It’s 6:30 and my house is silent.  Other than the news I’m actually watching because there is nothing else going on right now.  The boys are off in the land of summer boydom.  They and the other young men of the neighborhood are being Jedi knights, ninja warriors, or whatever their imaginations can think up.  I am so glad that my children and the other children of the neighborhood can experience the childhood right of summer days outdoors.  I’d say “out until dark” but here in Alaska we have forgotten what dark is for the next couple months.  We will intimately know darkness in December, but for now we are making up for lost time with the sun.  Here I feel like my kids are really getting to experience childhood.  At first this summer I had to put restrictions on the boys coming in and playing video games, but they have either gotten the point or are having too much fun exploring the limits of their imaginations outdoors with the other neighborhood boys.  Once released from schoolwork, they are off, only coming in to check in with me and occasionally rehydrating.

You might ask, that’s what the boys are doing, where is Clara?  Poor Clara is suffering the consequences of being the youngest.  She tried to go outside while I was cooking dinner.  She was inconsolable and cried herself to sleep when I brought her back inside.  Poor child, I understand her desire to be outside.  This time of year there is so much “scope for the imagination” as Anne Shirely would say.  I imagine what games I would play if I were younger.  The side garden seems like a castle wall, overgrown with brambles, perfect for Sleeping Beauty.  The front garden has animal statues and brings to mind Snow White.  Tending the vegetable garden, we are out of Little House on the Prairie.  And at any time I could be Anne, naming the gardens and trees, drinking in the loveliness, and imagining all sort of romantic scenarios.  I hope we can extend here for a few more years, so that Clara can have soem unchaperoned outside time, and I also hope that a Diana Barry moves into the neighborhood so that she might have a bosom friend to enjoy it with.

Before I finish I must brag.  Xavier did his daily long division with no problems and little help.  I was worried.  We were out of worksheets with problems with no remainders.  I could have made my own problems, but I just gave him the next worksheet and crossed my fingers.  He finished the problems in the blink of an eye and then asks, “Mom, where are the long division problems?”  They were so easy for him today, he didn’t realize that was what he was doing.  Then he said he wanted to do more!  The key to learning math: repetition, repetition, repetition.  Now, the struggle will be commas.  He keeps missing that you need them for lists or when you are addressing someone.  I’m hoping grammar is like math and with repetition he will get it.  I hope.

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