Summer nights 

Maria and Mario chowed down their dinner on Sunday night because Jon got a text from Biscuit and Cookie’s dad that they would be over in ten minutes to ride electric scooters with Mario. Ri chimed in that she wanted to go, too, on her bike.

Mario’s response in a flirty voice: “Ri has a date with Cookie….” 

She shoved him into the table.

We told them both to be back at Cookie’s and Biscuit’s house at 8 pm because it was a school night. Last word out of their mouths “ok.”

And 8 pm came and went. Jon was trolling the streets trying to find all of them. I was walking up and down adjacent streets. We asked neighbors if they’d seen them. Now, I was not too concerned for their safety. They were together in pairs – Ri and Cookie and Mario and Biscuit. That is one beautiful thing about our neighborhood – it has sidewalks, people are out, kids are running around. But I was irritated that they hadn’t listened to us. 

Finally, I see Ri and Cookie and Lucia biking down the street laughing and having a great time.

 “We stopped by and said hi to Lucia! When we told her Cookie’s mom was making ice cream sundaes she got her bike and joined us!”

Ok, we nabbed two of them but we needed the other two rascals. It was 8:20 and nothing. Then I get a phone call. My neighbor says “I’ve got two boys – one in neon. Want me to hold them til you get here?” Little does Mario know there are eyes all over Grandview watching him. I asked my neighbor to send them to Biscuit’s house.

   When I asked where they were, Mario replied excitedly “the highway!” 


He explained that he had convinced Biscuit to go down Grandview Ave. towards Tim Horton’s and the highway to “spice up” their usual route. Jon and I had a long talk with him about staying within a two block boundary. He is quite the instigator and I would bet he’s gonna be quite our little rule breaker, too.

But we forgot all about being irritated with them once the ice cream sundaes were served.  Moose track Ice cream, chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, whipped cream. Yum! We are gonna miss these summer nights.



Wyman Woods opens!

Wyman Woods re-opened to a good-sized crowd – mostly parents and excited kids – on Saturday. Mario was so charged up about getting to participate in the flag ceremony as a Boy Scout. Jon took him to practice his march and stances with the other scouts in the morning. He is dead serious about his responsibilities as a Boy Scout.
The boys met Ri and I back at the house. I took the kids down to the park early because Mario had to be there 30 minutes before the grand opening ceremony to practice more. I’m telling you – serious! I parked on my parents’ old street, Glendale. It dead ends to a woods trail that leads to Wyman Woods park. I used to take the kids down that trail to the woods all the time when they were toddlers. They loved climbing the hills and looking for goodies – acorns and leaves and funky-formed rocks. It was a gorgeous Fall day and about 60 degrees outside. I was immersed with gratitude and joy as we walked down the hill together. My eyes filled up with tears and I stooped dead in my tracks.
“Look at this amazing day. Look at you amazing kids. How much you’ve grown. I just want to take this in for a minute.”
Both kids laughed at me and gave me hugs. “Now come on mom!”
The playground is awesome. Sponge-like mat around the entire area and super cool equipment. The shelter house is beautiful, too. And they served sheet cake! Whoo-hoo.


Of course, despite all the cool new equipment, Ri still gravitated to her tried and true pine tree that she has climbed since preschool.


Grandma Lolo used to have a heart attack watching Ri climb so high.
And after a bit on the playground, Mario gravitated to the large rock he loves at the edge of the woods. He convinced me to climb to the top and slide down the other side until you reach the edge and have to leap off. To be seven. My tailbone is still bruised.


Mario did a wonderful job marching with the flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with his troop. He liked all eyes on him.



After the pledge of allegiance, the scout leader dismissed the boys and in the silence between the dismissal and the first speaker, all you could hear were boys’ laughter and shouts as they ran to the playground to continue their play.
Jon and I stayed for over an hour after the dedication ceremony talking to our former neighbors and other Grandview families. The kids ran around with other kids, Mario played football with a gang of boys, and Ri scaled the climbing wall with Ally, a girl in her class.
The day could not have been better – beautiful, warm sun shining down on us; gorgeous Fall leaves surrounding us; friends in the community to chat with; and my family next to me. Oh, and of course, sheet cake.

(Jon was there but he is not a fan of selfies!).>