Thursday, August 21, 2008


Thank you for all the heartening words about the trials of parenting and how it is kinda normal to want to wring the necks of your progeny. Tonight I am drinking:
Pomegranate Cranberry juice with some Pama pomegranate liqueur, a splash of club soda and a whole squeezed lime on ice.

Though yippie and hurrah I am not drinking it because I need to, but because it is nice and refreshing and why not?

Thank god for camp. In particular the camp the kids are going to this week which is run by real adults, not rah-rah college student counselors. Not that there is anything particularly wrong with the rah-rah type camp, but we are not really rah-rah types. Those kind of people usually scare us. We are more the dweeby type and whoooa boy is this camp run by some lovely caring dweebs. My kids are each taking three "enrichment" classes which include Fencing, Baking, Ooey Gooey Chemistry, Little Ninjas (combo of karate and dodge ball from what I've seen), Self Defense for Kids and a math class that provides ample quantities of candy for math problems completed. They come home tired, they come home happy and they come home with interesting stories to tell me about things they learned. Way better than spending time with a pissy guilty mom (though not as cheap of course...)

While they are gone I am getting a blissful taste of what my writing future holds in the near future (school starts Sept 2nd!). I've been so happy to have the kids go to a place where the people are kind and their brains (and bodies) are kept active while I hunker down and work on my novel. This summer has been hard on the writing front and it is now pretty clear to me that some of my frustration with the kids has been frustration with a lack of opportunity for me to write. This book is stewing about in my head a lot of the time and clearly keeping it cooped up in there is not good for my psychic health.

In other obsessive news, I finished reading a lovely children's novel, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. It's an adventure starring four gifted children who together take down an evil genius. While their world is richly imagined and the plot moves quickly, what I particularly liked was how each of the characters demonstrated a different sort of intelligence. If you read any sort of educational theory you come across "multiple intelligences" with "word smart" and "number smart" being the two that are most rewarded in our educational system (just look at any I.Q. test) while "kinesthetic smart" and "interpersonal smart" are less emphasized. This novel shows how none of the children can be successful without the others and thus the acrobatic girl is as valuable a team member as the boy who is a walking dictionary. Even the curious fourth member of the book, Constance, who seems to be grumpy, hungry and tired most of the time, proves to be absolutely key to their team with her intrapersonal intelligence--this is one girl who knows herself! The playful tone of the novel reminded me of Roald Dahl, without as much of his dark side. My kids are a still a bit scared of the cruelty of some of Dahls characters, so this one is a safer bet for a successful read-aloud. And even nicer news for me, there is a sequel!


Jen said...

Hey Kate! I'm glad things are calming down for you. We're the same type of family and those dweeb camps can be great. In fact, C just finished several years of the perfect dweeb sleep-away camp.

The book sounds marvelous - too bad C's grown out of children's books (at least in his own mind).

Anonymous said...

Hello Kate. I just wanted to tell you that your granola recipe SO TOTALLY ROCKS. I started making it about 6 months ago (adding coconut flakes), and now 3 of my friends make it too. I also love your banana muffins. Thanks for the recipes!