Home again. My own little Vermont family seems to have managed to avoid a complete collapse in my absence, which is a good thing of course. I missed them, but I'll admit I was very preoccupied down in Texas with the nephew/Niblet. I had a real pang when I had to walk away from him, sleeping peacefully in his bassinet. His anxious mother has told me she doesn't think they will be traveling with him for a long time (read "years") to come - germs on airplanes etc.
Sigh. I have been thinking of the new little family hourly since my return. The hackneyed phrase "24/7" gets thrown around a lot and usually is an exaggeration of the demands it is meant to describe. Not so with newborns.
Shackleton Speaks VIII
On my return I found a school paper, a spelling test, recently completed by Shackleton. It had a smiley face on it in red, rather incongruous considering it was marked with a grade of 4 percent. That's right. F O U R percent. Whusband largely blamed the messy handwriting which made it impossible for the teacher to really see which letters had been included.
Me: "Shack, neatness counts. You have really got to try harder or we're taking away privileges."
Shack: "Like what?"
Me: "Like something you really enjoy - like X-Box."
Shack (instantly): "I don't really enjoy X-Box. I really enjoy studying hard."