Happy Halloween!

It’s raining here–a cool, gray day, very pretty. The rain is supposed to let up this afternoon, and I hope that’s what happens, because Kit is so excited for Halloween. This is the first year that he’s gotten to pick what to dress up as, and I matched Joey’s costume to his, since Joey likes candy but couldn’t care less about non-Elsa dress-up opportunities. I did wonder briefly whether I should let him go out as Elsa tonight, but I think that he’s not in a good place to make an informed decision about the kind of flak he’d take for that here in Queen City. So Kit will be Buzz Lightyear, and Joey will be Woody; when they went to Joey’s school festival in their costumes last week, Joey seemed pleased with his outfit. Our plan for today is to Skype with the grands, watch some Halloween movies (The Nightmare Before Christmas has been a huge hit this year), go trick-or-treating in the south side of town around five, come home, and probably take just Kit around our neighborhood–Joey has limited patience for the trick-or-treating part, but last year Kit couldn’t get enough. Then Mister Book and I will either watch a horror movie (he would like that better, so I vote with that one) or play a horror board game (I would like that better, so he votes with board game). If everything goes more or less according to plan, I think it’s going to be a perfect day.

Kit is going to start preschool on Monday. In the end, there were three deciding factors: he and Joey are fighting a lot, to the point that Kit is frankly bullying Joey (I jump in constantly, but even so), and the real solution seems to be more time apart; Kit has been begging to go to school for kind of awhile now–Joey goes, and Joey loves school, so I can certainly see where Kit is coming from; and finally, vitally, his grandparents volunteered to pay for it. It took me awhile to figure out where to send him, and then last Sunday morning, the other mom in Kit’s Sunday school class asked me “Does he go to preschool here?” The Sunday school takes place in the school attached to our cathedral, and Kit loves that classroom–it seems wonderful to me, too–but for whatever reason, it hadn’t occurred to me that it would be a possibility to send him to Catholic preschool. Everyone has been lovely so far, and the teacher maintains a class blog that describes all kinds of cool things; Kit is extremely frustrated that he has to wait until Monday. He’ll go for three hours Monday through Thursday mornings, and Joey goes to school for three hours Monday through Thursday afternoons, so I think this will be a pretty good schedule for us. It’ll give me one-on-one time with each boy, something that Joey has, I think, been feeling the lack of more or less since his brother was born. I remember my mom talking to me about that magical time when your youngest is the only one not in school and the two of you abruptly get time alone together; I have managed to cheat my way into some of that with each small Book, and I’m glad.

I hope you’re all having most excellent Halloween weekends. And thanks.

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Gaps

I’ve been gone for awhile, huh? I had a really lousy reason: Nora and Cricket came to visit in June, like good and generous dudes, and the visit went well—and I was miserable the whole time and feel guilty about how much I failed to enjoy contact with the little dude. I still feel guilty. I can tell that the visit went well because Nora planned for us to spend most of their time here apart and then just kept suggesting that we see each other more and more. And everybody was friendly and respectful! And we went to a movie! And Cricket continues to grow into a clone of my husband, which is kind of weird, but does make for a cute kid with an offbeat sense of humor.

So for me, the visit going well and me more or less hating it the whole time meant that I need to take a step back. I couldn’t, though, not really; the contact is (for me) about the three boys, and even if it weren’t, I have obligations to Cricket. So I kept up the skype dates and tried to pretend to be a decent person, and then when we moved to Queen City I asked Mister Book to take over all of that stuff. But Nora refused to respond to his messages or emails until she finally messaged me about a Skype date and I asked her to talk to the Mister—“He’s handling the adoption stuff for us right now.” Awkward, yeah, although I did end up sending her a follow-up message after she mentioned to the Mister that I seem pretty burned out; I said “My last message probably sounded a little terse: sorry about that. I’m pretty burned out on adoption stuff right now, as you’ve probably guessed—but it’s about all contact being sad and stressful, and not about you guys as people or your conduct. You’ve been nothing but great, and I really appreciate it. And now that it’s possible for Mister Book to run things for awhile, I am really ready to let him take a turn. Being burned out won’t keep me from living up to my obligations to Cricket.” So not ideal, but I am stil trying to do what I should. In that Skype date arranged between Nora and Mister Book, Cricket (after a longer-than-usual Skype gap) seemed desperately glad to see us. I’m sticking around.