Almost

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now that you are eight
you pedal-fly and don’t look back
but you’re only eight


I’m posting from a campsite again. This year, the medium boy has a level of independence that leaves me anxiously waiting to hear his bike bell and know that he’s fine. We let the line out, then pull it back a little, let the line out, pull it back again. For him, this is exhilarating and scary and slightly difficult to navigate. Is he ready? Am I ready? Almost.

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Subpart D, Paragraph 2

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don’t get your shoes wet
small lawyers got around that
technicality


I don’t actually begrudge them this particular adventure–I’d be worried if they didn’t immediately and desperately want to play in every creek they see.  He was waging a losing battle against the water skippers, flinging mud and small stones only to watch them regroup in an instant.  I believe next time he will request a flame thrower.

Backseat Blitz

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Our summer traveling in the car
Started out kind of rough.
The squabbling children escalated
Until I’d had more than enough.

They screeched and fought every minute
With intent to harm and disturb
Until I PULLED THIS CAR OVER RIGHT NOW
And sat them down on the curb.

I gave them quite a lesson there
Right by the side of the road.
They thought they might be walking home
From a two towns away zip code.

I let them back in on conditions
Which since then, they’ve mostly met.
Like all siblings, they bicker,
About things they should just forget.

This normal silly bickering, though,
I find easier to survive.
In an imagined car of silence,
I switch to internal drive.


It turns out, I’m not quite able to compose a rhymed English sonnet in iambic pentameter while I’m driving.  I was in the car for 5+ hours today, and while I usually do compose verse in my head on the road, keeping track of the syllables and rhyme structure without writing anything down was too much.  So I let my brain make this, not at all inspired by anything that did/did not happen in the backseat today.

Also…this may/may not be a completely true story.

The Wee Knight

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potty poem


I found this little vignette all set up for me, and the play on “throne” was too delightful to pass up.

As a side note, I apologize for the crappy quality of the poem type.  I had to insert that as a picture translated through three programs, because I could not get the formatting to work no matter how much HTML I crammed in there.  An hour later, I decided that it added a certain “vintage” quality to the poetry and it’s actually the best.

I promised myself that I’m going to write a sonnet for tomorrow, just because I haven’t done that since high school.  Dusting the rust off the iambs right now.

Motor Me Home

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O, the glorious Outdoors!
We marvel at your Splendor!
Except for that last camping trip
When you put me through the blender.

Three days at the local State Park,
Should have been a plate of s’mores.
After two days we were done.
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

We lost one kid for quite a while
On the banks of the Willamette.
Frantically searched and called for an hour,
Nightmares running the gamut.

Until I went to get the Rangers
Riding my bike, heart steeled,
And found him in the motorhome,
Giggling at the pages of Garfield.

Okay, that ended well, I guess,
So we didn’t go home right away.
Dad and I had a couple of stiff ones.
Tomorrow would be a new day!

Let’s start that day with pancakes!
The favorite breakfast of the boy!
Oh my god, this version of mix
Is loaded with processed soy.

For most people, no worries,
The texture’s a little different.
We got to call the ambulance
From the rural fire department.

An ambulance in a campground
Makes you instant celebrities.
While he rode his bike that afternoon,
I repeatedly answered, “How is he?”

We spent the rest of the trip
Reacting to everything at DEFCON5.
We were completely done having fun.
We just wanted to get home alive.


It is my sincere hope that this last trip will forever be The Worst Camping Trip Ever®.  If it gets worse, it edges into actual life-altering events.  It’s a bit on my mind as we prepare for the next one.  The campground is by the ocean.  I’m considering requiring life jackets 24/7.

The Semi-empty Nest

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I’m cleaning out the closets
As if a baby’s about to arrive.
NO, NO, NO, I’m long done with that.
My baby’s a world-weary five.

The cleaning and scrubbing binge
That I’m energetically on
Is for when school starts this fall
And both my babies are gone!

No, not to college, not even close,
Just elementary school for now.
I’ll be all alone in my quiet house
Managing to cope somehow.

My lovely empty closets,
And clean, tidy rooms,
Will stay that way for hours
Sans the chaotic fruit of my womb.

So as summer skids to a stop,
I’ll spend hours on organization
For that first peaceful cup of joe
Of my school-days-only vacation.


I am in a serious bout of nesting behavior right now, cleaning out closets and hanging drapes and calling a housepainter for the outside.  When the school year hits, those of us who work opportunistically around kids can finally concentrate for more than 10 minutes without a request for pancakes, the iPad, or punishment for the other child.  I am feverishly working toward a house that is clean, quiet, and free of distracting, disorganized junk and projects uncompleted.  It won’t actually all happen, but some of it will, and that is better than none of it.

PS.  The painter is also quoting that deck railing because I….ahem….haven’t quite gotten that ironed out by myself yet.

The Tattlers

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When nothing is planned
And summer gets long,
The kids come running
To sing their people’s song.

He kicked my face!
She stole my book!
He showed me his butt!
She shouldn’t have looked!

Screeching and thumping,
Then footsteps towards me,
With grievances ready
In hopes that I’ll be….

What? Do you want me to yell?
Do you want me to punish?
Are you looking for sympathy?
Do you hope to astonish?

My standard reaction
Disappoints the little Judas.
Go handle it yourself.
I don’t know why you do this.

Despite my disinterest,
They can’t seem to refrain.
There’s nothing too trifling
For them to complain.


For so many reasons, I am grateful we were able to have two children.  This is not one of them.