Sunday, March 18, 2012

Signs of Spring, Bike Maintenance, Chocolate, and Respect

I'm sure others are experiencing the same thing, but this Spring is already crazy weather-wise. We had the easiest winter I can remember and spring hit so fast and hot that the kids are already asking to swim in Vicky's pool. We've been hearing the snakes on the way too and from school, but finally had a sighting last week. Others look at the blooming daffodils, the budding trees, the magnolia trees which are already losing some of their petals, but for us spring has sprung when we start to see the snakes.

Josie's been riding Dema's old orange bike for months, but she has coveted Parker's old pink bike since she could talk.  She asks to see if she is tall enough to ride the pink bike every month. This weekend it worked (sort of, she needs a bit of help starting out since she can't touch the ground while sitting on the seat).
She kept riding like the wind around our park exclaiming "This is a dream come true!" so easy to please her sometimes.

She is not just interested in riding her "new" bike (she says it was "built in the olden days" since it is older than she is), but she is all about keeping it in top performance shape. She loves to pump up the tires (which is a bit hard for me sometimes) and check out the different squeaks and tighten the bolts. Thank goodness someone else in the family is interested in bike maintenance. Rob was replacing an inner tube on our friend's bike and Josie was right there learning all she could.

The other day I went to World Harvest to pick up Rob's favorite tahini (the man gets the shakes if we run low on olive oil or tahini) and was attracted to the buy five chocolate bars get one free. I know, I know...sucker! World Harvest is a locally owned store that floor to ceiling merchandise. You want variety, you go to World Harvest. I had many chocolates to choose from (even many vegan chocolates), but one stood out above the rest to convince me that buying six (one of them free!) chocolate bars was a good idea. Madecasse. Specifically, the Pink Pepper and Citrus (photo from their website). I have thought about writing a blog post about Josie's love of pink pepper, but I haven't yet. She loves it on everything. Rob and Josie came up with adding the pepper to our nooch popcorn, now she won't eat popcorn any other way. I bought some for a Fat Free Vegan recipe, but I don't think I ever used it for that because we used it in everything else. So I knew I had to buy the Pink Pepper and Citrus chocolate bar for Josie. Over the last few weeks the entire family (and some of the kids at Parker's school who ask for some of his lunch) has thoroughly enjoyed a square or two (or three) every couple days. We can also recommend the 70% Cocoa bar (you didn't think I would get six of the same kind did you?) and please check out what the company stands for because it makes the chocolate even sweeter. I think this may be our favorite chocolate now. Josie is our geography buff (she asks daily to do her geography and brings me maps to talk about China, Japan, Guatemala, Russia, Egypt, Argentina, etc.) in the family and she loves pointing out Madagascar on different maps to show where her chocolate comes from.
Several weeks ago Parker was talking about a something that happened during a class project. While he was telling the story he mentioned a girl's name we hadn't heard before. Now Rob and I have been amazed at the changes physically and emotionally in Parker (12) lately. We aren't trying to push him into adulthood, but we remember our own teen years so we're open to the crushes and loves that naturally occur during this time. So one of us interrupted his story to ask if the girl he mentioned was "cute". Parker was taken aback and disgusted. Not with the idea of finding someone attractive, but that we were so shallow to ask. "Would you ask this about a guy friend?" "What does it matter if she is physically cute or not?" "Is that how we value females?" We were silent. He was completely right. He has always taught us so much, even before he could talk. I am so glad he is able to be better than his parents and call us out when we clearly need to be reminded. Since having a girl four years ago, I have hoped that we would be the type of parents to help her through a society that values women more for their physical appearance than for their mind, but I think her big brother has her back on that one.


Cadry said...

Wow, what a son you are raising! You should be so proud of him to have that kind of consciousness at any age, but especially at twelve. That is just wonderful. I really enjoy your stories about your kids and their passions.

the sandwich life said... time you start your post with a picture of a snake....will you email me first and let me know?

with much love and irrational fear,

mydogoona said...

I was just thinking...Cynthia'll have the willies when she sees this photo!

VeganLinda said...

Sorry Cynthia! :-) We think of you each time we see a snake. LOL

Cadry, he is amazing, but we can't take credit. He was born that way. :-)