Paper Rollercoasters, Bloodcurdling Screams, and Other Quick Takes


Stair Crawler
Don’t you look innocent at me, boy. I’ve got your number.

You know that moment when you pull into the garage and turn off the van and open your door, and the first thing you hear is That Scream—the harbinger of attack by a mad dog, or being run over?

Wednesday night, following choir practice. Michael. Slammed his finger in the car door. Shredded skin. Black fingernail. All manner of drama that lasted until close to eleven p.m.

Thursday morning? “Nope, it doesn’t hurt anymore,” he said to our inquiries.

(Seriously, kid.)


So Thursday, we come home from school and I tell him to take his various and sundry art projects inside while I go put the hose on a tree. This requires moving the hose from one side of the house to the other, and as I clear the house, I hear…That Scream.

I drop everything and run full-tilt up to the front of the house and find him standing unharmed beside the car with his arms full of paper projects. “What on earth is wrong?” I say.


I say again: seriously, kid.


This is what Alex has been doing in summer school:

Paper Roller Coaster

Incidentally, Alex was giving me the standard tween dramatic sigh about going to EEE (gifted) summer school–especially because it is middle school now and not elementary. At the orientation night, though, they started listing what they were going to do: 1) STEAM bus, with programmable robots and virtual reality goggles; 2) contest to see who can build the best paper “temple” (ancient civilizations class); 3) build your own roller coaster; 4) make a book trailer for your favorite book…

Let’s just say he’s not complaining about having to catch the bus at 6:45 a.m.


Speaking of summer school, let’s do a little “math”: 3 schools + 2 buses + 1 child’s school twenty minutes from home = Mommy Works At The Park All Morning And Doesn’t Go Home Until Lunchtime Every Day. As hot as it’s been here, though, it wasn’t too bad to sit outside. Shade makes a world of difference. And I revert to the body lessons I learned during the two summers I worked on the farm, when I wore jeans every single day, even when I was on an open tractor raking hay all day. You can get used to being outside in 90 degree heat. It’s really not the end of the world. And having no internet connection? That can be really good for productivity.


blog wedding daddy danceOne of the things you’re supposed to worry about with kids with Down syndrome is weight. People with DS are susceptible to, well, plumpness. Julianna has never had this problem. Hugging her, you’ve always gotten the sense that if you squeezed too hard, her delicate bones might break. So we’ve always let her chow down on whatever she wanted.

Until now. She’s hardly overweight, but she’s bulked up in the last six months. She feels solid now, and heavy. So we are having to teach her lessons in moderation.


blog NNicholas has been riding the bus to summer school with Julianna this summer, and reading Star Wars early reader books, and a smidge of C. S. Lewis. But mostly he’s been listening over and over to an audio book of the A to Z mysteries. He really, really likes audio books. The only thing that concerns me about this is whether he’s actually, yanno, reading enough. Like, getting enough practice at nuts and bolts of decoding words and translating them into meaningful thoughts.


It did not rain here from Memorial Day until June 20th. Not a drop. Monday night we got two inches, and lost a third of the maple tree in front of the house. We doff our hats in mourning.

Wounded Tree

Hello to all the lovelies from Seven Quick Takes today!