Lasker Pool

Lasker Pool
Central Park, summer 2011

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tony Hawk is the Bestest Skateboarder

We went shopping for spring/summer clothes yesterday. Mostly for my big guy, since the littles, Seth and Jesse, have more hand-me-downs than they can handle.
Somehow, Seth, happened upon a line of clothing from Tony Hawk, skateboarder extraordinaire.
Seth has never talked about skateboarding or been on a skateboard.
Yet he was drawn to the skater-boy styles like moth to the proverbial flame.
"Tony Hawk," he whispered in awe. He picked up a black T-shirt awash with red swirls (20 bucks before the 30 percent off) and hugged it to his chest. "I love, love, love this, Mama," Seth crooned.
My skinny little non-skater was beside himself with joy. He grabbed a pair of brown baggy knee-length shorts, pulled a bright crimson T shirt laden with skateboard graphics off the rack and held tightly them both, along with his original choice."Please, please can I?" he begged.
Given the 30 percent off, I plopped them all in the shopping cart. It was, however, a little mystifying, this sudden turn toward clothing consumerism.
Seth happily modeled his cool new duds for us at home this morning, then informed me of his future shopping plans. "Mom, can we go back to the Tony Hawk store today? I want Tony Hawk hats and shoes, and definitely Tony Hawk underwear (marketers, are you listening?)"
"So Seth," I asked. "Who is Tony Hawk?"
"Oh, Mama," he replied dreamily. "He is the bestest skateboarder ever. I love him."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Passeaster

We're a two-religion family: I'm Jewish and my hub, Mick, was raised Catholic.
That said, neither of us is particularly religious. Mick likes to refer to himself as a Secular Humanist, which essentially means that you treat other people the way you'd like to be treated yourself.
Sounds good to me.
But with three kids the questions and answers quickly get difficult.
They start simple (ahem, that's an ironic simple): "Mom, who is God?" (That was Kyle in preschool)
"Mom, do we believe in God?" (Jesse in Kindergarten.)
"Mom, Henry says that if we don't believe in God we'll go to a place called hill. What's hill?" (Kyle in first grade)
We've actually had some good conversations around these issues, explaining that everyone has different beliefs and no one person's or group's beliefs are better than anyone else's, and that we need to be kind and respectful to everyone and everyone's ideas. And we enjoy the holidays for their traditions: the food, the song, the togetherness with loved ones.
Well, bully for us, right?
Because come the big holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Passover, Easter), it all falls apart. Christmas is more fun and more renumerative than Hanukkah. Passover, with its endless gloom and doom tale, is little competition for Easter's egg hunts and candy-filled baskets. And my mini-materialists are willing to use any tradition for what they can get out of it.
"Mom, why do we eat Matzoh on Easter?" Jesse asked recently.
"Because we have a few boxes left over from Passover," I reply--a bit testily, I might add.
"Where are our Easter presents?" asked Seth. "Can we go to Target for Legos?"
"Absolutely not. We don't get Easter presents," I answer, teeth gritted. "We get Easter baskets with candy and a couple of little toys. That's it."
"But we got money on Passover," he said, with a bit too much innocence for my liking.
"That's part of the tradition," I say. Switching to patient mom mode, I explain the tradition of hiding some of the matzoh and allowing the kids to find it, then rewarding said finders with a bit of money or a small gift. "Because without that special piece of matzoh, the afikomen, we can't finish the seder."
It's a strange and wonderful story and my children listen, open-eyed and open-mouthed.
There is, I think smugly, a place for fables in this life.
I smile at my kiddos.
Perhaps we're giving them the best of both worlds.
"So Mom," says Jesse. "Next year, can we put the money from the seder and your money from Easter together? And buy a toy at Target?"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Seth the Songwriter

Seth has fancied himself a mini-rocker for about a year now. He came home from one playdate last spring singing Green Day's "American Idiot" and hasn't stopped singing it since. He wears his "Heavy Metal Rock" T-shirt at least once a week and swaggers around the living room, yelling "I'm a rock star! I'm a rock star!"

He even came up with a stanza that may have some rock-anthem potential, at least for the under ten set: "You can't tell me what to do! I do what's right for living."

He singsongs that at least half a dozen times a day.

So, we gave the wannabe musician his very own little guitar for the holidays. Seth likes to strap it on, sneer like Billy Idol and strum away. He even wrote a song (well, we actually wrote it together). I'm not sure it has any commercial potential, or whether it displays an abnormal interest in gore, but here goes....

Popping Out of the Graveyard

Popping out of the graveyard
Looking for some monsters
Shooting them all up
Watch them blood to death
Kicking them out of the way

Popping out of the graveyard
Watch out, monsters
We'll do karate on you
Then you'll really be hurt

Popping out of the graveyard
(repeat ad nauseum, until Mommy loses her mind)