|Halloween is not Kristi's and Keith's favorite "holiday." Neither
of us particularly likes dressing up in costume. It is the first
of the Big Three Pressure Holidays. (As parents, we feel pressure to provide
the costumes and jack-o-latterns.)
But paradoxically, Autumn is Keith's and Kristi's favorite season of the year. The changing of the seasons, shortening of the days, and change in weather mean different things to each of us from our youth, but the resulting fondness is the same. Of course, it's not quite the same in Southern California as it was in New Mexico or Illinois. Only the shortening of days occurs here. Still, we took what the season and the area would give us: a trip to the ball yard to watch the Padres playing baseball in October; a trip to the farm to get pumpkins, ride the train and hay ride; and a trip to the desert for a camp out.
||Bradley has undergone two major appearance changes, one of his own
choosing and one forced upon him by his genetics. He has dyed his
hair blond again, although this time completely instead of just the top
two thirds. And as you can see from the picture, he's gone very blond.
In the continuing struggle of "How to react as a parent," we acquiesced
to his dying desire, but insisted that he pay for it (well, half of it).
After a weekend of getting just the sort of shocked reactions he was looking
for, however, on Monday he got a lesson his parents could never hope to
teach him: he was ridiculed at school. Not by everyone perhaps, but
by enough people that it was clear he was unhappy. Now that's a lesson
about the cost of non-conformity that is easily worth the price of half
a dye job.
Brad's other cosmetic alteration was the application of braces to his teeth. His father never had braces, but his mother did. The goal is to get the brace work completed before starting middle school (sixth grade), where ridicule is a practiced art form.
||This was a big month for Doug and Dad in Indian Guides. We had
the induction picnic
(where there were fun and games, and the new braves like Doug were introduced
to the nation), a tribe meeting (where excitement was provided by a brush
fire breaking out several hundred yards away, and the fire department showing
up to put it out), and a camp out in
the desert at Agua Caliente.
The latter was Doug's first camp out not in somebody's backyard, and the first camping for Keith since (can it be?) 1993. Keith enjoyed the brilliant star filled sky far away from the city, and the hikes. Douglas enjoyed staying up late, making 'smores, and digging in the dirt cliffs with tent stakes (aka "mining crystals") with the other boys. Douglas turned into a picky eater on this camp out, which really surprised me. I would have thought he would have been forced by hunger to try scrambled eggs and potatoes, but he held out. Held out until the steaks came out at dinner, at which point he ate more than all the other braves.
||This is Douglas' school picture for first grade. He is a champion brow-furrower and sulker.|
|Brad has tried out for and made the school geography team again this
year. (The Geography Olympiad will
again be in January.) He has also joined the Future Scientist and Engineer
club at school. (Asked to write a paragraph about why he wanted to
join, he wrote, "My dad is an engineer, and it would be really neat to
be in his shoes, if only for just one hour a week." Didn't endure
himself to Dad in the least...) Both "clubs" have him staying an
extra hour at school for extracurricular studying and projects, which of
course really upsets his parents. Bradley's after school schedule is: Monday,
piano lessons; Wednesday, Scientists and Engineers club, choir at Church;
Thursday, Geography club. Good thing soccer practices have been discontinued
with the end of daylight savings time.
Finally on Brad, it should be mentioned that he is really enjoying Social Studies. Fourth Grade Social Studies is studying California, and learning about the Golden State's history, geography, and cultures. Hard to live in a more interesting, diverse state. He loves the subject, and is really looking forward to a one day field trip to the state capitol and various Museums in Sacramento in May.
|Kristi has just about completed the Deer Canyon student directory. This is a great volunteer position for her because it reminds her of the work she did when she was employed full time, and because it is over and done with early in the school year. She is now at the aggravating stage of waiting for everybody (principal, PTA) to sign off on the final draft so she can get 650 copies printed up. She didn't use to have to put up with such delays in her old marketing job with Academic Press. Soon she'll be done with PTA responsibilities for another year. She is being gently pulled, however, to parental volunteer for the Geography Team. She continues to volunteer in the boys' rooms. Keith is official photographer for the Directory. Each year his job is to find and shoot a new compelling angle of the school for the cover.|
|Bradley's class at school decided to heed President's Bush call for
US children to help Afghan children by holding a walkathon to raise money.
They decided to walk the popular 5 mile path around a local reservoir,
Lake Miramar. Bradley had a soccer game that day, but impressed his parents
mightily by deciding the walkathon was more important. The morning
of the walkathon, however, he announced he had decided to participate
in both. All it required was that we start right now this instant.
Although this was disallowed, and he was forced to start at the same time
as everyone else, he did sprint off ahead, jogged much of the way, and
finished first (although it was not a race). Whether his new found
love of cross country was borne of a desire to make it to his soccer game
before the start of the second half, or just to show off to the girls,
is yet undetermined.
I found great irony in the fact that the 5 mile loop walkathon became a 7 mile there-and-back hike because the last one and a half miles of path (including the dam crossing) had been closed for security reasons since September 11th.
Dad to Doug (in the car with radio on): "Listen! It's Daddy's favorite band." Doug: "What's Mommy's favorite band?" Dad: "I don't know; why don't you ask her?" Doug: "I know they don't play her favorite band on Radio Disney. She says Radio Disney gives her a headache."
Doug to Mom: "You don't have any girl sons."
Doug: If Brad gets married, then Iíll be his wife's outlaw.
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