Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Not wordless because I forgot it was Wednesday

A little detail to show you the red of spring on one of the maples in our yard. While we also have red maples on which the leaves will darken to a deep maroon, these maples will ultimately turn green -- then back to red again in the fall. This particular tree is taller than our house, but when we planted it, it was barely the size of a pencil; in fact, it arrived to us in a standard business envelope in the mail! It was one of the ten free trees we received for joining the National Arbor Day Foundation. They still give away ten trees (you'll see the link right on the home page) and I imagine that they all still arrive at your house in an envelope. I look out my window now and count five trees standing that I know came from that group which seems nothing less than miraculous to me.

Dean has piano lessons on Tuesdays after school, and the lessons take place in the library at our school. He loves to grab a book or two at the end of each lesson, and yesterday chose One Small Square: Backyard. This is part of a wonderful series of nature guides for children that are about choosing a square in a particular environment and observing it over time. He was inspired to collect a supply kit (journal, pencil, magnifying glass, trowel) and head right out to begin his project. He needed a little help and wanted some company so we went out together to enjoy a little time before dinner. My parents were great at giving me books like this one, but just did not have the time to help me follow through on the projects. I remember that "I've got to do this now!" urge -- children really want to act immediately when something interests them -- and felt gratified to be able to be the parent I want to be and help him make it happen. Reminded me to do that more often -- be the parent I want to be.

And a couple more delights of this week! Ken has a colleague who is married to a woman from Japan and who was kind enough to ask Ken if there was anything they could bring back from their recent month-long visit to her family. Um, well, yeah -- I can think of something.... I'll show you more soon of this gorgeous embroidery book and the sewn project book. Heavenly.

Thank you for all the support on the self-portrait project (and you play along too, now) and the blogging. I think the "self" part of the portrait-taking is key -- I know I make a different face when someone else is holding the camera. I think everyone does. Makes me think about painters and self-portraits and the importance of your own vision of you and not you as seen through someone else's lens (literal or figural). I failed to say that yesterday's picture was the "me at work" view. I'll post as I come up with portraits of the other me's.


Natalie said...

Trees in an envelope... now I have a vision: I hope we find a place where I can accept trees in an envelope.
The embroidery books look like they have very pretty ideas.
And I just love that you recognize how meaningful it was to join Dean in the yard... you are reminding me too... Be the parent I want to be.

Anonymous said...

thanks Jen for lovely comments from you and Dean for the Pikachu cake and the pinata! It meant a lot. I admire you for your self portrait, I find it very hard to do. I have always got rid of photos of me, and Shayne often says if I was to die soon the girls wouldn't have any photos of me, but I always say "there are the wedding ones" So different to Zoe, at her age her and friends take photos of themselves CONSTANTLY then put them up on MySpace for friends to comment on. It's great to see such confidence. Some photos they try to look as bad as they can!!!!