Thursday, November 15, 2007

lessons in being curious, creative and car-free

Today (Fri, Oct 26) was one of those dark rainy days that can make you want to stay beneath the covers and pretend you don’t have a reason to get out.

Fortunately, that delusion never entered my mind thanks to my two young boys. My three year old has already woken me up twice with bad dreams about witches chasing him (bless him) and is now sleeping on my forehead, crowding me into the far corner of my bed. (Keep in mind you could have a small dinner party on this thing)

I just get back to sleep when my older son enters at 6am and says loudly, “Oh yeah - I don’t have school today - I could have slept in.” EXACTLY! Insert curse word. Of course this always happens when their dad is out of town.


But it’s 8am and we are carving a pumpkin. Rather unorthodox I know, but our first one has long since rotted and, well, they asked so nicely. Also yesterday was our 1/2 share produce pick up and this is our third pumpkin - what else are we going to do with it?

While our spiced pumpkin seeds are roasting, we spy the bag of dried corn for popcorn and chestnuts.

Now I know some people don’t like the whole “you never know what you’re going to get” aspect of buying a share in a local CSA, but for us it’s been a lesson in curiosity and creativity. (How many different ways can you cook green beans and still have your kids not eat them? Can I make a white eggplant taste good?) And this morning, can I pop popcorn without one of those electric poppers?

It turns out all you need is a pot, a cover, and some oil over high heat. After I drizzle butter and salt over the bowlful, the eldest declares, “This is the best popcorn I’ve ever had!” So we move on to the chestnuts (sorry we used the oven, not an open fire). Easy and tasty as well.

By this time the house smells delicious and I feel like the triumphant captain of the Mayflower; I’ve launched this culinary ship into previously unchartered waters and succeeded!

By this time, we decide this is our car-free day and we hunker down.

We color; we play Star Wars; we rock out to the Romantics “What I Like About You” while we pick up the 30 or so books that are strewn all over Ian’s room; we play hide and seek.

We all agree that a “family bath party” is the perfect ending to a perfect day. With our three-inch layer of bubbles we make beards, snowballs, glaciers and marshmallow cakes! My 6 yr old begins putting “red hot fire cream” on my legs because “your blood is evaporating!” That cannot be good. But after a few douses of “the best cream I’ve ever come across” I seem cured.

Of more than just the dreary day.

Kids have a wonderful way of keeping you in the moment.

I know these days of family baths and pretend potions are disappearing fast. So before I lay my weary head to sleep, I enjoy them, and hope for no mean witches tonight.



1 comment:

Marie Thomas said...

If your kids really like Starwars, you should check out my dad's blog at
He's building a real life-size R2D2.
And if you want you can check out my blog too at