September 13th, 2011

It’s been quiet here, I know. I wonder, sometimes, how to keep this space alive, what to make of it, what exactly it is I am doing here. Very little, at the moment, it would seem. There’s nothing for it but to jump back in, come back to this space and see what happens.

I am writing, but most of my writing is in my notebooks these days, is geared towards producing poems that I hope to publish and now that more and more journals classify poems posted on personal websites as “previously published” I am reluctant to make any drafts public.

I’m spending a lot of time in hockey rinks these days – the Small Boy has been practicing three times a week since August and is only now settling into a more manageable and regular twice a week schedule. I think the program was just loading up on the practices because the ice was available and they figured they might as well take advantage of it. But it was a lot. And the practice times were so irregular – 3pm one day, 4.45 the next, sometimes a Wednesday, sometimes not – that the sheer logistics of figuring out who had to be where when was exhausting. The upside of all of this, however, is that the Small Boy has made tremendous progress. He scored another goal in another tournament, and was allowed to play goalie in a real game. He is happy, and still completely into it.

Small Boy lost three top teeth, two on the same day and one five days later, and has a huge gap but still smiled like crazy in his first grade pictures, which are adorable. One of the parents at hockey asked me if he was going into the second grade or the the third and was surprised when I said he’s just started the first grade. He is tall, so long and tall, and with all the sports he’s stretched out to bone and tendon. It will be the shock of my life when puberty hits and he has enough testosterone to sculpt muscle. I see the older hockey players around the stadium, the 14 year old boys, the 16 year old boys, and it’s hard to imagine my Small Boy morphing into one of those young men with broad shoulders and straight backs.

There is also the first grade. After a rocky first week, he settled in and is doing well. There is homework, but not very much, and Small Boy accepts the rule that there is no playing and no hockey practice until the homework is done. This means starting homework over the lunch hour on Thursdays, when he has school in the afternoon and practice shortly after school lets out, but it’s working so far. (If he keeps up with hockey, third grade, say, will get interesting but I’ll try not to borrow trouble until then.)

The Boychen has started going to Spielgruppe (playgroup) which is a bit like pre-K but only one morning a week. He, too, had a rocky start including tears and refusing to stay one day but I see now that it’s more of a power-play than genuine misery at the thought of playgroup. When I stay firm, kiss him goodbye and leave, he generally cheers up and the teacher tells me he plays happily. He’s still going to the babysitter one day a week and all of this seems like I should have more time to get my work done, to write, to blog, and yet somehow it feels like I have less time than ever.

Boychen is out riding tractors with his Grosvati today; they’re bringing the corn to the silos. According to my copy of the Small Boy’s class schedule, he is in NMM right now – Nature, Mensch, Mitwelt – which seems to cover both the natural world and social studies. Soon the bell will ring and he’ll walk home, either quickly or slowly as the mood strikes him, for lunch. Then there will be homework, and some time to play, and then it will be off to the rink where Small Boy will put on all his equipment himself, carry his own water bottle to the players’ bench, and jump out onto the ice.

What have you been up to?