Sunday, November 27, 2011


Does everyone's family go around the dinner table at Thanksgiving and say what they are thankful for?

No? Yeah, neither does mine. I wish we did, though. I have so much I'm grateful for, and I think it really hits home when I sit down and list it out. Usually, however, various family members are champing at the bit to EAT ALREADY, so we do a short blessing and then have at it. This year, at least, we all sang "God Our Father," under the direction of William, and those few seconds, at least, were magical enough to make me feel profound gratitude.

But I still think this is a good exercise, so I'm going to do it anyway.

I am thankful for:

my husband, David;
my mom and daddy;
my brother;
my grandfathers;
my in-laws, Diane and Aaron, and BIL Mark;
my nice warm house;
my friends;
my church;
my life in Nashville;
my health and the health of my loved ones;
my career as a writer;
all the good fortune that I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy;
Diet Coke, Mozart's Requiem, Red Vines, Trader Joe's, good books worth rereading, cashmere and my iPhone.

But most of all, I'm thankful for these two little guys:

They make my heart full.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Random November pictures of the boys

Just a few random photos for your enjoyment, if you have a bit of downtime over the Thanksgiving holiday...

Tooth No. 2: Gone. Gone but not forgotten. In fact, not even really gone. William wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy to ask if he could keep this one, and she magnanimously acquiesced. She's a good egg, that Tooth Fairy.

Here's a shot taken on the very last day of the fall soccer season. Why yes, it was bitterly cold that morning at 7:50 a.m. Why ever do you ask?

Young Master Andrew and his train. He has had a haircut since this photo was taken and put on more clothes.

Here's William, with the rest of his class, all costumed up for the class Thanksgiving program yesterday. Just so you know, the program was glorious. They did the Turkey Trot and the Turkey Tango, and it was awesome.

Also, a little boy read a Thanksgiving "play," in which half the students were Indians and half were Pilgrims. Despite the fact that he was an Indian man for most of the play, William also played the role of the Pilgrim minister. So every few lines, when the other boy read the words "And the Pilgrim minister...." William got to shout "Amen!" like he was leading a tent revival. While still wearing his Indian costume and feather headdress. It was very mysterious. But still kind of awesome.

Hope you all have a marvelous Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What is most important?

Isn't it amazing, how children can sometimes cut through all the junk and really hone in on what's important?

A few weeks ago, William and I were in Target. A good friend of mine is expecting a baby in January. I had gotten her a sweet little jon-jon for the baby to wear to church, but I was dithering back and forth about whether to buy something extra to stick in a package. Should I pick up a package of binkies, I wondered. Maybe a little package of diapering essentials, like diaper cream and wipes, I thought. Or maybe I should pick up a few random little things like socks and extra burp cloths.

But I couldn't decide. I looked over at William, who was deeply immersed in the Lego Hero Factory toys. For a five-year-old, he usually has pretty good ideas, so I decided to ask him.

"Hey, William," I said. "What do you think a new baby needs? What's the most important thing for a new baby to have?"

I expected him to say something like "a pacifier" or "a lovey" or even "diapers." I figured, I'd go with whatever he came up with.

William didn't even look up from the toys. "Love," he said immediately.


And if you ever wanted to know why I am so incredibly glad that I am a parent, that is the reason why. Because I have a son who instinctively knows what's important in life and can remind me. It is the little tiny miracles like that that keep me going.

(I meant to post this anecdote sooner, but someone suggested I make sure to preserve it for posterity, so here it is.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Happy Halloween, the 2011 edition

So a frog and Darth Vader walked into a bar...

The bummer about William being Darth Vader for Halloween this year was that you can't actually tell that it's him, with his smiling face, beneath that grim evil costume. But he was happy. He loooooved being Darth Vader. Or Darth Wyckoff, as his friend Sammy dubbed him.

Okay, this is better:

And here's Little Brother, also delighted with his costume (thank God!):

Notice that he's a frog carrying a spider trick-or-treat bag....looks like pretty good coordination on my part, huh? Totally accidental, I'm sad to say.

And here we are with the Tarkingtons, right before we unleashed the boys on the neighborhood for some heavy duty trick-or-treating. Thanks to Diane for getting the group shot!

A typical shot of William and Sammy going for candy while Andrew tries to keep up:

I should mention that Andrew had a ball. I had worried initially that he'd be a little overwhelmed with all the activity and people in costumes. Nope. He delighted in toddling along behind the older boys, climbing stairs and trying to get into people's houses. I finally convinced him to start saying "trick or treat," which came out "teeek tee!" And of course, he would also say "tock too" when someone put something in his spider bucket. He also enjoyed seeing all the dogs that were out. And then he discovered that people were putting things in his spider bucket and he could--gasp--take them out!

See, here? He sees the M&Ms in Diane's hand, and he wants to investigate:

Everyone wants to be in a picture with the frog!

All in all, Halloween turned out very nicely. There were a few touch-and-go moments, like when William was dying to go out, but David wasn't home yet. And then there was the moment when I thought the zipper was broken on Andrew's costume, and it was already 6:15 p.m. and there was no time to put anything else on him, not that we had another costume for him anyway. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I figured out how to get the zipper back on track. Thank goodness.