"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Sunday was the last time we'll be seeing the McGrail side of the family for a long time. There were goodbyes and hugs and tears from almost everyone, but the boys took it remarkably in stride. They gave their hugs and kisses, happily waved at the door, and went back to the business of playing. Mike thinks that maybe they don't really understand that this was a real goodbye, for several months, but I tend to think the opposite is true. I think they understand better than we give them credit for, better than we as adults can understand.

A friend and I recently had a discussion about children and how they dealt with death. She recently lost a cousin to a car accident, and was telling me how her children were handling it. Her 8 year old (who is a lot like Spencer in many ways) accepted it in a way that many adults just can't. She told me that she just KNEW her cousin was in a better place, and that she WOULD see her again. There was no question in her mind.

Moving away from family is obviously different than death, but it is still a life-changing transition. And Spencer and Paxton seem to understand better than anybody that while, yes, it's a big deal, it's not something to be sad about. That relationships that are worth having are not going to dissipate just because of a few (or a few thousand) miles. That they will continue to see and share and talk with the people that love them. That this is a good, and positive, and exciting move for our family, and that it's where we need to be right now. Their hearts are pure and open and trusting, and not all clogged up with the negative garbage that us adults have accumulated.

They understand.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sonic Heroes, math and the USA

Yesterday Paxton asked me what 3 x 5 was. I answered his question, and he asked another. I showed him what a multiplication table was, and his excitement drew Spencer over to see what we were doing. They both found it very very cool. Spencer wanted to check my answers, so I got him a calculator, and he spent most of the afternoon plugging in problems, amazed that I had them all right (or possibly amazed that the calculator got them all right) It was the last thing he did before he went to bed, and the first thing he did when he woke up.

Paxton spent a long portion of the past two days playing Sonic Heroes, both with and without me. It is one of five new PS2 games he got for his birthday, and it is pretty fun. He learns how to play new games almost instantly and I do not, so it took me awhile before I could even give him some honest competition.

This afternoon, I looked up a United States map on the internet. The one we had hanging on our wall is packed someplace, and I wanted to know what surrounded Utah. I stumbled across a really neat geography site, with games for learning and quizzing yourself on the states, capitals, rivers and lakes. We all played with it for quite awhile - and I do know where Utah is now - and the boys had me bookmark it for later.

Right now they are watching Cyberchase on TV, the baby is sleeping, and I can almost hear the house sighing as the day starts to wind down.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


On August 10th, our house officially hit the market. 13 days later we received (and accepted) an offer. Barring any problems, we will close on October 14th, hitch up our trailer and start our new adventure in AZ. As the buyers have a home sale contingency on the contract, we are continuing to do showings, and our life very much feels like it is revolving around cleaning and getting out of the house for walk-throughs. Surprisingly, though it's not entirely pleasant scrubbing the house for strangers to critique it - whether we're in the mood for cleaning or not - everyone has been adjusting rather well. The boys have been very helpful in packing and keeping the house picked up; and have only complained minimally about leaving at a moments' notice when they'd much rather be home playing Playstation.

There are actually many upsides to having to be out of the house all the time. We've been going out to eat a lot, which while certainly pricey, has been really nice. We've also been spending a lot of time in the car together, which we always enjoy. If it weren't for the price of gas, we would likely be driving around even more. We explored miles of back roads the other day, when we came home after an hour and the people still hadn't left, and it was a lovely little detour.

We're all excited about moving, and are starting to shift our focus to Arizona. I've signed up with homeschool groups, researched churches, and searched for a gym. It's a strange state of limbo we're in right now, but in a way it's forcing us to live in the moment even more fully. The boys and I are appreciative of days like today, when we're home, together, and don't have any showings or plans.

Paxton started his day with Playstation today, and Spencer started by writing words on the chalkboard and quizzing me. He asked why his friend Becca (one year older than him) knew how to spell longer words than he did. I told him that it was probably because she went to school, and had to learn words for spelling tests... and that he could practice longer words any time he wanted to. He then got out a map of the world, taped it next to the chalkboard, and started copying the names of countries.

The mail distracted us, as it always does, and now the boys are pouring through a toy catalog, adding to their growing Christmas wish list. Very strange to think about our first Christmas without any snow.


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