First Day Of School

It was a whole family affair getting Lake ready for his first day of school. Mama was more nervous than Lake to get him ready for his first day of German Language School (GLS) as part of Frau Birgit Zischke’s Kindergarten class. There’s a great deal of pressure to achieve die Pünktlichkeit, the prized German punctuality. We did indeed make it right on time! As soon as we arrived we were swept up in the German community and even Michael got into the spirit of things with buying for breakfast eine Brezel! Lake was so excited to be part of the class and hearing his name called out he raises his hand: “I’m right here!” Hopefully that will gradually transition to “Ja, Hier bin Ich!”

The teacher and teaching assistant Zoë had made each student a bouquet filled with candies, school supplies and treats. It’s called a Schultüte or “School Cone” and each child gets one on the first day of their school career, generally when they enter school for the first time at six years old. How special! Lake is starting a little early at three years old, but he fits right in with the four year olds ( and there is one other three year old, a teacher’s son).

Lake is clearly pleased to be part of Birgit Zischke’s Kindergarten class. GLS rents classroom space from the Villa Academy in Laurelhurst, and holds their school from 0930 to 1200 on Saturday mornings. In the Kindergarten classroom on the fourth floor Lake quickly took a seat and felt right at home.

Meanwhile I slipped out, trusting for the best, and walked the extensive Villa Academy property down to the shores Lake Washington to calm and refresh my nerves. We did it! A perfect start to a new school year and new chapter in Lake’s education. I’m glad we’re spending it with you GLS!

I love you, too!

“Gute nacht, schlaff gut. Bis Morgen,” I say.

“Good night!” Lake says.

“I love you!” I say

He replies: “I love you too! Good night!”

So sweet. Heart melting

This night after tuck in, Lake begins wailing. After a few minutes pause as it grows louder and more insistent, I go to check what is deeply concerning the small lad at this critical juncture of sleeping time. He is upset because his bear pajamas are creeping up his calf’s to his knees. “I think they are too small. I don’t think pulling them down towards your ankles will help honey. It will just keep riding back up all night. They are too small. Would you like to pick out a new pair and give them to baby sister?” He agrees to the wisdom of new pajamas for 3 year olds, and requests the cat pajamas like I have on. “These pajamas are for two year olds,” he astutely proclaims. “So you want to give them to baby sister?” He catches me off guard by offering further analysis. “These are not for baby sister, because they’re for two year olds. She’s zero.” !

“Good night”, I say.

“I love you!” he calls after me.

What a guy. I love this guy! And really… what a perfect evening, truly, I’m so glad I spent it with you!

Mountain Climber

“You have to deal with being on the mountain when you’re three”, proclaims the wee sage Lake. “When you’re a mountain climber.”

He was reluctant to climb up the mountain often singing his refrain of “I want to be carried,” We introduced summit treats for motivation and it worked magnificently. “I’m so excited about that ‘stomach’ treat, Mummy,” Lake kept saying and it gave him an extra spring in his step. Then when the sun was setting and it was time to head back to our room at Paradise Inn and have some dinner time, he wanted to keep climbing! He didn’t want to turn around.

On our first day out we saw the mountain, three deer, a close up marmot and four ptarmigans and heard there was a bear sighting an hour prior. Then the fog set in for the next few days.

We enjoyed reading by the fire and taking short walks with Lake up into the shrouded mountains.

Saturday the skies cleared again and we were able to get out for a big hike. Lake hiked all the way up to Glacier Point, and then when Lake and Michael turned back to hike down the Alta Vista Trail, Mama went on to continue the big loop. Theair was so freah and the mountains were calling toward Panorama Point and hiking the rest of the Skyline Trail, accomplishing her goal to see some Black Bears, ( a mother and her cub ambling across the huckleberry slope grazing as they went), some snow and five gamboling mountain goats. We also ended up seeing so many marmots as to lose track completely! We even saw a pair tussling like sumo wrestlers.

A perfect day at Paradise, I’m glad we have this annual birthday tradition for Michael and I’m glad I spent it with you!

Camping Cabin

Hardly can be considered Glamping anymore when it’s pouring down rain outside.

So thankful they had a cabin.

Upon our reunion, as I was tucking him in, I asked Lake if he was happy to be back in his own bed. Or if he preferred camping. He prefers camping, he said. They had a great time, those boys!

Boys go Glamping

This afternoon Michael took Lake and Langley to Belfair State Park for the Ayres Annual Family Camp. I was originally planning to accompany them and insisted on the camping cabin when we booked our site. Then discovering we were pregnant, I elected to save my paid time off for impending Maternity Leave 2020. So the boys came out ahead with a camping cabin and the full Glamping experience. Fortuitous given the unending rain in the forecast. And Lake especially seems to be overjoyed for the experience.

Have a great time at the beach, boys! So glad you’re cozy in your cabin! Let the good times, and the thunderstorms, roll!

Last drops of Summer

How do you squeeze the last drops of summer? Wring one more trip to your happy place out of the calendar before the season officially turns. As we flew to Spokane and onwards to Newman Lake we heard many stories of other families making “one last summer holiday” before school starts. Lake said as we were on the bus en route to the Link Friday after work:

I want to stay for 11 weeks and then come home. Because it’s more fun for me at NanaBaba’s. I like that

We came over to Newman Lake for the holiday weekend, and we stayed for four nights but tried to pack in 11 weeks worth of fun. Visiting, sailing, rowing, swimming, hiking, yoga, wildlife viewing (bald eagles, osprey), night listening (crickets and coyotes), northern lights and falling stars, and catching up on the recent nearby big game sighting stories (cougar).

We had a wonderful time catching the wind, soaking up the rays, splashing in the water, and reveling in the fellowship. Baba noted the visit had a dreamlike quality, as it nearly surpassed real life in its loveliness. And soon enough autumn will solidly be here with dark mornings, dark evenings and the signature dampness in the air. We will close our eyes and recall the last drops of summer. When the wind was filling the sails, the beaches were teeming with friends and neighbors, and the dock was full of family.

…and for now we savor the last drops of summer