Happy Birthday, Daniel

The demands of being at the nation’s oldest public school are gradually becoming apparent. Kiernan spent most of a beautiful Saturday morning grudgingly engaged in homework. He has no interest in any parental involvement in this task. This comes partly from a building sense of the need for independence, but also from memories of the help of the Parent Imperfect making him feel worse about his work, rather than better.

“I’m at Boston Latin now, and my homework is going to be mine, not yours,” is his basic explanation. Undaunted, the Parent Imperfect sought Fresh Start #126 and managed to find a way into the Pre-Algebra (NOT MATH) and Latin homework. For one day, it worked. It helps that Latin is Greek to the PI, so this can be a process of the two learning together.

Claudia continues to feel that she lives with the fundamental injustice that her brother can do things that she can’t do. When she sees this happening–even the PI doing homework with Kiernan–sibiling conflict often results. 

A little bit of that conflict can be cute, but in large doses it drives the parents to distraction. That’s just what happened yesterday. By the time homework, chores and lunch were FINALLY done and a family outing was possible, the Parent Imperfect was in a foul mood. Ellen insisted that harmony would be best served by the PI taking a solitary bike ride while everyone else got outside for a walk, and that’s just what happened. The strategy felt harsh at first, but it worked. They went to the Blue Hills and he went to the Forest Hills Cemetery and the beauty of the day worked its magic 

ChuckDaniellaIn the evening, the PI and children went to a celebration of Daniel Moss’s 50th  birthday party at the home of Nora, Trish and Chuck. The Moss-Harrens (Daniel, Tyler, Sabina and Talia) have just returned from a year together in Mexico, so the party was one more step in their return to Jamaica Plain.

As darkness settled over the happy gathering, an unfamiliar woman approached the PI and pinched his right buttock. After feigning nonchalance for a shocked second, he realized that this was Daniel, being Daniel, greeting party guests in the way only he can. K and C laughed at their father, but were fazed not at all by Daniel’s birthday suit. There is not a younger person among the several family friends, including dear Ellen, who have entered the sixth decade this year.

For the first time that we can remember, Kiernan favored a long conversation with a group of seventh and eighth grade girls from his school over destroying more clothes playing in the treehouse with the younger boys. Not only the seasons are changing.

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