Sunday, August 01, 2010

Dispatch from Oakland

Clearly, my intention to blog here on a more regular basis has not happened. In part, that's because I made a personal decision to scale way back on all my extra projects and blogging outside of writing my twice weekly column for the San Jose Mercury News. And in part, it's because Facebook has made it seductively easy to post quick updates and photos that keep many friends and family in the loop on our latest news.

Still, it doesn't capture all the big moments, or the context, in a thoughtful way. I still hope to get back to doing that here. And even now, I'm just trying to recount some of the things have taken place in the past six months. This will be more of a jumble, than a complete accounting. But still...

The big news: Jen passed her qualifying exam in May, meaning she now moves on to her dissertation. A great achievement and I'm very proud of her.

Liam, after struggling with reading for a long time, suddenly began reading just a few months ago. A joy, and a relief. I had been anxious for a long time and even explored some rather pricey private reading programs. Now, it seems he's excited about it and at that stage where he wants to read every sign he sees.

And Liam played t-ball this spring and to my great delight, seemed to truly love it. I'm always wary of pushing him too much, and yet wanting to encourage him to try new things. We weren't sure how he'd do with any kind of organized sports. But even a couple of months later, he asks to go play catch, and talks about practicing for next year when he moves up to coach pitch.

Kalian had her last day at Hearts Leap North. A big transition, as there were several close friends she won't get to see on a regular basis. And several families that became our friends, ties that can be a challenge to maintain after such changes, as we found when Liam moved form pre-school to kindergarten.

And speaking of diving right in, both Liam and Kalian took private swim lessons at the Berkeley YMCA, and have now become like little fish. Easily some of the best money we've ever spent as parents.

Liam at the start of last school year (top), and the end of the year(bottom)

We are settled back into life in Oakland after an amazing month in Bolinas. All of the fruit has fallen off the trees in the backyard. More on Bolinas in a follow up post.