End of Summer/Start of School

Marcus is in sixth grade at the middle school, changing classes, using a locker, and taking the subway home from school by himself. He's still playing Dungeons and Dragons with some friends most Saturday nights, and often going to the comic book shop to play Magic on Friday nights and Sunday middays. He plays the cello in the orchestra/chamber group still as well.

Samantha is in second grade, loving everything, and still doing piano lessons, cello lessons, orchestra, karate, church choir, Sunday School, and Brownies, as well as trying to teach Helen all of the above. She takes the schoolbus home everyday with her good friend from the fourth grade.

Helen is back at the Center, thrilled to see her friends again, but also started Children's Church and Sunday School and little-kid soccer, and floats effortlessly between school and home, joining enthusiastically in play with other kids on our block. Her little-kid pronunciations are surely disappearing, but for now--along with her double morphemes, like "hitted" and "walk-ted" and "play-ded"--we get a kick out of them: tanilla (vanilla); tanano (tomato); tanino (mosquito); and of course Nantha (Samantha).

Just before school started, we took an end-of-summer trip one day to the Children's Museum, Martin Richards playground, and Quincy Market for lunch.

We ride the T all over--to the MFA art camp with Flora from up the street in the summer, to Longy orchestra camp and to MIT computer camp, and just to playgrounds and other places. New Orange Line trains have arrived! They are still shiny and delight the kids with their newness.

Bike, subway, and walking--those are the ways we get around! Marcus wore Helen on his back for a number of walks around the city this summer, both of them thrilled by the experience.

For Marcus's birthday, Samantha made him a pom-pom decoration and a card, and he hung it up on his bulletin board. We celebrated his birthday by going out for all-you-can-eat Japanese bbq (and s'mores) with Dick and Bri in Brookline, and also by having seven of Marcus's friends over for lunch, Magic, water balloons, sushi dinner, ice cream cake, and more Magic one summer day.

Cori came to Boston for a weekend to celebrate our birthdays together, and we had a fun party with some tasty food.


We went to Kristijan and Olga's house for Lukas's birthday party.

Helen sometimes still naps, and sometimes doesn't, but either way we roll with it. She sleeps for the first part of the night in her bedroom, on the botom bunk underneath Samantha's top one, and really enjoys having her own reading light.

Samantha created all sorts of art, from watercolors on canvas, to little sketches (squirrel unicorns, anyone), toucan clay bowls, elephant reliefs, collaged books, and a book-themed cover for her summer book log for school.

Samantha also loved every minute of the Longy orchestra camp (Helen and Grandma and Pop-pop got to go to the final concert).


Exciting news! We discovered that Spring Shabu Shabu is practically empty in the summer! We went two or three times and loved being able to walk in and just get a table, rather than waiting in giant lines of students.

We enjoyed lots of ice creams, popsicles, and other summery treats, went to a playground grand opening, went out for Indian buffets, and enjoyed ourselves on weekends and evenings to the fullest possible extent.

Our friends Mike and Caroline and kids came back to Boston for a visit. It was great to see them, even for brief moments--a girls' lunch at the Boston Public Market with Sarah; little bits at Kidsweek; a nice reception in the Granary Room; and a potluck at our house that same evening.

Samantha's summer track program ended, but she really loved every week of it this summer.


Marcus built a crystal radio that almost works, and also went to board game night at the (now, sadly, permanently closing!!) local comic book shop weekly in the summer.

The kids spent hours and hours outside this summer, playing with neighbors older and younger. One night at the end of the summer we had a sundae party on the sidewalk for everyone, and people hung out until it was 9:00 and completely dark.

One day we had a nice lunch and appreciated the new Chinatown parket, looked at a temporary community art installation courtesy of the Pao Art Center, and checked out the Chinatown archaeological dig in process.

On rainy summer days we finished the Women's March puzzle that Sarah got me for my birthday. What fun! Samantha and I can't wait to do another round puzzle together.

We went to a special caterpillar exhibit at the Arb, just in town for the weekend, and saw hundreds of caterpillars, including one in the process of molting--the caterpillar guy got incredibly excited, and made a big announcement saying that he thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime moment for everyone there, and that "very few people outside of this room have ever seen this in person." The kids were all suitably impressed. Many of the caterpillars were absolutely adorable, plump and fuzzy and pettable. We also appreciated the giant crocheted caterpillars--apparently a caterpillar fan contacted their lab and said she'd be happy to crochet caterpillars for them, so when they have a particuarly interesting specimen they send her photos and she mails back a completed stuffed caterpillar. What service!

One of the last days of summer, we went to Spectacle Island with Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. Samantha saw a friend from the schoolbus; we learned all about the formation of the island (trash, fires, landfill, oh my!); the kids went splashing in the water and digging in the sand on the beach; we picked blackberries; Marcus and Samantha fished a little and each caught a couple crabs; we took a hike up toward the highest drumlin, though since we had to board the boat at a specific time we didn't quite make it all the way; and we even hit up taiyaki cones in the Seaport District on the way home. Fantastic day!

Finally, here are some back-to-school pictures!

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Created: 9/15/19. Last Modified: 9/15/19.