and glow. Jeanine gave me two pair of furry slippers, something I will enjoy as the days and nights become colder. Anticipating that Nala would eat the new slippers as she has every other pair I have owned Jeanine decided to buy an extra set in advance. Time will tell if these are actually a present for me or the dog.
I was late for my own birthday party this evening due to something of a fire drill at work. Fortunately, Jeanine kept my lovingly prepared dinner warm and the kids took a break from their studies to join in the feast. I requested healthy birthday food and Jeanine out did herself with this fantastic fresh fruit tarte with almond crust. Just looking at this on the screen has convinced me I need to go back for seconds. I decided to use my birthday wish to rectify a design issue on our about to be released new product.
This evening Nico and I attended the kick-off meeting for his Coming of Age program at First Parish, our Unitarian Universalist church. The year long program of self reflection culminates when each child addresses the entire congregation and shares their personal credo. UUs do not dictate a credo but rather encourage each member to discover their spiritual perspectives and to embrace a set of beliefs of their own distillation. Nico will join a small circle of peers guided by one male and and one female mentor and will participate in a number of retreats during which they will explore and develop their belief systems. I did my best to get a nice portrait of each child in the program and was pleased when Nico took the camera from me and reciprocated. Followers of this blog relize that Nicolai and I have already celebrated a Coming of Age adventure when we climbed Mount Kilimanjaro two years ago. The UU COA will be on the spiritual/intellectual level rather than in the physical challenge domain.
While the girls enjoyed a fancy breakfast in NYC, the boys and I went out for brunch at our new favorite breakfast spot at the West Concord Train Depot. My calf muscle is still out of commission so I was very thankful when my soccer game was rained out. While Jeanine was enjoying time alone with her daughter I got a chance to hang out with my sons and really enjoyed our conversation. I have decided we should do a monthly manly breakfast going forward.
As I left my office this evening the street was filled with emergency personnel. A traffic accident had left one driver with a broken leg. Cambridge has an unusually high concentration of cars, bicycles, and pedestrians and a week does not go by when I do not come across an accident scene of one type or another.
My dad turns 85 today and is going strong thanks to the healthy lifestyle my mother inflicts upon him. Left to his own devices, he would enjoy a delectable but admittedly unhealthy diet, not unlike his oldest grandchild pictured here with him. Of all our children, I believe Kyle takes after my dad the most. Both live life passionately, open to new experiences, and willing to work hard towards goals. They share a love of guitar, fine food, and the company of close friends. Each has the gift of infectious laughter and little is required to get them started. The gift my father passed to me was a creative approach to being in the world which has been the foundation of my success in life. If I had to guess my dad will be celebrating his birthday on the dance floor.