"they say the owl was a baker's daughter. lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be." (Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5)

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Heroes Among Us

I have recently come under criticism for not encouraging my children to believe in Santa Claus. When asked, "Mama, is Santa real?", I would simply respond, "It depends on what you believe." I really didn't see the point in fictitious elaboration, when vague honesty seemed like such a bette alternative.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Every now and again I get a glimpse into the world through the eyes of my children. What I see is so endearing.

Last week, we were watching "This Is It" (the Michael Jackson documentary). My boys have inherited my love of music and dancing, and they were fascinated by the amazing dance moves and groovy beats. Right in the middle of it all, when Michael Jackson (surrounded by back-up dancers) was busting a move like nobody's business, Eamon announced, "Duke is the only man in the whole world who can dance better than these guys." I looked at him, evaluated for a trace of sarcasm, and saw only the most sincere eyes and loving expression. He really truly meant it.

Later that week, I asked Eamon not to pull on the spindles on the second floor landing. I tried to explain that if he pulled too hard, they might break off, and someone might fall. It would be dangerous. He looked at me, dumbfounded and replied, "Well, don't worry Mama, Duke wouldn't get hurt, because he has a parachute." A parachute? Seriously?

While watching the Super Bowl, Liam told me, "These guys are lucky that Duke doesn't play professional football, because he's an amazing quarterback." Wow. Watch out Drew Brees.

If you are in third grade you often weave tall tales to earn the respect of your undeserving peers. Stepdads like Duke become urban legends. I heard Liam telling his friends, "My stepdad can hit a wiffle ball over the roof ... with a shovel." Well, actually he can do that, so it wasn't really a myth or a tale, but definitely a legend. Liam also told me, "It doesn't matter where we are, Duke will always protect us because he is so strong."

The way I see it. My boys have invented their own mythical being. The legend of Duke. Their hero is alive and well. It all depends on what they believe.

And, he has a parachute.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Behind the Barn

Whoever invented January should be taken out and shot behind the barn. The only two good things that have happened in the history of January are that my mom and my sister-in-law were born. Well, my friend Hanan and my friend Andrea's husband, Derek were born too. Other than that, January comes up pretty short.

When I haven't been busy freezing, slipping on the ice, or fumbling around in the dark (because daylight is so scarce this month), I have been teaching a lot and preparing for a very exciting move. That's keeping us all pretty busy. Anyone who knows me, knows that I like nothing better than a big project to keep my gears grinding at a breakneck pace at all hours of the day. In fact, just the other morning at 0200, I figured out exactly where I am going to hang all of my framed photos in my new house (c'mon you know, my new house ... the one I haven't bought yet). My poor husband. He keeps saying "Just relax, don't get all keyed up." And I keep looking with at him with intense curiosity and wondering if he has ever met me before.

I would be remiss and negligent if I didn't mention one really exciting thing that happened in January 2010. My baby brother, Scott, was accepted to the United States Army Warrant Officer Flight Training program. Then, he stupified all of the Munroes, and got engaged a week later. Last time I checked, he was riding a tricycle and eating Zwieback. I guess I need to stay more involved. The good news is, I really like his fiancee, so I'll forgive him for growing up without notifying me in advance.

Duke and the boys started cleaning the garage to get ready for the move. Liam announced: "Wow, Duke, you have a LOT of tools!" to which Eamon replied

"Of course he does Liam! You can't be a MAN without tools."

You heard it here first.