Uncle Kevin came to visit over the weekend. He ordinarily lives in Nicaragua where he grows coffee and avocados and bananas and tomatoes and other assorted vegetables and bakes in the sweltering humidity while we shiver in our boots. He's basically an ex-pat. We love him dearly despite his propensity to paint the zombie apocalypse in more dire terms and with a sense of immediacy which we tend to disagree on. Otherwise, we're on exactly the same page in terms of building Hobbiton. He will be our partner in crime when the day comes (if we could only agree on the location).
Saturday afternoon while I cleaned at the Food Co-op in preparation for the 40th anniversary party on Sunday, Kevin, Jon and the boys walked to Coventry to peruse the book store and Big Fun. Kevin wanted to get lost in the bookshop for hours, staring down all the used spines in search of Don Quixote and fondling the brittle pages of Marxist philosophy and old copies of Mother Earth News. Jon informed him this is not a possibility with two young sons and that he had about 5 minutes if they were lucky.
Aleks and Bastian did quite well and it was 10 minutes before they were really running completely amok, pulling all the science fiction paperbacks out at random on the second floor. Jon ushered them outside to await Kevin's final purchases. Suzanne, co-owner of the shop, recognized that Kevin must be visiting our family from out of town. Kevin confirmed and she told him that she "loves those kids."Apparently they both agree that we're awesome parents and our kids are just phenomenal in their confidence and curiosity.
As someone who's frequently trying to hold onto a three-year-old while finding where the copies of The Apocalypse Door and Not of Woman Born all go, it's hard for me to always recognize this as true. As much as the energy and self-assuredness of my children results in meltdowns and difficulties for all of us, I am always trying to remind myself that these same facts will serve them incredibly well as they grow. Knowing that they are unafraid, completely comfortable in most situations, and speak to adults as they would anyone, I can see that they will most surely become who they are. I can see that they will do what they need to do to accomplish their deepest desires and dream huge, without the same extent of questioning and doubting that the rest of us non-unschooled adults are burdened with. When I see who they are and acknowledge how I am raising them, I recognize the bits of them that are respected and valued as autonomous and wonderful and how this will in all likelihood result in the independent thought and critical thinking I want so badly for them when they are grown. What's more is that it is so extraordinary that these childless neighbors recognize it too.
After the bookstore, Aleks convinced Kevin to buy he and Bastian toys at Big Fun. When I came home that evening, there was a puddle underneath a red bowl on one of our lovely antique side tables in the living room with these eggs inside.
The purple-gray-ish thing on the right is an alien, which is Aleks' and the egg on the left, Aleks informed me, has a "crocogator" inside. They both hatched by morning. Aleks tried to dry them out again overnight in front of the fan without success and the boys have both been attached to them ever since, including them in their monster battles, carrying them about, and playing with them in the tub. Their paint is peeling off, which grosses me out a bit and they're unnaturally lumpy, resulting in an odd looking alien and a less odd-looking crocogator.