Four Non-Fraught Days

And then, suddenly, Leo re-emerged as himself. All done, violence and aggression.

It can't be all due to resuming routine, as we jumped immediately into a four day weekend. We had four days of happy. Four days of Totoro skies. Four days for which I am very grateful -- plus a whopper of a family milestone on Friday, so, if you're nosy, keep reading.

We set aside Thursday as a family hike day. But first we visited my lovely friend Laura at her lovely home. Our girls got a good dose of the doggie love they so crave, Laura met both of my boys and I met one of hers, and Leo got to enjoy exploring a nice big flat yard with paths and plenty of running space. We had to leave before we moved in.

Our hiking destination was Briones park, using an exploration that Seymour put together for KQED. We downloaded the exploration to the EveryTrail app, and were able to used Seymour's iPhone's GPS functionality to trace points of interest -- complete with pictures -- along the trail. We enjoyed a picnic lunch, watching gophers pull plants straight down into the ground just like they do in cartoons, meeting a ranger and her horses, watching raptors, and basking under those bright blue skies.

Friday was gloriously overscheduled, but we managed to hit every beat:

It started with my hour-long magazine interview in the AM (if it comes to fruition, I'll let fly with the ID). It's always rewarding to talk to reporters about the importance of cultivating a positive attitude, appreciating and loving our kids, and the critical role of community.

Then we dropped of my crud-encrusted van at the detail shop so Seymour's parents won't recoil in horror, should they have to ride in said van during their (yay!) Thanksgiving visit.

Then we drove to SF and dropped of Seymour at work.

Then we picked up Godfather Michael from his residence.

Then we picked up snacks & coffee (which I'd stupidly skipped) from Baker & Banker's side door while the girls Oohed and Aaaahed over the size of their brown butter chocolate chip cookies.

Then we met with Michael's Godwife Stacy and she ushered us into a wonderful kid-centric San Francisco Symphony performance. The girls were compelled and appreciative, to my relief.

Then we went for stuffed pizza for lunch. Mmm. Sadly, GM Stacy had to go back to work.

Then we hit Isotope comix to get Mali a comic book for her birthday while Michael drifted off to The Fatted Calf next door. Mali chose Lions, Tigers, and Bears, and she would have stayed forever on those overstuffed red couches, browsing their excellent kids' section and chatting with the affable owner James, but we had to get our car off the street before noon, sigh.

Then we took Seymour our leftover pizza for his lunch. NOM.

Then I took the girls to Franklin Square Playground, a place I realized Iz had never visited after she asked me what the merry-go-round was. But Mali and I quickly showed her how to use it and she was an instant & enthusiastic expert.

Then Seymour & I had a Leelo team meeting with Supervisor M at Coffee Bar which has become an unrealistic place to sit down between noon and 2 PM. We shoehorned ourselves in, the girls played quietly at the next table, and we discussed how to support Leo's incredible progress while helping last week's violence de-escalate.

Then the girls and I drove home and met Leo at his bus and the girls wrote a thank you note to Godmother Stacy -- because if you don't take care of that shit immediately, it's less likely to get done. Or so I find.

Then we picked up my van, which glowed with a holy light and had an electrical field installed around the doors that will zap any child who attempts to bring in food, drink, or dirty shoes. This car must stay clean, for a minimum of two weeks!

Then all three kids and I went to the grocery store and they did just fine! Leo did not turn into a ferocious octopus or supernova or wolverine -- he was a model citizen, and received much praise for his behavior.

Then we mailed the thank you notes.

Then we dropped Iz off at her end-of-the-year soccer pizza party.

Then I took Leelo home to spend the evening with his favorite babysitter.

Then Mali & I went out for tacos together, because 1:1 time is rare.

Then we picked up Iz from her party and walked her over to the local movie theater where we met both Seymour and they boy Iz is sweet on and ACCOMPANIED IZ ON HER FIRST DATE AND THEN THE WORLD STOPPED SPINNING.


Saturday was the last day of Fall soccer chaos. I'm still loving Leo's games, hanging out with all the parents who get it and will plunge right into talking about their current challenges without warmup small talk or other BS, which I always appreciate.

Very kind people gave Leo iTunes gift cards for his birthday, so we spent much afternoon time downloading apps and videos for Leo. We found some excellent ones for him, many at just the right level of challenge/familiarity. I will have to write them up.

I also managed to overlap Liz's birthday party featuring some of the best tapas I've ever eaten with hosting Ep's Clyde's annual birthday roast beef dinner, where I shared my otherwise self-serving mashed potato and gravy superpowers. Which sucked from a not-enough-time-with-Liz perspective even though we had a great dinner with some of our favorite people, and was the third time I've really messed up my calendar in a week. I need a clone.


On Sunday Jenijen & I went to a truly fun and informative heart health event in San Francisco, which you can read about here. On the way to the city, we talked about our disinterest in complainers versus our affinity for motivated non-complainers, and how we tell our kids that it's more helpful if they tell us what they want, as opposed to what they don't like. (I am all done with the whining!)

Back to the groove, it seems. Or so we'll see -- Seymour is off on a Midwest business trip tomorrow. I'm really hoping Leo won't redirect his dad-missing sadness into aggression towards Mali. I'm really hoping we'll get four more good days, despite.


  1. Sounds like it was a glorious four days. Happy dance for you.

  2. So glad to hear about the good days!

    I had to laugh re: the kids telling you what they don't like as opposed to what they want. My (now 7) boy developed a habit of making statements like "My zipper is stuck" or "I'm cold." I USED to prompt him to tell me what he needed/wanted, but now I just say cheerfully, "That's interesting!" and wait for him to rephrase himself. Works like a charm, and puts the annoyance on his end, not mine. :D

  3. It sounds like a glorious four days! Here's hoping for many more.

  4. If I may say so, sounds like you may need some sort of app to keep track/check in with one child and not your middle one---very sweet about Iz! And just some sweet days.

  5. Sounds like a delightful, nurturing, and well-deserved four days of happy. Awesomesauce. :-)


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