Friday, July 8, 2016

Summer days

Emma is on the home stretch with her closet.  It was ridiculously full--odds and ends stuffed in every corner.  Yesterday afternoon she said, "I don't know what to do next."

Her entire bed was full of a small portion of what had been in the closet.  (And seriously, her closet isn't that big, it was just that packed.)  I pointed to something and asked, "What do you want to do with this."

"Throw it away," she said.

"Put it in the hall.  What about this?"

"I don't know."

"Do you use it regularly?"


"Put it in the dungeon."

Emma looked at me sort of wonderingly.  "What are you doing right now?" she asked.  "Will you stay here?  I need your help."

Since she never says that and it quite flatters me, I said, "Of course."  I scooted some stuff over to make a spot for me on the bed. 

"I get so distracted," Emma said.  "I do things like this." She showed me some poetry she'd written with a little magnetic poetry set she found in the closet.

So I kept her on task and we chatted.  "What should I write a blog post about?" I asked her.

"Mark," she said.

Later Mark and I were sitting on the deck, which is my favorite place in the world to be when the sun is setting.  I asked him, "What should I write a blog post about?"

"Me," he said.

So here I go.  This is Mark this summer.

(And I can really write anything because Braeden is my only child interested in my blog.)

I am almost always awake first but Mark is close behind me.  He doesn't have the sleep in skills of Emma.

Yesterday Mark and I were weeding side by side and talking about rattlesnakes.  I told him my dad killed one with a shovel when I was a little girl.  Mark laughed and said, "Of course he did.  Grandpa is so manly all he needs to kill a snake is a shovel and to wear Old Spice."

(Mark is a big fan of Old Spice.)

Mark loves music from the '80s and also dance electronic music (which I think is kind of terrible).  He sings all the time but if I ask him to sing for someone, he refuses.

I often think Emma is my most stubborn child but I'm not sure.  It could be Mark.

I bought Mark a subscription to Popular Mechanics for his half birthday because I thought he would love it.  He does.

Yesterday he said he wants to give the gun back to Ammon.  He said he is not really comfortable with killing a squirrel after all.  I told him that's fine.  He likes the idea of hunting, the thrill of the chase, but he's the boy who wouldn't read Charlotte's Web when he was little.  He looked at the cover filled with a picture of all the animals and flat out refused.  He said, "You can just look at that picture and know one of the animals is going to get it."

Years ago Adam read, Where the Red Fern Grows to our older two.  He never read it to Mark.  It probably would have been the undoing of that boy.

Mark loves to ride his bike.  The other night Adam and I were sitting on the deck and we watched a lanky rider far away up on the trail.  I knew immediately it was Mark.  He has tell-tale long limbs. 

Besides the sunset, Mark provides part of the show each evening.  He goes out on the trampoline and we watch him do tricks from the deck.  Adam calls down suggested feats and I say to Adam at least once a night as we watch him flip and spin and flop and maneuver, "He has such long legs."

After jumping and jumping, he runs up to us, panting.  He usually wants ice cream.

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