Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend Report

Wow! What a weekend. I dare say it's one of the best weekends we've had in a while. On Saturday morning, Regan played soccer (her team won!) and our dear friend, Tony, came to watch her play. Afterwards, Tony's wife and twin daughters (who are Finn's age) met up with us at our house. The kids played in a big leaf pile in our yard and we all had lunch before heading off to the Pumpkin Farm! Yay! Although this pumpkin farm had a bit of a twist--instead of offering the usual hay rack rides to a pumpkin patch, it was also a petting zoo.

Now, as an aside, when I think of "petting zoo" I think of goats, rabbits, maybe even a pony; so, I was a little taken aback when I saw the big Siberian Tiger in what looked like a tricked-out dog kennel. Oh well, at least they left three-inches of jagged chain link at the top of the 10-ft high fence surrounding the tiger so that if it flew into a rabid frenzy and climbed the chain link (which I imagine a TIGER could easily do) it would at least suffer some slightly uncomfortable belly scratches before it devoured anyone. I'm sure the prospect of a completely superficial scratch will make it think twice before it tries to jump the fence and eat the turkeys and chickens that smugly strut (uncaged) on the dirt path directly in front of it constantly. That poor tiger has to watch all manner of delicious foul and goats and pigs and toddlers walk around in front of it--its gonna snap someday. Hear me now, believe me later.

Needless to say, the kids and I largely avoided the tiger and, instead, entertained ourselves with a more innocuous brand of feline: wittle bitty kitties! The petting zoo featured an attraction no kid can resist--a large pen of irresistible newborn kittens. Every kid there, without exception, begged to take one home (my kids included), and I wondered to myself how many kittens the business loses to theft each day. These kittens were very young--their eyes were open but they were still nursing. I know this because the mama cats were in the pen feeding them and kids were pulling them straight off their mothers and I wondered how these poor things ever get enough milk to survive. There is a sign encouraging patrons to gently handle the kitties, and kids were swarming them and grabbing them from the pen and each other with such uncivilized desperation that even I started feeling competitive when all these other kitten-grubbing little kids were bobbing for kitties and my kids were coming up for breath empty-handed. But my kids hung in there and eventually all three of them held some kittens. Jack was particularly careful and doting. Finn was panicked and disgusted by them--he wouldn't even pet one.

After we left the pumpkin farm, we were honored to attend a tree-planting at the kids' elementary school in Jeff's memory. Regan's Girl Scout Troop decided to plant a tree at their school as a living memorial to Jeff and yesterday was the big "planting." All the Girl Scouts were there; many parents stayed to help; other friends just came to support us and to honor Jeff. It was very touching. The girls were very dedicated to the task and the parents that helped made it both fun and educational. I was very impressed.

We kept things going today and went to mass and then to the cemetery. The kids took turns watering the sod on Jeff's grave. This afternoon we went to our nanny Lauren's house and carved pumpkins with her dad, sister, brother, cousin, and friend. We provided the pumpkins; Lauren's Dad provided the hospitality and one of the best meals I've ever eaten in my entire life. That only sounds like hyperbole, but if anything it is an understatement. This man can cook! It was a wonderful, wonderful evening. One of highlights of the night was that Jack and Regan met their new idol: Lauren's big brother, Brian. Brian is super cool and was a very patient playmate. (I think I owe him a beer). The kids said all the way home how much fun they had and what a great night it was. I'm sure that will be small consolation to Lauren's Dad when he realizes the magnitude of the disaster we left in his wake. (I think I owe him a 12-pack; and possibly some legal damages). Somehow the pumpkins seem like an insultingly inequitable exchange!

But, I'm happy to know that this weekend my kids played hard and had fun. The best part now is that they'll sleep well tonight and, if they're lucky, they'll have dreams of artful Jack-o-Lanterns and kitty-whisker kisses.

With love and appreciation to all the friends who treat us like family,


SandyS said...

Nice weather, good friends, kids, Pumpkins, and kittens... the best kind of week-end. Sounds like you made a memory.

mka said...

Nothing's better than holding baby kittens. You need one. Finn will learn to like them. Actually, I would get two, because they're so cute when they play together. I'm glad you guys all had fun. Because nothing's better than having fun, unless it's having fun while holding a baby kitten. Love, Mom

Jill Collins-Weber said...

Kelly - I am so sad to hear of your loss. I remember that road trip to Notre Dame as well as hearing all about your adventures with Jeff before you were married as we "studied" and chatted during breaks at the house in college or during summer when we lived together at the AGS house. Jeff is a great man and will be missed by all. I am glad that I got the chance to meet him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

I am glad that you had a great weekend with your kids and the tree that was planted sounds lovely.

I've been reading the blog and the posts and I hope that you continue to post updates as I think that we all want to keep up with how you are doing.

God Bless. Jill (Collins) Weber

David said...

I hope you have another nice weekend. Your family is in our prayers and on our minds often!

Dave and Nellie Gould