Monday, July 06, 2009

Return To Blogging Here (No, really, this time I mean it!)

Well, by the looks of my last post, it's been about a year since I posted anything here. I'm working on updating some of the sidebars. But a couple things have pulled me back here.

First, I was in Cambridge last month, which triggered major bouts of nostalgia. It's funny, because when I pick it apart, I have all sorts of mixed feelings about our time there. I loved, and truly miss, the time I got to spend with the kids. But it was difficult in many ways. Liam struggled quite a bit, and Kalian was coming into her own diva-hood. So it's not like I look back at our year there as some kind of Paradise Lost. And yet, when I was there in mid-June for an MIT conference, I was struck by how much I missed the place and so many of the people we met there.

Of course, I was so busy at the conference, I barely had time to leave the three-block area around the hotel and MIT campus. But on Friday afternoon, after the conference ended, I took a cab over to our old neighborhood near Inman Square. I walked past our apartment on Leonard Avenue:

And Darwin's, where I got a memorial Robert's sandwhich. And then around the corner to Cambridge-Ellis, the pre-school Liam attended and which was a huge part of our lives there:

I was a bit misty-eyed, and I still can't explain why. But I really do miss it there.

But when I got back, I started reading through this blog, and I really appreciated all the little details that I had recorded over the year in Cambridge. Things the kids did or said, that seem epic and wonderful at the time, but are usually forgotten days or weeks later. Like how Kalian used to call raisins "ree-ree" when she was first learning to talk. I realized that there are all these things they are doing now that if I don't record them, they'll slip right by to be forgotten forever. Things like Liam's current obsession with setting up his "Maker Faire" store every day after dinner in the driveway to sell his toys and the plums growing in our back yard:

This is one of those childhood things that is wonderful and sweet, and at times a bit worrisome. Liam is constantly wanting to sell or giveaway his toys. Mostly he wants to do it to get money to buy more toys. So it's sweet that he wants to get rid of stuff, and troubling that he's so focused on getting new stuff rather than being content with what he has. But there's been another side benefit: His store has forced us to spend far more time hanging out in the front yard, and so we've been far more social with our neighbors than we typically are. Folks come over, check out the plums, and stay and chat. So the little guy is really building community, a totally unexpected benefit.

So I want to make sure that I keep track of all these little moments of wonder, as well as thinking more about my experiences of parenting. So, fingers crossed, I hope this will again become a regular blogging habit for me.

Finally, I'll end with a little sllideshow I made of our weekend hike to Ano Nuevo State Park. Jen's sister, Cindy, lives near Santa Cruz with her husband Ingemar, and daughter Annika. Older cousin Mikael was visiting from So. Cal where he's starting his fourth year of colllege. Liam and Kalian dearly love their cousins, and after we left, I was thinking this was probably one of our best visits with them ever. Mikael was totally into hanging with Liam, building motorized Lego stuff and playing the Wii. And Annika and Kalian played non-stop princess games (that's a whole 'nother post).

Here's a slideshow I made. I'm still learning iPhoto on the Mac, so this is just a little playing around:


shanna said...

Please do. I blogged for almost three years about Tesla's adventures and, looking back, I don't regret a moment. So many, many big memories saved up at that site. I plan to download the whole thing sometime soon.

Lindsey said...

I am so glad you are back! Please stay back. Cambridge enjoyed having you guys here too.

Chris O'Brien said...

@shanna: I still want to get a Tesla update sometime!

@Lindsey: Thanks! Will do my best!