I have run out of good things to say and it finds me at odd moments just wishing I had more time and money. Even as I begin to write this it sounds like a parody from the Onion. I'm supposed to love my kids, why would I not? I'm merely excited as the possibilities in their lives.
Once again they have scored top awards and honors in their respective classes. The Sprite, aka F10, my youngest, the Baby Girl has done it again. This time with a snapped finger in my face. She got five awards including Honor Roll with distinction at the end of her fourth grade year. She would have gotten perfect attendance too if I hadn't made her late for class one day. Last week she went camping with her Girl Scout troop and yesterday at a puppy party, a tarantula pissed on her and she screamed. If it hadn't been for her baller bands, she would have had a nice bite on her wrist. I doubt it will change her love for animals, as she told me the story she said she laughed and cried at the same time - she was scared but amused by the hilarity of the situation. Sprite is preternaturally complex and she rarely fails to comprehend the higher implications of her situation. In that regard she is rather the polar opposite of Boy, whose powers of concentration block out all external forces, including common sense. But we'll get onto him momentarily. Sprite is a tomboy, sorta. But she loves her Daddy most of all. When I'm out of town she sits on her bed and cries looking at my picture. As soon as I get home she jets to me and I spin her around in a swinging hug. She sleeps like a rock and she sits at the dinner table half out of her chair, itching for the next adventure.
The First Daughter, our middle child is the dumb bunny of the bunch. She only managed a 3.5GPA with two awards this last trimester. For some inexplicable reason, she has failed to master a musical instrument in her twelve years on this planet. We're thinking about giving her up for adoption. But seriously, Scholar continues to live up to her name and has found a new love in singing. Her little YouTube career has begun and she finally believes what we've always known, that she has an angelic soprano. She continues to be the most understated and sophisticated of the trio, a literal mountain of empathy and. As she buds, becomes more like her mother, a guardian of family values and history. As well, she is constantly on patrol for flecks of spinach in our teeth, literally and metaphorically. She has a subtle way of reminding me of everything I need to do. Dramatic and demonstrative, she continues to pen her epic saga "Hey Mama", which exhibits inklings of Pat Conroy and Flannery O'Connor. I get the most forehead kisses from Scholar who still holds my hand when we walk in the mall. How cool is that?
Boy continues to shock and amaze. At 13 he is too tall, too strong and too energetic. He's starting to look older than he is, so that when he doesn't speak you expect him to be able to do things he still lacks the focus to do. This illusion is accentuated by his bearing. He moves with confidence, not quite like it's his world but like Bear Grylls - fearlessly enchanted by the adventure of it. This report card he knocked out a 4.0 and was accepted into the GATE program for gifted students by scoring 97% on something called the Otis-Lennon SAT. We actually weren't expecting all that. Already he's his scout troops' Bugler having only picked up the trumpet about 4 months or so ago. He's got a disarming humility about him. He never brags, well except at Gears of War, and yet I watch him play amongst the foul mouthed peers of his youth, and he still literally says 'aw shucks'. He told me yesterday that Bruce Willis is his favorite actor but I'm still his hero, and that keeps me in line.
I worry that I'm not going to have enough juice to push up the ceiling. They are all running so strongly that I have to concern myself that I am properly capitalizing them. They already know and deal well with our lower upper-middle class status. Only Scholar has the cell phone and hers doesn't have unlimited texting. But it's not that stuff, but the next hurdle that makes me think I'll be wearing the same shoes for the next 15 years. High School. To private prep or not to private prep, that is the question. Somehow I'm confident that they'll all do well, but maybe I'm not pushing them to have the real hunger. They're all quite well-adjusted and exhibit none of the telltale signs of overachiever's angst. I wonder if that means that Yale is out of the question. Hard to say. We've already got two legacies at Brown, although I would hope their politics... eh. I'm not pushy. But I am.
It's impossible to guess what their world will be like, what their America will provide and deny, what their survival or triumph will demand. I just know they are the kids that I wanted to be, and be around when I was a kid. Capable, genuine, unspoiled and bright. I think they know that, but I'm going to find another way to tell them today. Today is Sunday and I love my children. It's time to wake them up.