Soccer Mom

The dawning of a new era

Two days ago a neighbor with two boys around Lake’s age invited Lake to join a soccer team they were starting up for Tuesday’s at Tom Park. I asked him and he was 100% positive on the idea. I was pleased in a proud way, with not a touch of resentment about sliding over in to soccer mom territory. Something I swore I’d never do. I immediately RSPV’d yes for Lake.

Yesterday Lake started getting cold feet about starting something new. He was adamant soccer was not his cup of tea. He only meant to watch. Mind you, he really had never played soccer or any sport and couldn’t have a very strong idea of what it would be like since none of us knew. It was in the process of organically evolving. I tried to keep a non-committal and inquiring tone to flush out his concerns. Michael and I and Madeline all talked with him about soccer, sports, and trying new things.

Today he began warming to the idea, until his excitement reached a feverish pitch. The time could not come soon enough for us to pack up Lady Kitty in the Ergo Baby and walk over to the park. He raced down the sidewalk toward the play field, ebullient to all we met along the way. At 18:30 he jumped right in with both feet to his first season of soccer practice. “No,” he said, “not practice… I’m doing it.”

And he did. Ran, slipped and slid, kicked that ball, and listened up to the coaches, Ben and Beckem. One hour of standing on the sidelines feeding Lady Kitty and chatting with the other parents later the sun had set, it was getting cold and most of the kids had lost at least one shoe in the mud… “How was soccer, Lake?” I asked. “Pretty good,” he said. “And very exercizy.”

He kept his white shorts clean but everything else was covered in sandy mud. Into the bath he went and we sped as quickly as possible toward the hot dinner Madeline had waiting (bless her heart).

“How was it Lake?” said Madeline. “Great,” he enthused between bites of roasted potato. “I’m certainly going back next week.”

We’re proud of you son, not just for the goals you’ve made, but for putting yourself out there to try something new. As he observed if he stayed home and played, he would be the fastest and he could always win. To play with others meant he would not necessarily be the fastest and would likely sometimes lose. And somewhere in there he made his own choice to play on the team.

And that, friends, makes me a soccer mom. Quite pleasant actually. Even Lady Kitty had a splendid time, waving and socializing in the fresh air, intermittently cheering Lake on.

A perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you.

Sakura Season

Sakura season is upon us once more. The annual bursting of blossoms is a much anticipated and refreshing event. March gives way to April, shedding the vestiges of winter with a flurry of cherry blossom snow. Each year we pause to celebrate nature together and reflect, stunned by the scale of the ephemeral beauty surrounding us. This year it has been made even more precious (if that’s possible) for the overall rarity of grand celebrations. And grand it is! Thank you for joining us on out seasonal cherry blossom romp. This Spring we’re really stepping between the rain drops!

Our annual family walk about through the UW Quad
And home again!
Our littlest cherry blossom 🌸

A perfect Spring day for marking sakura season. I’m glad I spent it with you!

Spring has sprung!

Cherries are blossoming, bulbs are emerging and days are thankfully lengthening—Spring has sprung in Seattle! And with it brought a little surprise visit from Uncle Peter Jakin!

Big smiles!

Uncle Peter Jakin came bearing gifts… Auntie Denise hand knit 🧶 a little red dress and white stockings for Lady Kitty. Lady Kitty adores her new upcycled outfit. Lake adored having his uncle around for a morning of playtime. Thank you for visiting on this rainy Spring day! A perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you!


January 2021
April 1985

Here are Lady Kitty and Lake are twinning with Kendra and Michael when they were the same age: 1 and 4.5, respectively. Lady Kitty and Kendra are clearly pleased to be in the company of their big brothers, and are also rocking the same birthday dress. Another thing Lady Kitty has in common with her Auntie Kendra: having her first word be “ball”… it might have been a fluke hearing Lady Kitty say “ball” and point to her birthday balloon a few days before her first birthday, except that the experience continues to repeat itself. And the story goes, according to Jamma Julie, that Kendra’s first word was “ball!” as she lunged at her big brother Michael who was holding a ball. Kendra went on to be six feet tall, excel at volleyball and eventually coach at the high school level in Ketchikan. Meanwhile, Lady Kitty is about two feet tall, climbed three flights of stairs today when she first took to stairclimbing, and is simply having a ball.


While Lady Kitty astounds us with her “boww” and other priceless vocalizations, eg: “Is that a dinosaur in our living room?” Lake is at the perfect age to delight us with his creative phrasing. I’m amazed at both the magnitude of my enjoyment of his worldly observations, as well as their ephemerality. One minute I’m howling with laughter, and a few minutes later, I cannot recall what he said. So, I’ve taken to grabbing a pen post haste, to be able to share a few gems with you.

Luckily, also, our friend Clarence has a keen ear and a strong memory, so it’s great to eavesdrop on their conversations by way of him texting me later.

For example Clarence shared, “Oh, I forgot from yesterday when the three of us first ventured to “Spinning Chair” Park.

Lake said: “You know what? When I grow up I’m going to be an Acrobat!”

Clarence: “You are? And why is that?”

Lake: “Because I am balanced!””

A perfect 7.0

The day before when I’d walked down to Spinning Chair Park with Lake and Lady Kitty, Lake said:

“Those four leaves were like jogging. The wind was making them jog. And they were like jog. Jog. Jog.”

And then remembering an amazing video clip Michael shared with us earlier, he said, “Keyboard cat is so skillful with instruments. I wonder if he can play the how do you say it? Di’kar? [guitar] or the harmoniker? Harmoniker cat!” He laughs at his own wit. I join in; I’m having an absolute ball.

I’m thankful every day for your entertaining comedy during this ongoing global pandemic and with limited external socializing, I’m especially glad you have each other to grow up together with. A perfect day. I’m glad I spent it with you two siblings.

Rainy Day Zoo

Is it worth it? Going to the zoo on a cold rainy day in the dead of winter wearing a mask, wearing a baby and trying to reason with a four year old? You may have also found yourself asking this question. On a day much like today’s cold blustery day, I certainly was.

On the short drive to the Woodland Park Zoo, after a full-on melt down had subsided, Lake proclaimed he is going to be a zookeeper when he grows up. Not a veterinarian, a zookeeper. So I promised we’d ask about their volunteer program when we arrive. They accept applications in January and the minimum age is 16. We filed that information away in our minds for future reference. In the meantime Lake has eleven years of practice on our own in-house petting zoo (comprised of Mr. Cat, Mr. Silky and Missy) to focus on.

Even on the coldest, darkest, rainiest days, the zoo never fails to reveal at least a few unexpected gems. The reward for our effort comes during that surprise moment an animal connects with us. An acknowledging nod by the orangutan to Lady Kitty. A hippopotamus yawning, the gaping jaws opening wider and wider like a cobra, Lady Kitty waving goodbye to the Malayan tiger.

31 January 2021

Finally, there is the sweet confidence that comes from executing a planned adventure. Even as a pre-schooler, Lake is rich (and gaining) in self-awareness: “We made the zoo happen,” he said afterwards, with confidence and a measure of pride. There’s a capable kid that will be able to take himeself and his kids through the cold rainsorms of life. So in short, yes, it’s worth it.

A perfect day. I’m glad I spent it with you, Lake and Lady Kitty. We made the zoo happen.