Monday, July 17, 2017

A clear distinction

People are fascinated by the ways the girls come together and how they are different. A conversation on my friend Irene's backyard deck will be my illustration from now on.


To frame the conversation that took place, the Girl Scout troop visited Irene's to finish the Plant IP badge. She has a gorgeous, organic, native perennial garden. She's also a landscape architect. She took the girls on a garden tour and was talking about her landscape architecture career. As she talked about her work, we veered off to a conversation about public transportation.


I said, "I always liked taking the CTA when I lived in the city. It was such great people watching."


The brunette twin said, "I will take public transportation when I get older. I like it."


The blond twin said, "I am going to have a chauffer."


And there you have it. Everything you need to know about their personalities in two sentences.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Friendship Festival offers freedoms

Our community holds an annual festival with carnival rides, games and music. This was the year they've waited for since we started attending. This year, we let the girls attend Friendship Festival with their friends without us.


We organized a carpool to get the crew there and back. All the parents agreed on the ground rules -- stick together, carry your own stuff, watch your purses, etc.


The first night they were so excited. They planned and primped and texted with friends. They discussed outfits and hair styles. They made sure they had money and their mega-passes. Different girls joined them as schedules allowed. No matter who was part of that night's crowd, the same things happened each time.


Every night the girls came home with dozens of stories. They relished their independence, even as they thought we were spying on them. More than once they asked if we had friends checking on them. The funny thing was that we didn't ask anyone to watch them, but we knew that if there were any real problems there would be so many other parents there who would lend a hand. It was part of the decision to let them go alone. Just as we would be happy to have helped any of the neighborhood kids, we knew their parents would help our girls if needed.


They learned a lot about how to have fun at the fair. Thursday and Friday they had a lot of fun. Saturday they went to the fair during the daytime, but came home early. It turned out that the fair wasn't as fun during the daytime. They went back after dark when the lights were shining and the music blaring. They came home laughing and telling stories.


As always, fireworks closed the festival. As we were heading home, the girls were already making plans for next year's festival -- without us of course.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Strangers in the night

I lost my car key. For a few weeks I didn't even try to look for it. We had done some work on the family room and dining room floors. The house was a mess. I was sure the key was on the desk I couldn't reach.


It was clear as we put the house back together that the key wasn't on or in the desk. The missing key went from an annoyance to a problem.


I woke up one night certain that the key was in the foyer cabinet. I went downstairs in the dark to look for it. The key wasn't there.


As I walked back up the stairs, Holly raced into the hallway and started barking. It wasn't the friendly bark I hear when I come in the house. It was an angry, protective bark. I talked to her and turned on a light. She calmed down and went back to bed.


I always wondered what Holly would do if a stranger came into the house at night. Now I know, although I didn't think I was going to be the stranger.