Expressions and Impressions

It’s July in Kansas.  It’s hot.  It’s sticky.  It’s Kansas.  The girls, however, struggle to realize that once you move from the air-conditioned comfort of the house to the sticky, bug-ridden backyard–well, it gets miserable fast.  Nevertheless, throughout dinner last night Nora randomly exclaimed “BACK-YARD! BACK-YARD!”  Tessa chimed in, “PARK! PARK!”.  So we had to figure out something to do.

So, we settled on going to the bookstore at a nearby mall.  They love the kids section there and we can read books and play with the “CHOO CHOO TRAIN! CHOO CHOO TRAIN! CHOO CHOO TRAIN!”  ok ok ok…

Not only was the bookstore a great success but to top it off there was outdoor live music.  There were a lot of people there.  Mostly sitting in chairs, relaxing and taking in the music.  The girls really love music.  They were doing their routine of swaying and crooning back and forth, back and forth.  They really get into the music.  Sometimes I think it’s a fine balance to allow children to enjoy participating in an experience while not eclipsing the performance itself.  We stand to the side, out of the way, but close enough that that the kids can see and experience the joy of music.  Seeing one child singing and dancing is enough to draw a few smiles and approving glances, but seeing two little kids who are spitting images of each other (no matter how much I try to make them look like their own person) really starts to draw a crowd.  And so, a crowd started to gather.

Then some young woman, about my age, came up and asked if she could take some pictures of them.


My best guess is that she was on staff at the mall or from one of the radio station sponsors and was getting pictures for marketing materials.  So, sure.  Take some pictures.  I’m proud.  The girls are cute.

So we continue to croon on and then another woman comes up to me and asks me if we go to the Oak Park farmer’s market.  Again–huh?

We did once.  I thought about blogging about the market, but it was rather uneventful.  Just a way to pass the time on a beautiful Saturday morning.  We pushed our way through the crowded market with the girls in our arms.  I remember that we stopped for just a moment to smell some pretty flowers at one stand.  “Fluwers!” Nora exclaimed.  Both girls scrunched up their noses and gave a loud snort of the various bouquets.   About 10 steps away from that stand a man called out to me, “Ma’am! Here are some flowers for your girls!” He handed me a neat, tight assortment of tiny flowers in an old glass bottle.  I thought it was strange that he went so far out of his way to give away flowers that he was selling at the market.  We pushed on and at the end of the market there were a couple of guys playing guitars and we stopped for a bit to sing and sway and sing and sway.  The girls made friends with a couple of other kids and they all started hopping, skipping and dancing to the music.   At one point one of the singers acknowledged Nora and Tessa and their enthusiastic participation.  I think performers appreciate it when they see such uninhibited joy coming from someone who is clearly enjoying the performance.  Later we had some lunch and packed up to go home.  It was fun, but rather uneventful.

“Is that Nora and Tessa?” the woman at the mall asked me.  “I remember them from the market–they were dancing at the market!  They were so fun to watch.”

Wow.  Seriously?  You remember my kids (and their names) who were dancing for 30 minutes at a market that we went to one time a month ago?  So, now not only do have we have an audience and a photographer, but we have groupies.


As a fond parent, I sometimes worry that I might overthink the impact of my children on the greater community.  Of course I think they are cute and fun to watch and they fill my life with such sheer happiness with their sense of humor and pure spirits.  But I try to adjust my view of the girls through my mommy-colored glasses and not exhault them.  While they are the world to me, I understand that my love and amazement of them is compounded by the fact that they are my kids.  I know that there are many people who love and admire the girls, but my mommy ego sometimes explodes upon the realization that complete strangers are giving them flowers, taking their picture and remembering them from momentary, and seemingly uneventful, episodes in time.  Sometimes I am struck by the impression that Nora and Tessa do make on other people.  While the initial allure of the girls may be their twinage, it is their explosive and engaging personalities that draw people in and make a lasting impression.  Their uninhibited song and dance and giggles and flirty glances at people around them bring those people joy and happiness.

And, for that reason, I am struck with awe and pride that I get to share in their lives.  To me they are wonderful.  But to others, they are also wonderful.  And for that, I give thanks.

Sleepy Town Time

My ability to blog has been eclipsed by my skyrocketing work level, but I still manage to make it home most nights for dinner and the bedtime routine (park, bath, books, milk and cuddles) only to pick up working again in the evenings.  There is a light at the end of this work tunnel that I think will come around the middle of this month…

Anyway, the girls are really into “labeling”.  I guess this is the phase where their vocabulary soars as they label each and every item around them and their memory for events is repeating in this “labeling” storytelling.  This past weekend Chad’s parents came over for lunch on Sunday and to wish Daddy Chad a Happy Birthday (shout out to Daddy!).  We had a great time, but there was a moment when we were sitting in the living room and Grandpa Chris leaned over in his chair and KABOOM! he fell.  He was alright and we helped him up.  But Nora was very very concerned and scared.  She insisted that I give him a hug at least twice.  And every day since then Nora has gone up to that chair and said, “Grandpa Chair.  Fall down!” 

Their little memories are amazing.  One time (only once) we saw two ducks in the little creek by the park by our house.  The girls were so excited.  Every time we go by the creek on the way to the park they say, “Quack quack duck!”  And when we don’t see them I ask them, “Where did they go?”  In Nora and Tessa’s minds there are only two responses to this question: 1) “Sleepytown nite nap!”, and 2) “Snack”. 

Everything thing that leaves has either gone to bed or is eating something.  It’s so cute.  They say this about everything–ducks, dogs, cars and even airplanes.  “Where did the airplane go?” I’ll ask after it passes overhead and flies far off.  Nora will say with certainty: “Snack”.  And Tessa will agree and say “Sleepytown nite nap”.

Last night at dinner we were sitting around the table talking about milk and water.  They love to see what everyone is drinking.  Mommy was having milk.  Daddy was having water with ICE.  Ice is a big deal.  They love ice.  Toward the end of dinner Tessa wanted to see if Daddy was done with his water.  “Almost.” She said when she saw the glass almost empty.  “Ice?” she asked?  “No,” I said, “Daddy’s ice is all gone.  Where did it go?”  I thought this was a good opportunity to talk about melting.   Tessa disagreed, “Ice sleepytown,” she correct.  I laughed so loud.  True, I thought.  The ice probably went “sleepytown.”